Product manager Job: Is it hard to become a product manager?
A product manager is in charge for controlling the success of a product and plays the lead role of a cross-functional team that is responsible for improving it. It is an extremely central organizational role — particularly in technology companies — that ascertains the strategy, roadmap, and feature description for a product or product line. The role of a product manager is always evolving it could include marketing, forecasting, and profit and loss (P&L) responsibilities. In a lot of ways, the responsibilities of a product manager are very similar in concept to a brand manager at a consumer packaged goods company. In this article we will be looking at the various tasks and responsibilities that a product manager performs at various levels in their career.
The general product manager Job description
Product managers' role is vital in the success of a product. Their responsibilities differ depending on the size of the organization. In larger organizations, for example, product managers are embedded within teams of experts. Researchers, analysts, and marketers all pool in and help gather input, while developers and designers are responsible for the day-to-day implementations, draw-up designs, test prototypes, and find bugs. These product managers have a lot of support, but they also devote a lot of time aligning theses stakeholders behind a specific vision.
On the other hand, in smaller organizations product managers spend less time for convincing everyone to agree, but more time in executing the tasks hands-on that comes with defining a vision and seeing it through.
We have listed down a few tasks which a product manager would spend his time on doing more, such as:
- Understanding and representing user needs.
- Keeping an eye on the market and developing competitive analyses.
- Defining a vision for a product.
- Aligning stakeholders around the vision for the product.
- Prioritizing product features and capabilities.
- Creating a shared brain across larger teams to empower independent decision making.
Tasks of a product manager:
Entry Level Product manager
The day-to-day tasks of an entry level product manager will overlap with that of a product manager on a slighter smaller scale. Although you won't be able to choose your own projects, but you will have ownership for them.
The responsibilities of an entry level product manager might include Data analysis, UI design, Defining features, Making recommendations etc. Since this is an entry-level position, therefore there is a lot of room for learning a chance for the manager to prove how coachable you are and how well you listen to and understand the customer and product market.
Junior product manager:
The tasks and responsibilities of a Junior Product Manager are very similar to that of a regular producnt manager. At this stage it is more about the amount of authority you are given as a manager. By definition, management cannot have the same expectations of a Junior PM, but at the same time you'll need to pull your weight. At the end of the day that means getting things developed and shipped, properly and on time. Overall, the Junior Product Manager's responsibilities include:
- Working together with the product team to define the product vision
- Defining the objectives and key results
- Building a strategic product roadmap that fits in with the overall strategy of the department and the company
- Getting feedback from the customers
- Collaborating with the developers to deliver quality features and products within the expected timeline
Associate product manager
An associate product manager is responsible for arranging tasks with a clear set of limitations, not necessarily defining which tasks they are performing, but making scoping and prioritization decisions around the tasks or projects they're assigned. Associate product manager jobs require a need to work and collaborate daily with not only the other members of the product team, but also adjacent teams like UX and engineering. They need to communicate the status of the product regularly to all relevant stakeholders. Your primary task is to create a balance between business objectives and customer needs, reconcile the goals of the business with benefits to the customer.
Senior Product manager:
Once you study the professional development of a product manager, you will understand that how a senior product manager become what they are. The job description of a senior product manager needs to be planned while keeping that development in mind.
As a senior product manager, you will be working on product plans, project plans, and project development concepts. You will be be forming a business strategy which would be following the product strategy. Meanwhile, you will also be required to take care of your project management duties, which comprises of setting budgets, work plans, and ensuring departmental cooperation.
How to become a product manager
Why so many people do are confused about 'how to become a product manager'? This is because it is truly a 'dream job'. You get to use your brain freely and interact with people every day. You also get to lead teams and build products which people will ultimately love.
It is also a fairly high-growth job. So how exactly can you bag the job of a product manager? The core competencies/skills that are required for you to become a product manager are some that directly start inside your classroom. Most, however get developed with experience, great role models and great mentoring. Some examples of these competences or skills are:
- conducting customer interviews and user testing
- running design sprints
- feature prioritization and road map planning
- the art of resource allocation (it is not a science!)
- performing market assessments
- translating business-to-technical requirements, and vice versa
- pricing and revenue modeling
- defining and tracking success metrics
One of the worst tasks that a product manager is faced with relates to presenting a product wireframe for showing to the designers. If you are a product manager, you would know the headache that comes along with presentation of your product wireframe to a potential client. How about we tell you all your problems are about to be solved?
Wondershare Mockitt is a good version management tool software that can help you with all sort of product wireframe development. With traceable version history, up to 10 intact records of the same project. Revert back to previous versions of your project any time. Versioning enables teams to manage their design and determine the best work for final launch.
Even if you are a novice product manager, you still can work like experts with the vast icon and component libraries, 20+ industry-specific templates, and easy drag-and-drop function to add, arrange, and connect components. This software can bring your prototypes to life with rich interactive effects. You can mimic the final product with numerous interactive gestures and transitions to create life-like prototypes with no coding knowledge required.
These core competencies are truly the baseline for any product manager and the best product managers acquire these skills over years.