The role of the product manager in a technology company especially cannot be underestimated. The responsibility of guiding the engineering team to build the product lies with the product manager. It is a full-time, all-consuming job which requires dedication. It is the product manager who defines the why’, what’ and when’ of a product in the product development lifecycle process which the engineering team to follows to build a product.
Marketing, roadmap, strategy, forecasting, market analysis, competition, customers relationship, product features and profit and loss (P&L) are all handled by the product manager. The span of control varies from company to company. There are situations where the product manager has to bridge the gap between different functions in the company by providing cross-functional leadership. It is definitely not easy to balance the equilibrium between functions involving engineering-oriented teams, sales and marketing, and customer service support.
Following are some of the challenges that a product manager has to overcome:
Identifying and qualifying opportunities: The product manager needs to be open to received evaluate feasibility of ideas, opinions, suggestions and recommendations from all quarters like existing customers, prospective customers, competitor’s customers, domain experts, industry analysts, sales and marketing staff, product development team, operations staff etc.
Product choice: Introducing the right product at the right time is highly critical for success. Product managers have to demonstrate good judgement, insight and logic to make the right choice. There is no point choosing which cannot be marketed or supported.
Product evangelism: The product manager is the representative of the product within the company. It is his/her responsibility to constantly champion the product internally and explain in the vision and benefits of the product.
How to become a good product manager?
Passion: It is important for a product manager s to love, respect and fiercely backs their products. If they are not convinced about their products, then who else would be?
Focusing: Many times, there are situations when questions will be raised, new changes will be requested or objections made on the design aspects. It is essentials for product manager not to lose focus from their original design.
Customer empathy: Good product managers learn to empathize with their target markets. It is imperative to be customer-centric while developing the products. Be the best you can and choose the best virtues, being very effective does not come in vain but you create it yourself.