When you think of product management the first image that might pop up is a group of folks sitting in a conference room with a pie chart on the screen. Each one has a fancy MBA from elite colleges and years of experience in the business and management world.
But how about I tell you, Susan, a 17-year-old high school student is also a product manager? She runs a small online business selling handmade bookmarks. Product management is not as complex a process as you might think.
Want to understand what this new corporate branch is? In this article, we will cover everything there is to know about product management.
Product management is the process involving ideation, development, pricing, deployment, and marketing of a product. It is observing each step of the product from ideation to sales.
An easy definition is: product management is looking into every possible process needed for a product to be successful.
For example, if a company sells sweaters. The product management unit will look into the latest fashion trends, popular brands (competition), new designs, demographic of the target audience, material stocking, tailoring/stitching units, shipping/return methods, feedback, customer care, etc.
Product management is blurring the line between different divisions of an organization. Product managers coordinate and collaborate between various departments like the IT team, timely delivery (add more), sales, etc.
For example, if a company sells sweaters on their app. The product management team will look into user demand in sweaters, new designs, building/updating the app, marketing the app, analyzing user experience with the app, and collecting feedback.
Product management is collaborating with each division which will bring a product to life.
The most important aspect of product management is the consumer. They will be using the unique solution your product will provide. Without users, your product is a mere display in a vitrine. A product needs to be providing value to the users to be considered a success.
For example, if you are building the app to keep a check on the freshness of the vegetables. Your users are people who buy groceries for homes or restaurants and want to keep an eye on their pantry.
Product management revolves around realizing the user’s pain points and providing them with easy-to-use products as a solution. User feedback is key for the modification of the product as per demand.
Technical product management starts with developing the product. It involves programming with the engineering and the design unit. It involves coding of the products, many several tests, and deploying for the users to access.
Here the development will work on using Machine learning and artificial intelligence to guess the vegetable’s freshness. They also need to make a user-friendly application.
Engineers might get caught up in trying to solve the issues they find needs to be solved. But product management is focusing the software team towards the target user’s problems.
Product management can not be completed with good marketing and business strategies. But product management is looking into all aspects of business like getting investors/sponsors even before development.
The business division of product management will look into connecting with restaurant owners, caterers, etc. to purchase and use the application.
Product development doesn’t end at the selling of the products. It goes deeper into rectifying consumer issues and customer support as well. Sale is an important metric for calculating the efficiency of the product development team.
Product development demands several skill sets from the people involved. Luckily you can always have a big group with each member specializing in each skill.
If you think these skills are all that’s needed, think again. Product management asks for the investment of time, knowledge, manpower, money, etc. It is a complex task and hence, will need several skills to be perfect.
In the next segment, we discuss what major divisions make up the product management system.
There are plenty of subcategories of these 5 divisions. We can drive deeper into the nitty-gritty but these are enough to get you started and running for a long enough period. Now that we have gathered the ingredients, time to learn the chronological steps of product management.
Post feedback or brainstorming more ideas, product management repeats this process. There are many more steps that can be added for a better product management cycle.
Does a job in product management sound exciting to you? One ideal role in this domain is a product manager. Glassdoor has rewarded product management as the 3rd best job in the US.
The responsibilities of a product manager depend on the company and the product. Although they might need to do various tasks, the main role remains intact. Here are two methods you can use to become one yourself.
The career path of a product manager varies from company to company. But this is the broad basics. Your enthusiasm, passion, and ability to grasp new skills will have a big impact on the speed of climbing the corporate ladder.
Your product management journey can use a little helping hand. These tools are perfect for beginner to pro. Incorporate these early on to make life much simpler for yourself.
Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.
ProductPlan is an easy-to-use roadmap software that empowers product managers to plan, visualize, and communicate their product strategy. It helps you to build and share product roadmaps in minutes with its intuitive drag and drop interface. You can easily create different versions of your roadmap for different audiences building consensus across your organization.
Adobe Photoshop is the predominant photo editing and manipulation software on the market. Its uses range from the full-featured editing of large batches of photos to creating intricate digital paintings and drawings that mimic those done by hand.
Canva is a free graphic design platform that allows you to easily create invitations, business cards, flyers, lesson plans, Zoom backgrounds, and more using professionally designed templates.
Slack is a workplace communication tool, “a single place for messaging, tools and files.” This means Slack is an instant messaging system with lots of add-ins for other workplace tools. The add-ins aren’t necessary to use Slack, though, because the main functionality is all about talking to other people. There are two methods of chat in Slack: channels (group chat), and direct message or DM (person-to-person chat).
Mattermost is an open-source platform for secure communication, collaboration, and orchestration of work across teams and tools. Mattermost is built specifically for software development and engineering use cases and integrates deeply with a rich ecosystem of third-party developer tools. Mattermost gives companies full control over their data; with self-hosted and private cloud deployment options and access to the source code, developers can contribute directly to a shared, flexible, and extensible platform built just for them.
With UserExperior's mobile app session replay functionality, you can "see what your consumers see." It allows marketers, UX designers, and developers to see the entire user experience. It's more than just a session replayer. It also provides heatmap analysis of user interactions across multiple devices to reveal usability issues that affect your app development.
SurveyMonkey is online survey software that helps you to create and run professional online surveys. It is a powerful and well-known online application.SurveyMonkey presents all the tools necessary for you to create strong, professional surveys easily.
The exact feature is dependent on which of the four pricing plans you choose. However, if you’re just starting up with online survey tools and you are trying to figure out the best one, you can opt for the free pricing plan that gives you access to the basic tools needed to create great surveys.
The demand for Product managers has grown 32% from 2017-2019. Companies are realizing the importance of specializing product management teams to have cooperation between all departments involved in building a product. Product management aims at making a product to provide maximum value to the users. That in turn is increasing the quality of products in the market. Users can get great results due to the customer-oriented approach of functioning. With the ever-increasing demand and use of technology, constantly evolved tech products are available. That’s when product management is making all the difference by bridging the gap between customer needs and company values.
This explains how synthetic monitoring works and how it can be used to ensure that your applications are up to user expectations and more.