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The position of a product manager seems to be gaining a lot of traction these days, especially considering the advent of digital transformation. However, not everyone is qualified to give a product manager interview and take up this position. In fact, most people aren’t even familiar with this line of work.
What does a Product Manager do?
A product manager is in charge of research management, making decisions around which products and software need to be designed, testing the designs, and so forth.
A good product manager prioritizes customer value and business impact and optimizes the company’s products and services in a way that maximizes the aforementioned factors. Ultimately, a product manager ensures the organization has products that bring value to the customer, and ergo, make a profit.
What is the Role of a Product Manager?
Fundamentally, a product manager is responsible for:
- Setting the long-term vision for the company and strategy for the company’s products accordingly.
- Making sure all the participants and stakeholders are clear on this strategy
A product manager has a plethora of responsibilities including, a product’s concept, design, product samples, product testing, forecast, cost estimates, production at scale, promotion and support for the product, marketing, and so forth.
A product manager is also responsible for developing operational strategies, reaching growth goals, including revenue, return on investment, and more. Additionally, a product manager is also in charge of managing and enforcing marketing strategies via research and planning.
What Should you look for in a Product Manager?
Here are some critical skills excellent product managers have:
This is an essential skill for a product manager to have. An excellent product manager is effective in prioritizing potential issues, threats, failures, strategies, and a whole lot more.
With the number of responsibilities that product managers have to bear, it should go without saying that clear communication is a prerequisite. Product managers need to deal with different departments, customers, teams, and many more. This is not possible without communication skills.
Here is another obvious prerequisite. Product managers are responsible for managing products from the creation to sale. Seeing how this is the case, it should not surprise you that all good product managers are well-versed in marketing.
Marketing, especially in the digital age, is crucial. Having effective marketing strategies in place is critical for your product’s success. For a product to be a hit, product managers need to make sure the following are in place: marketing campaigns, supervising advertising, brand recognition, and awareness, and so on. Also, product managers need to make sure the customers are treated properly and have their grievances addressed.
If you are looking to hire a product manager, make sure they have marketing skills in spades.
This skillset tends not to get the attention it deserves and often goes under the radar. However, given how product managers inevitably end up handling all kinds of people, including customers, different teams, and so forth, they must have people skills to get the best out of their interactions and communicate their goals and vision. People skills refer to things like collaboration, performing under pressure, emotional intelligence, oral and written communication, and so forth.
What is a Technical Product Manager?
A technical product manager has a rich technical background and typically concerns himself with the technical aspects of the product. Technical product managers primarily work with the engineering team as opposed to the sales, marketing, and business teams of the company.
Product managers are generally required to be technically proficient. However, a technical product manager must have a terrific technical background. Most technical product managers are usually former computer engineers or majors.
They usually find themselves in companies when the product management team happens to be able to support specialization. Specialization is promoted in areas that demand a thorough understanding of technical factors to function correctly.
However, they are ultimately still product managers despite the abundance of technical knowledge they possess. They are not responsible for coding or coming up with network diagrams. As product managers, they still bear the responsibility of prioritizing customer value and business impact. As technical product managers, they may have the bonus of being able to have a better working relationship with the technical teams of the organization.
What can you expect from a Technical Product Manager?
Here are a few things you can expect from a technical product manager:
- Addressing concerns about the product and what it can do
- Answering and discussing the technical risks of the product
- Keeping track of the competitors and conducting regular evaluations
- Handling customer and internal training on product use
- Analysis of data pipelines, automated systems, algorithms, and so on
- Operating as the go-to person and expert on the subject matter in the developer community
- Coordinating and carrying out beta tests
- Analyzing performance indicators and evaluating experiments using database queries
- Defining the criteria for success and failure to streamline the process of testing the product
- Creating and properly maintaining product documentation
Technical product managers have managed to cement their position as an incredible asset to the product management team of the organization. They are known to have an entirely new perspective in comparison to their marketing-centric counterparts.
Considering how well-versed with engineering they are, they can yield better results quickly and come up with innovative solutions for business problems.