The various roles and qualities that product managers must possess must be clarified for people to understand who precisely a Product manager is. To be a product manager in a firm, people have to pass through so many topgrading interview questions. Product managers are still defining their role, unlike practitioners of more established crafts like design and engineering, who can segment themselves according to their specialty. This implies that anyone working in or entering the field of financial goods, popularly called fintech PM, must concentrate their efforts, interact with various stakeholders, and manage their products differently. There are, of course, some commonalities among businesses:
- They all care about making a profit.
- All want to produce more.
- The majority want to operate more effectively and provide better customer service.
What a product manager does?
Depending on the organization’s scale, different tasks are assigned to other people. For instance, product managers are integrated into teams of specialists in larger companies. While developers and designers handle the day-to-day execution, develop designs, test prototypes, and identify bugs, researchers, analysts, and marketers assist in gathering input. Although they have more assistance, these product managers also spend more time getting these stakeholders to support a particular goal.
On the other hand, product managers at smaller companies spend less time gaining consensus and more time working directly toward defining and implementing a strategy.
But generally speaking, a competent product manager will focus on a small number of duties.
- Recognizing and expressing customer requirements.
- Business research and creating competitive analyses.
- Creating a product idea.
- Coordination with all stakeholders to support the product’s goal.
- Emphasizing a product’s capabilities and characteristics.
- Fostering a shared brain among bigger teams to encourage independent judgment.
Product owner versus product manager: When it comes to what a product manager does, it can be unclear whether a team is following a particular agile strategy (and which one). For instance, a product manager is also required if a team is using scrum. While the product owner should collaborate more closely with the development team to carry out the objectives that the product manager helps define, the product manager determines the direction of the product through study, vision setting, alignment, and prioritization. However, when squad compositions and practices change, roles can slightly shift. For instance, the product manager may prioritize tasks for the development team and take on a more prominent part in ensuring that everyone is on the same page if the unit isn’t using scrum (for example, if they’re using kanban or something else). On the other hand, the product owner frequently takes on some of the product manager’s duties when a team uses an Agile strategy but needs a product manager.
Teams must be careful to explicitly define roles and responsibilities because otherwise, they risk reverting to the outdated software development method, in which one group writes the requirements and passes them on to another group to construct. When this occurs, teams run the risk of developing features or products that don’t meet customer requirements, and expectations become misaligned.
Being A Worthy Product Manager: Advice
One of the fantastic features of the product manager role is that there is more than one method to do it, as there is more than one type of team. Product managers still need to work on categorizing their strengths, unlike designers who have effectively divided themselves into interaction designers, graphic designers, motion designers, etc. The fact that people are just starting to seek product management as their intended discipline further complicates matters. Younger generations are beginning their jobs with product management in mind, unlike older generations who “fell into product management” from engineering, design, finance, or marketing. However, there are a few abilities and habits that a successful product manager must master.
- Need to be an optimistic risk taker: The product manager may at any given time have to choose between a feature that might satisfy one large customer while upsetting 100 smaller ones, maintaining the status quo, or changing course to broaden the product’s appeal and align it with overarching business objectives, or focusing on the exciting or the mundane but crucial aspects of a product. The product manager is guided toward the best choice by clearly grasping each option’s advantages and disadvantages.
- Be familiar with market trends: Product managers must be trained to navigate market trends. Rarely do they begin with a blank canvas. Often Product managers find themselves plunging into an initiative already gaining traction. They will make poor choices if they start carrying out without first taking the time to orient themselves.
Inventor of ProductTank and legendary product leader Martin Eriksson first summarised product management in a simple Venn diagram, placing the product manager at the nexus of business, technology, and user experience. Eriksson is correct, but I sometimes concur with how their definitions are used. People believe that product managers handle the product between all three disciplines when they see Eriksson’s diagram (UX, technology, and business). However, he says that product managers must balance all three requirements and make difficult choices and tradeoffs. People believe product managers have a unique power when they hear Horowitz’s analogy. Not at all. But just like a CEO, product managers establish the objectives, determine success, inspire teams, and are ultimately accountable for the results. So, it is a win-win situation for the firm if a Product manager knows the technology.
- Good product managers start by asking inquiries instead of slamming the brakes: Take advantage of your first few months in product management to speak with as many clients as possible and as many internal partners as you can, recognize the company strategy, acknowledge the past, learn how various influences affect individuals, and, in the end, don’t forget identifying the decision-making process. Then you’ll be able to start making some of your own choices.
- Give your staff the freedom to decide: Product managers cannot make all decisions. Trust me. in an effort, I virtually always have unread messages when the day is over. I frequently have two or three reservations. And I could keep answering queries all day and never get through them. However, it isn’t the product manager’s responsibility—or it shouldn’t be—to influence every choice. Establishing a shared brain, or a method of making choices and a set of criteria for escalating them, with your team is one of the keys to excellent product management. Nine times out of ten, when someone asks a product manager a query about a choice they could have made for themselves, it’s because they lack the information necessary to do so. An excellent product manager creates that framework.
- Master the art of impact without power: Although initially, many of her team members would have preferred a more seasoned leader, I am aware of a young product manager her colleagues almost universally respect. How did she influence their decision? She went out for coffee with each member of the 30-person squad and listened to them. There are many ways to exert influence. The first step is paying attention to others and recognizing their effects. The second is figuring out how to persuade them to agree with your viewpoint. Even if you lack evidence to support your claim, developing your storytelling skills will help you advance. Some individuals need to see you in action before they will believe you. And if you are techno-friendly too, it would add up to the team not befooling you over specific issues.
- Become a Strong headed professional: People will undoubtedly become unhappy due to tradeoffs. The secret is first to make the appropriate tradeoffs and then be able to articulate the reasoning behind your choice. Even if someone doesn’t agree with your choice, they will almost certainly appreciate the process by which you arrived at it if you explain it. Great product managers find a means to deal with it even if they don’t.
- Outstanding product managers: Genuinely exceptional product managers are scarce, capable of doing all those mentioned above and creating unique product ideas. It is an uncommon breed of person who is forward-thinking, extremely influential, and capable of persuading others despite the lack of evidence. Elon Musk and Steve Jobs spring to mind as examples.
I admire these people partly because placing a name and a face on a significant achievement feels good. But excellent goods are only sometimes created by a single great thinker 99 percent of the time, and they are made by groups of good people who do exceptional jobs. The product manager is responsible for creating a distinctive methodology for supervising that task, so he must acquire all updated skills to assist the team and guide them accordingly. A product manager hierarchy of firms shows that moving up the ladder is easier for those working, keeping pace with industrial needs of automation and technology as it helps understand the client and decide over product demand and supply. So, today’s product manager has to be a master of all trades, from finance to technology and design to user interface, to make the team work efficiently towards the same organizational goal.