We live in times when markets are changing rapidly, not to mention the changing nature of the market. There are reasons for this dynamic shift, from the change in consumer behavior to the sustainable approach toward product development. That’s why when an aspiring product manager prepares topgrade interview questions and answers. The core themes focus more on the multi-dimensional role of a product manager. But do Product Managers have diverse skill sets? Before we debunk a few misconceptions, let’s find out about PMs’ role.
Product Management– A Multi-dimensional Role
The job profile of a PM varies significantly based on their skill set, yet a generalized pattern can be found. For example, a tech company requires a product manager to be well versed in technological areas to understand better the demands and expectations of the company’s stakeholders. On the contrary, a product manager at a design company will focus on making the design more approachable and inclusive. Here, one has to note that inclusivity is now a key value irrespective of the company’s domain. Why? Because consumers want to feel relatable to the product, whether it is a tech-based product or a website design. You can also call it the personalization of user experience. That’s primarily the basics of the PM’s role. You work at the core of the product team and have to perform many diverse tasks per the requirements. You need to be good at communicating the product goals to the team. Plus, you must act as a communication bridge between the design and engineering teams to complete the project per expectations.
The role of a PM seems clearly defined, yet many misunderstand it. Why?
Try asking an experienced Product Manager this question– “what is the role of a PM.” You will hardly get a clear response. But why do people struggle even after working as a PM? Does that mean they didn’t do their job effectively? Wrong!
The reason why an experienced PM is not able to define the role of a product manager is that it is a dynamic and diverse job profile. There is no clear set of responsibilities, and they juggle different tasks and skill-sets. Plus, all companies have different expectations from PMs. Take two PMs, A and B, where A works at google and B at a startup. The work A does is specialized and related to one field, but B has to take up a lot of multi-disciplinary tasks. The reason is— the scale, product, and resources will define the role of a PM. As we know, no two companies can be identical; therefore, the role of PM is still a gray area.
What do people misunderstand about a Product Manager?
Product Managers sit at the interface of different teams, research future prospects, build strategies and convert ideas into reality. While the romanticization of a PM’s role comes easy, still the role is not an easy one. To add more, many myths circulate around the role of a PM. Here are the most common myths:
“PM– The Mini CEO”
Yes, it is a catchy tagline, but it hardly speaks the truth. The role of a PM is to act as a product leader, not a dictator. They do not have the authority for the same; if they did, the product team could fail, and so could the product.
“PM– The Decision-Maker”
Many people transition from a different role to product management because they consider the latter a decision-making profile. The truth is– the PM is responsible for maintaining the pace and quality of the decision-making process. That means they must support coordination among cross-functional teams and promote effective communication, so the team works well together and never misses any deadlines.
“PM– The Idea Generator”
One role that often sticks with Product Managers is idea generation. As a result, PMs often solely take responsibility for coming up with new ideas, which harms the creative potential of the product team. In reality, the product team must participate in the brainstorming and develop unique-practical ideas. Idea generation is an ongoing process that stops only with a practical product’s completion.
“The PM needs to be good at Company Politics.”
Politics may help you shape the workplace culture or get involved in deep-rooted relationships; still, product development does not work on politics. Great PMs don’t indulge in politics as they know it jeopardizes the product’s development process.
“The PM needs technical degrees.”
A technical foundation does help in product management, but it is not a mandatory criterion unless you’re applying for a tech company. However, you need to have a general understanding of the technical aspects of the product. It will help you build a strong relationship with the engineering team– better communication.
The above misconceptions serve as evidence that the PM’s role is not an easy one to interpret and define. Still, if you have any doubts, ask product manager consulting firms like Palarino. We will surely be able to help you!