Product management is the practice of strategically driving the development, market launch, and continual support and improvement of a company’s products. Product management is an important organizational role. Product managers are typically found at companies that are building products or technology for customer or internal use.
The product manager is responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition for that product or product line. The position may also include marketing, forecasting, and profit and loss (P&L) responsibilities.
Activities span from strategic to tactical and includes the following objectives:
• Set a product vision and strategy that is differentiated and delivers unique value based on customer demands. This includes defining personas and analyzing market and competitive conditions.
• Define what the product team will deliver and the timeline for implementation. This includes creating a release plan, capturing actionable feedback and ideas, and prioritizing features.
• Provide cross-functional leadership, most notably between engineering teams, sales and marketing, and support. A key aspect of this is communicating the product roadmap and keeping everyone informed of updates.
Responsibilities Most often, a Product Manager is responsible for understanding customer requirements, defining and prioritizing features, and then working with the engineering team to build them. Setting strategy and defining the roadmap is often considered to be inbound work and bringing the product to market is often considered to be outbound. It is important to understand the differences between inbound and outbound product management because a great Product Manager has the diverse set of skills to do both well. Inbound product management involves gathering customer research, competitive intelligence, and industry trends — as well as setting strategy and managing the product roadmap. Outbound product management involves product marketing responsibilities, such as messaging and branding, customer communication, new product launches, advertising, PR,and events. Depending on the organization, these roles can be performed by the same person or by two different people or groups that work closely together.
Product Strategy and Definition (Inbound)
• Strategy and vision
• Customer interviews
• Defining features and requirements
• Building roadmaps
• Release management
• Go-to-resource for engineering
• Sales and support training Product Marketing and Go-to-Market (Outbound)
• Competitive differentiation
• Positioning and messaging
• Naming and branding
• Customer communication
• Product launches
• Press and analyst relations