The requirement of product manager is increasing day by day due to the growing importance of data in decision making, business agility and transformations in the digital world. The role of the Product manager is not only to act as a market advocate but also to implement the vision and business strategy of the company.
Product Managers as mini CEO?
Product managers, also called CEO of the product are the key people who view the product from many different perspectives that includes engineering, design, customers, sales, marketing, operations, legal, and more. They are not only responsible for defining the ‘why’ & ‘what,’ but also influence the ‘when’ aspect of the product. The role of the product managers is constantly changing in this world of agility. In the past, people used to primarily focus on the execution and timelines of the delivery. Whereas, in today’s world, product managers are focused on many areas across the verticals and they pitch in the areas to make trade-off decisions, bridging the gap between the cross-functional teams, ensure the placement of support between various functions. Having said that, the role that each product manager plays depends on many dynamics like the size & type of the company, the nature of product, the stage of the product, market dynamics, and the idea behind the product. Along with all these, culture of the company is the key factor that determines the role and influence of the product manager.
Need of Product Manager / Product Owner?
Product Management is called the voice of the market inside the business. Here the word “market” encompasses customers, end users, buyers and all parties that fall under those segments. They are the truth tellers across the board including executive management, engineering, sales and other parts of the company by producing meaningful market data into actionable information.
Fairly different. Right?
One should fairly accept that, for such a dynamic and pivotal position within many companies, the job “Product Manager” is often not well defined and the responsibilities do vary from company to company. In fact, even the titles of the product manager are different for different companies and they are Program Manager, Product Marketing Manager, Product Owner, Product Specialist and many more. Irrespective of their titles based on the roles, product managers have key responsibilities to manage the inbound activities like concepts to design, prototyping testing, forecast, cost, production and outbound activates like Pricing, Promotion, Support, and finally End of life.
Product Manager has vital responsibilities related to the product. These include- owning the product’s strategy, developing and prioritizing the product roadmap, and ensuring that the product is shaping up as per the plan.
Product Owner is a person who balances both the scrum teams and product vision. His key activities include- prioritization of the product Backlog, scheduled grooming sessions with the scrum teams, evolving collection of possibilities for the product on both the functional and value sides. These also include the qualities like- skills to cope, time, cost, communication, risk, tradeoffs & last but not the least – Quality Assurance.
At times, product people do switch their hats to cater to the needs of product by swiftly moving themselves across the roles like Product Owner, Product Marketing, Product specialist etc. In today’s dynamic world, we all know that inventions are being propelled at a faster pace and most of the companies are preferring to have Product people on board at the earliest so that the product lifecycle is clearly set in place with the vision and strategy.