The demand for product managers has been on the rise in recent years. About 43% of companies are hiring more product managers, thanks to product-led growth.
Although product managers are neither marketers nor sales people, they can also take up a few marketing and sales-like responsibilities. That’s probably the reason why people always get confused.
This article will help you with questions like “what is product management?” or “what is a product manager?”
What is a Product Manager?
A product manager or PM is the one who oversees all aspects of a product, right from the design and development stage to its launch and maintenance operations. PM understands how to communicate the vision of a product to the company’s internal employees and executes a proper product strategy to deliver value to the customers.
The product should not only meet the needs of its target audience but also meet the objectives of the company. The key function of a product manager is to decide what to create, keeping the objectives of maximizing business impact and customer value in mind.
A product manager also plays a crucial role in team management. Their duty is to ensure that the relevant information reaches every team member and that everyone is clear on their objectives. Meeting deadlines is critical in product management, so PMs are expected to be proficient communicators, displaying their strong leadership skills.
The Responsibilities of a Product Manager
A product manager is in charge of outlining a product vision and forming an actionable plan for bringing it to production. It’s a PM’s responsibility to lead and coordinate each team from the initial planning process to the final product release. Additionally, they also identify deliverables for the development teams.
Simply put, a product manager is responsible for identifying customer issues the business seeks to solve. Then, they are to work with design and development teams to implement the solutions and ultimately launch the product to the market.
Depending on the organization, PMs can also prioritize which problems are to be solved most urgently. They should also validate customer challenges or issues worth solving now or in the future.
Requirements for a Product Manager
There are certain requirements that are to be considered as you dive into a career in product management. Although these requirements can change from job to job, the following ones are a must for any role in the product management industry:
An Undergraduate Degree
An undergraduate degree is necessary for most product management positions, if not all. Google, in the year 2018, announced that all its new hires for product management and product marketing management job roles no longer required a four-year degree. That being said, not every company is Google, and it’s always safe to have an undergraduate degree.
For a job in product management, the organizations always look out for graduates in business, engineering or computer science. In addition, employers often favour candidates with backgrounds in public relations, statistics, and marketing.
Most product manager roles require years of experience. The length of time is dependent on the position you are seeking. A high-level position like a director would take 5-12 years of experience. However, entry-level positions like an associate product manager are attainable without prior skill.
The degree and experience requirements may differ depending on the position and the organization. However, employers generally want their employees to have some training. This can be in the form of hands-on knowledge you acquired while earning your degree or from years of experience. PMs need to have strong technical and data-driven backgrounds. Coding and customer support are other specialities that companies may look for.
It can be challenging for those looking for an entry-level job to gain these skills through experience. But there’s no need to be disappointed as there are several product management courses online that can equip you with the specialized knowledge and skills required to land your dream job.