The role of a Product Manager is a versatile one. The closest we can get to a definition is: a Product Manager identifies market problems worth solving and then leads the group that will solve those problems.
On any given day, a Product Manager has to meet with different groups of people (legal, finance, engineers, designers, etc.,) and move different deliverables towards closure. They are deeply involved in the launch, distribution, and maturity of a product, and therefore, their role at a firm mainly depends on the stage of the product.
In the discovery stage, a PM typically spends time ideating with colleagues and conducting user interviews/initial market research to validate those ideas. Once the core ideas are validated, a product manager shares their vision of the MVP (minimal value proposition) with the other stakeholders to get them on board. This is where you align the goals and objectives of the organization with that of the product to define clear requirements and epics. Therein, the Product Manager makes sure all the requirements are met while taking care of every roadblock or doubt the team might have.
This is about half the work done. Once the product roadmap is in place, it’s time to start collaborating with the marketing teams to prepare pre-launch marketing materials such as user documentation, demo sessions, press releases and so on. Once the product goes live, the role of the manager shifts to the next stage.
During the launch phase, the primary focus of the Product Manager shifts to monitoring and analytics. There are several quantitative as well as qualitative monitoring metrics that help managers measure the success of their ongoing efforts and introduce timely iterations to ultimately master the product market fit.
In the post-release stage, the PM is expected to regularly monitor and manage the health of the product. This includes regularly checking several metrics dashboards to ensure everything is running smoothly. Another tool that is particularly favored by product managers of multiple companies across sectors is the NPS (Net Promoter Score). The net promoter score of a company is a widely accepted indicator of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The higher the NPS, the happier the Product Manager is!
Depending on the stage of the company, the role of the product manager can vastly vary. But these roles can broadly classified into three categories for our ease of understanding:
- Communicating: All meetings including core team meetings, support team meetings and trainings, sales meetings, etc. come under this bracket. Two areas where the Product Manager can be found spending most of their time are meetings with the development team and marketing team.
- Researching, learning and analyzing: Product Managers have to keep a close tab on the pulse of the market, and therefore, competitor research is a part of their daily routine. Additionally, reviewing the product’s sales, marketing and revenue numbers, reviewing them against the KPIs and opening doors for newer solutions, features, functionalities, etc. based on this analysis is a core part of the role.
- Decisions and Documentation: The PM gathers all key takeaways from every meeting and ensures it reaches the right stakeholders. They define problem statements, documents their hypothesis based on these meetings, and distribute them further.
As a Product Manager, you can expect each day to play out differently. Whether you’re building products for large enterprises or small companies, your role will keep evolving and you’ll be on your toes!