CHAPTER 1Why an Ultimate Guide to Product Managers?
CHAPTER 2What Is a Product Manager?
CHAPTER 3The 3 Key Responsibilities of Product Managers
CHAPTER 4The Characteristics of a Good Product Manager
CHAPTER 5The Characteristics of a Bad Product Manager
CHAPTER 6A Day and Week in the Life of a Product Manager
CHAPTER 7Tools that Product Managers Rely on
CHAPTER 8The Makeup of a Product Management Team
CHAPTER 9Who Do Product Managers Report to?
CHAPTER 10Who Does a Product Manager Lead?
CHAPTER 11Product Manager vs. Product Owner
CHAPTER 12Product Manager vs. Technical Product Manager
CHAPTER 13Product Manager vs. Product Marketing Manager
CHAPTER 14Product Manager vs. Program Manager
CHAPTER 15How to Become a Product Manager in 2021
CHAPTER 16Are Product Management Courses (Certifications and Degrees) Worth the Time and Investment?
CHAPTER 17Product Manager Salaries and How Resume Breakdown
CHAPTER 18Landing Your First Product Role in 2021
CHAPTER 19Finding Product Management Jobs
CHAPTER 20Owning Your Product Manager Interview
CHAPTER 21Common Product Manager Interview Questions
CHAPTER 22Working as a Product Manager in an Agency
CHAPTER 23Working Freelance as a Product Manager
CHAPTER 245 Key Tips for New Product Managers
CHAPTER 25How to Level up Your Product Skills
We spoke about the responsibilities of a product manager in our article What Exactly Are a Product Manager’s Responsibilities?. When diving into this topic however it’s important to note that everything that a product manager does can be categorized into the following 3.
Customer empathy is one of the most important traits that product managers need to have.
Product managers need to be able to place themselves into the shoes of their customers to understand their pain points.
Along with knowing who their customers are (name, age, aspirations, budget, etc.) they can articulate the key problems that they face, why solving these problems are important, and how their customers plan to grow with the product.
Product managers also maintain a close relationship with their customers because they rely on them to succeed in their role.
As product managers work through the product development process customers assist them with:
Research and discovery: do we understand the problem correctly?
Validating their work: are we on the right track?
Gathering feedback: is this actually assisting customers with accomplishing their goals?
Product managers rely on qualitative and quantitative data to make decisions that will drive customer and business impact.
Data is heavily relied upon because it provides clarity on what is happening and what the next course of action should be.
While product managers are responsible for defining the “what” and the “why” of the solutions that they build with their teams, they can do this with clarity and confidence when they have access to data.
How does a product manager decide whether they should spend time fixing a set of bugs vs. working on a minor enhancement for a customer? With data.
Product managers also rely on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of their work. A KPI is used to evaluate whether a product is reaching its goals or not.
One important thing to note is that product managers are often graded by whether they meet their target KPIs.
However accomplishing this is a team effort. This means that if KPIs are missed it may not be 100% the product manager’s fault, other stakeholders are involved in product and business success.
A stakeholder is anyone who has direct or indirect influence on a product.
Internal stakeholders are the individuals inside of a company. For example members of the senior management team, designers, and developers.
External stakeholders are those who can influence the product however they do not work within the company. These include customers, industry analysts, trade unions, and development agencies.
Stakeholder management is not limited to knowing who your key stakeholders are and their roles, it includes everything that is required to work effectively with them to reach product and business success.
This includes influencing stakeholders and enabling them to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.
When key stakeholders are happy and enabled to perform their jobs then this increases the likelihood of the product reaching its goals, and in turn the company reaching its goals.