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What Is a Product Manager?

Product management is the practice of defining the “what” and “why” for the solutions that companies build, solutions that are meant to solve customer problems. The individuals that carry out this practice are known as product managers. 

To do this effectively product managers have various skills, resources, tools, and stakeholders that they rely on.

A product manager is the champion of their customer in their business.

They regularly interface with customers to understand their request and then measure and prioritize them based on the value provided (to customers and their business) and the associated effort.

Once an item has been prioritized they work through the product development process to design, build, test, launch, and iterate on the product post launch.

The product development process is the process that all products go through. Product managers follow this process to take a solution from problem definition, to launch, and multiple activities post launch.

Though defined in a few different ways the product development process generally involves the following stages.

  1. Define the problem

  2. Prioritize the problem

  3. Design the solution

  4. Build the solution

  5. Test the solution

  6. Ship & measure success

Every action that a product manager takes surrounding a product with will fall into one of these 6 stages.

So to recap before moving forward, product managers define solutions that solve customer and business problems, enable their business to teach its goals, and work with their stakeholders to achieve success.