Perşembe, Temmuz 31, 2014

"So what do you do exactly as a Product Manager / Owner?"

I know it's difficult to tell a one-sentence answer when a friend, colleague, or a co-worker asks what you do as a product manager or owner. On a LinkedIn group called "Product Management" I found out a survey in which PMs share their "sentences" and I wanted to share the best answers so that you put these answers in your backlog! :)

"I make sure we're selling the right product(s) for the right price and promote those product(s)” (Vali Braselton [@vbraselton] - Global Market Development Manager at Berry Plastics)
The brain of the company, every department have to work in function that the marketing department trace, in order to satisfy the market needs and increase the value of the brand. (Patria Batista - Marketing Professional)
"Come up with creative solutions/software to solve problems for customers, and ensuring that my company makes money doing so". (Deirdre Clarke [@deirdre_clarke] - Product Management Director at
the one person, that pulls togehter customer needs - known or unkown- mix it with creativity, experience and company's strategy and bring it to market with loads of other people involved to facilitate or lighten customer's everyday's life. (Ulrike Laubner - Productmanagement Expert)
Ultimately accountable that we have a product that customers love and drives value to the company. (Michael Czyz - Sr Product Manager at ACTIVE Network)
I make sure what we sell, you will love. (Darrin Johnson - Senior Manager, Product Solutions at Cycle30)
You should be a Champion of the customer, Ambassador of the products, and a Shepard of the financials (Brian Van Leer - Product Management Leader)
Creating software solutions to market problems by educating and influencing the entire software organization to follow and implement your product strategy with virtually no authority at all. 

I am trying to pull out the uniqueness of a good product manager which is their ability to persuade and drive a coherent strategy across multiple competing departments dealing with people often significantly more senior. 

Product Managers would make very good diplomats. (Alan Lindsay - Product Manager at Wipro Promax Analytics Solutions)
  • Responsible for making sure the team ships the right product at the right time
  • Advocate for the customer
  • Mini-CEO of my product
  • Member of the core team along with design and engineering, responsible for figuring out what to build and smoothing out roadblocks so we can ship it
  • Like the sweeper in curling: Keep the stone going fast and in the right direction (and no one knows if we're really doing anything) (Jackie Bavaro - PM at Asana, Co-Author of Cracking the PM Interview)
I am a translator. I translate customer problems to UX and developers to build right product, translate value of product to marketing, sales and customers to be positioned and used correctly. (Josh Yim - Pricipal Product Manager at CA Technologies)
We define new products based on analysis of the market and customer needs, work with all departments to bring those products to market, and ensure they are successful once in market. (Trevor Dyck - Director of Product Management at Colligo Networks) 
"I take an idea and work with all of the departments of my company to turn it into as viable, sellable, reliable and profitable product that meets the market needs while planning of the next series of products that will do the same." (Jason Novich - Founder and CEO of O2 Product Management) 
I connect the dots. (Ken Fredeen - Senior Product Manager at Smiths Detection) 
ProdMgr is an INTRApreneur, driving the success of the product from concept through full life cycle, including oversight/direction of the marketing, development, UX, and P/L. Martin Eriksson's venn diagram covers most of that, but I think the PM isn't just at the center, he also has an attitude and approach similar to a min-CEO, providing leadership, evangelism, and more to see that all dimension of the product are in sync with the mission. I went from tech startup CEO to product manager, and I've seen others do the same and the reverse. (Don Rua - Marketing Technology Strategist: Web - Mobile - Social - Search - Digital) 

[1] image from Martin Eriksson
[2] Product Management LinkedIn group
[3] This is Product Management Podcast