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Product Management: A Beginner’s Guide

Last updated on Nov 17,2022 3.1K Views

To understand product management domain, consider watching a series on an OTT platform or conversing with your client on a messaging system, have you thought about who are the brains behind these experiences?

There are different professionals behind the process working in a product management team. The process of product management entails a plethora of responsibilities starting from development, planning, and execution to analysis.

If you are new to product management, or if you are just getting started in your career, you may be wondering where to begin. It can be a daunting task to try and learn everything there is to know regarding this career option. That’s why we created this beginner’s guide!

In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about becoming a product manager, from what they do on a day-to-day basis to how to advance your career. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a better understanding of what it takes to be successful in this exciting field.

So, whether you are a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, this blog will help give you a headstart on product management.

Also Read: What is a Product? Meaning, examples, definition, and features

Product Management: Roles and Responsibilities

The role of product management has evolved significantly over the past few years. Earlier, the product manager was often the founder or CEO who was responsible for everything from design and development to customer support. As companies grew and became more complex, the role of product management became more specialized.

Today, product managers are responsible for defining the strategy and roadmap for their product, working with cross-functional teams to bring the product to market, and managing the product lifecycle.

Hence, product managers play a critical role in the success of a product. They are responsible for ensuring that the right features are inculcated, the product is launched successfully, and it continues to meet customer needs over time. 

What are The Responsibilities of A Product Manager?

The responsibilities of a product manager can vary from company to company. However, some core responsibilities are common in most product management positions. These responsibilities include:

Responsibilities of a product manager

  • Conducting Market Research: Skilled product managers will have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They will know what trends are happening in the industry and what customers are looking for. Market research is the key responsibility of a product manager to identify opportunities and assess customer needs.
  • Creating Product Roadmaps: A product roadmap is a high-level view of the planned development of a product. It includes everything about product planning and outlines the features that will be added to a product as and when required. A product manager is responsible for creating and maintaining the product roadmap throughout the product lifecycle.
  • Working with Development Teams: A product manager works closely with development teams to ensure that the product is being developed according to the roadmap. The product manager is also responsible for communicating changes or new features to the development team.
  • Preparing Product Launches: A product manager is responsible for the successful launch of a product. This includes planning the launch, coordinating with marketing and sales, and ensuring that the product is ready for release.
  • Creating Product Marketing: Creating and executing a product marketing plan is also one of the crucial tasks of a product manager. This plan should include activities such as market research, competitive analysis, messaging, and positioning.
  • Product Lifecycle Management: A product manager is responsible for managing the product lifecycle from idea to end of life. This includes defining the strategy for how the product will be developed and launched, as well as managing its ongoing evolution.
  • Conducting Product Analysis: The work is not done after the launch, a product manager is responsible for conducting regular analysis of the product. This includes tracking metrics, evaluating customer feedback, and assessing the competitive landscape.

As you can see, the responsibilities of a product manager are wide-ranging. However, these responsibilities can be boiled down to three core areas: market research, product planning, product development, and product marketing. If you want to be a successful product manager, you need to excel in all three of these areas.

Do you have what it takes to be a product manager?

Check out our Advanced Executive Certificate in Product Management to get started. 

Types of Product Management Roles

There are different types of product management roles, each with its own set of responsibilities. Let’s get you acquainted with some of the common roles:

  • Product Manager: The product manager is responsible for the overall success of a product. They work with all teams to ensure that the product meets the needs of users and achieves business goals. A product manager ensures that a product is launched on time, within budget, and with high quality. Product management roles are constantly evolving as new products are developed and new technologies emerge. As a result, product managers must be adaptable and always willing to learn new things.
  • Associate Product Manager: The associate product manager is responsible for supporting the product manager in all aspects of product management. They work with the development team to ensure that the product meets all technical requirements and is delivered on time. An associate product manager is also responsible for creating and executing the marketing strategy for a product.
  • Technical Product Manager: The technical product manager is responsible for the overall technical direction of the product. They work with the development team to ensure that the product meets all technical requirements and is delivered on time. A technical product manager is responsible for developing the core functionality of a product or tech stack of the company.
  • Growth Product Manager: The growth product manager is responsible for growing the user base of a product. They work with the marketing and sales team to identify new users and create strategies to engage and convert them. A growth product manager is also responsible for creating product planning and marketing that drives the adoption of a product among existing users. Right from the product idea, and pricing to cutting-edge marketing strategies, everything is decided by the growth product manager.
  • Data Product Manager: The data product manager is responsible for turning data into insights that can be used to improve the product. They work with the data team to collect and analyze data, and then use those insights to make product decisions. A data product manager is responsible for ensuring the meticulous use of data to improve the user experience.
  • Product Marketing Manager: The product marketing manager is responsible for creating and executing the marketing strategy for a product. These managers have to work with the marketing team to create campaigns and content that will raise awareness of the product and drive adoption. A product marketing manager is also responsible for managing relationships with key partners and customers.
  • Group Product Manager: The group product manager is responsible for managing a team of product managers. They work with their team to ensure that each product manager has the resources they need to be successful. A group product manager is also responsible for setting the strategy for their team and ensuring that each product manager is aligned with it.

Also Read: Product Management Learning- Key Areas

Skills Required To Become A Product Manager

To become a product manager, you don’t need to have an engineering or coding background. In fact, many successful product managers come from non-technical backgrounds. However, there are some essential skills that all good product managers share. 

Skills to become a product manager

  • Critical Thinking: As a product manager, you will be constantly presented with problems that need to be solved. You must be able to think critically and analytically in order to identify the root cause of the problem and come up with the best solution.
  • Problem Solving Skills: As mentioned above, you will encounter an abundance of problems in a project. Problem-solving skills are life-saving for product managers. Not only do you need to identify the root cause of a problem, but you also must be able to come up with creative solutions that address the problem effectively.
  • Creativity: A good product manager needs to have a creative mind. This is because a lot of product management involves coming up with new ideas and innovative solutions to meet objectives or cater to troubles. 
  • Communication: Product managers should be able to communicate effectively with different stakeholders. This includes being able to clearly articulate your ideas, present proposals persuasively, and manage expectations adequately.
  • Organizational Skills: Product managers need to be organized and detail-oriented in order to manage the various aspects of a product effectively. This includes being able to create and maintain schedules, track progress, and meet deadlines.
  • Leadership Knacks: Product managers need to have strong leadership skills. This is because they are often responsible for leading and managing a team of people. They should be able to motivate their team, provide clear direction, and resolve conflicts competently. 
  • Understanding of Web Development: Along with soft skills, there are some hard skills that a product manager must have. For instance, a basic understanding of web development. It is not necessarily to learn to code, but a product manager should at least know how a website or app is built. This will allow them to communicate more effectively with the engineering team and have a better understanding of the product development process. 
  • Comprehending Technical Specs And Requirements: A product manager should be able to write clear and concise technical specs and requirements. This is because they will often be responsible for creating documents that will be used by the engineering team to build the product.

If you possess all of these skills, then you have what it takes to become a successful product manager. So start honing your skills and put yourself out there! Who knows, you might just be the next great product manager.

What Are The Prerequisites For Becoming A Product Manager?

  • Undergraduate Degree: Many product manager positions require, at the very least, a bachelor’s degree. An undergraduate degree from a recognized university in business, engineering, or computer science is ideal to kickstart a career in product management.
  • Professional Experience: Some companies prefer to hire product managers with a few years of professional experience under their belt. This allows them to hit the ground running and contribute to the team from day one.
  • Training Certificate: While not required, some product managers choose to get certified in order to validate their skills and knowledge. A professional certificate will give you a superior edge over other candidates in landing your dream position as a product manager. 

Want to know more about the eligibility criteria? Check out the advanced Executive Certificate in Product Management by Edureka. 

How To Prepare Yourself Before Becoming A Product Manager?

Do Your Research

Product management is a relatively new field, and there are a lot of different opinions out there about what it entails. Do your research and figure out which resources will be most helpful to you. 

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel – there are already plenty of great resources out there. Just find one that you connect with and stick with it.

Be Patient

Product management is not an overnight success story. It takes time to learn the ropes and get comfortable with the role. So be patient and give yourself some grace as you’re getting started.

Remember, it’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn and grow in your career. Just don’t beat yourself up over them – use them as an opportunity to learn and do better next time.

Flexibility Is The Key

One of the most essential skills for success in product management is flexibility. Things will always change, and you need to be able to adapt on the fly. 

Whether it’s a new feature that needs to be added or a problem that needs to be solved, you must be able to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions.

The Bottom Line

Product management is a process that begins with identifying customer needs and ends with ensuring the product meets those needs. In between, product managers are responsible for planning, developing, launching, and managing the product.

Product management is a challenging but rewarding career path. Those who succeed in product management have worn many hats, juggled multiple tasks, and thought both creatively and analytically.

If you wish to enter the wide field of product management, have a look at our Advanced Executive Certificate in Product Management which covers all the vital aspects of product management knitted into an engaging and insightful course. Check out the details to kickstart a rewarding and respected career in product management today.


More Information: 

Product Management Frameworks Every PM Must Know

What Are The Reasons of Variations in Product? Causes & Reasons

Brand Management v/s Product Management: Know Key Differences

What Is The Product Process Matrix?

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Product Management: A Beginner’s Guide