Who is a Product manager?
You've been thinking about a Product management career for a long time already but you still don't fully understand what to expect.
Therefore, you´ve decided to ask a PM-friend who has been in this field for a long time about the details
Hi, John! As you know, I've been following trends for a long time and I understand that I would like to try my hand at Product Management. I'm looking through job offers, but the functionality is so different that I get lost.
Can you please clarify the situation for me?
Yes, I totally understand you! I remember myself at the beginning of my career, my head was spinning.Let's start with something simple - which 3 categories do Product Managers most often work with?
Which 3 categories do Product Managers most often work with?
Which 3 categories do Product Managers most often work with?
Unfortunately, Product Managers often forget that they should also work closely with the Business (which includes, among other things, working with the Product Manager's boss). Marketing, for simplicity's sake, we relegate to the Users group (because most of the communication happens through them).
Yes, that's right!
The Product Manager's team also works closely with the Technology category (development, analytics, design, etc.), don't forget that. ;)
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I I suppose, that Business, Technology, and Users. We get goals and budget from Business, and Technology is our development team whom we need to give a clear understanding of WHAT they exactly do. From Users we get feedback in order to improve metrics and the product itself
I like the way you think! That's correct.
We communicate closely with the customer - the business owner, our team (we will call this segment of Technology), as well as the users for whom we make the product. It is important to answer three important questions before starting
1) how can we help the business?
2) what needs to be done and why?
3) What we have and what we can give to our users?
Let's say you're working on a project.
This is an app that you can use to find and book a table at a restaurant nearby.
Ok, let´s try!
What do we, as the Product Manager, receive from the Business?
Great, bull's eye!
Market feedback is usually given by Users, and the software is provided to you by the technical team (Information Technologies department).
Usually, top management doesn't go so far as to micromanaging tasks like prioritizing which features should be developed first: generally, this is already the Product Manager's real estate
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Firstly, I would have asked what goals and the budget are, to be able to form a team
Then I would start developing a strategy and metrics, which are to be given to the business
Great! Bull´s eye!
We collect market feedback from users, and the software is passed to us by the team. Interaction with the team is the most frequent in our work. We need to prioritize features based on user data, create roadmaps, and
give a clear explanation to the team what they will do, when, and why, not only today but also in a week or month. The team must understand which result is expected
By the way! Speaking about the team!
What about the team?
What information in your opinion is NOT worth sharing with the development team?
Roadmaps are definitely worth sharing with the team.
The better your team understands users, the more accurate the proposed and implemented product features and solutions will be. For example, a couple of times a year I have the tradition of gathering the team to look at a CustDev with "live users" so that they can feel them better and get acquainted with the users' problems and goals.
The better your team understands users, the more accurate the proposed and implemented product features and solutions will be. For example, a couple of times a year I have the tradition of gathering the team to look at a CustDev with "live users" so that they can feel them better and get acquainted with the users' problems and goals.
The guys need to understand not only the priorities that lie ahead of them over the next few weeks but also the long-term plans of the company and for the product. This will give you peace of mind (for example, when you decide to make framework-changing decisions), and also gives the team great motivation and a sense of security.
I agree, I don't see anything that should be kept a secret :)
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Got it!
I would have shared everything from that list, because guys need to understand the final result and feel users, their needs and problems
I agree, I don't see anything that should be kept a secret :)
For example, a couple of times a year I use to take my guys to participate in real User Research with "real users".
And roadmaps are necessary of course because the team must understand the company's long-term plans, this will give them more motivation
You understand the main points of the PM's work quite well now. You have made an amazing CV and was invited for an interview with a company dedicated to software development.

Amanda Plummer
So, what do we expect from the candidate?

You will have to develop a product from scratch, as well as finalize existing projects, to develop a strategy for their monetization, and to organize efficient workflows within the team, as well as with the business

As far as I can see you have little experience in this area. Let's try to check your skills, basing on a potential case.
You start working in an already formed team, which has already passed through a couple of iterations and created a relatively good MVP, but it has not been released yet. How do you build your work?
Firstly, you will need to collect all information about the project, product, and of course to meet the team. I think it's unnecessary to mention that :) Once you understand the product, you need to analyze users and their behavior. Think about how you and the team will use this information
Then you start working with feature prioritization and strategies. Your main task as a project is to understand the user and thereby increase the profit
I'll start by getting to know the team and diving into the product.
The next goal will be to understand the user's behavior and how we can offer them the maximum benefit, thereby increasing profits


Amanda Plummer
Nice answer. I like the way you think. So, in your opinion, which 3 primary sections (categories) can the Product Manager's tasks usually be divided into?
Let me think
Which 3 primary sections (categories) can the Product Manager's tasks usually be divided into?
More often than not (even in a startup) the responsibility for Marketing and the responsibility for the Product is split into departments. Although it can be useful for the Product Manager to understand the marketing aspect of the business, we don't teach this subject as a primary skill (there would be an exception if you were training for the position of a Product Marketing Manager, which is on the crossroad between the Product and Marketing aspects of the business).
While it's great for the PM to have an understanding of every aspect of a digital business (at least the basics), the key sections that a PM has to know are often identified as "Product building - Monetization - Processes".
Yes, exactly right.
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Got it!
It turns out that the main tasks are usually related to building a product and processes, and then monetizing it

Perfect. One more question
I am ready
To which section can we attribute "Basic technical skills"?
Yes, technical skills are useful, but they are not an absolute necessity for a Product Manager. So if you don't have a technical background, then this should come as good news to you :)
When Building a product, we use the PM's Hard Skills (prioritization, analytics, etc.), but we can consider development skills supplementary
This is rather just one of the Product Manager's skills rather than a separate section
Processes are more about organizing a team, as opposed to using Hard Skills
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I think this will be a great plus, but not a vital criterion.
It is important to understand what you are doing, but the technologies are provided by the team.


Amanda Plummer
Yes, I agree with you.
And speaking about responsibilities
What about it?
What is the product manager at the company usually responsible for, at the highest level of the company?
This metric is most often affected by the Marketing team
This is indeed one of the PM's metrics, but not the highest level. In the following lectures, we will examine the methods for choosing metrics for your product in more detail.
That's right! Typically, a Product Manager is considered the team's primary business player, so the most common top-level commitment is made to the company's revenue / profit (which is accomplished by deciding what should be implemented in the product)
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One of the key objectives of a PM is to increase the company's revenue.
This is a business unit, so I think this is my area of responsibility


Amanda Plummer
Excellent! Now let´s speak a little bit about skills. Here are some advices from our experts
JJ Rorie
Vice president, Sequent learning network
Andrew Mende
Product Manager at Booking.com

Amanda Plummer
I must say right away that the majority of cases you will work with will be an existing product because we don't have many startups now.
Therefore, it is very important to be able to quickly dive into a topic that can be completely new to you.
Yes, I understand. Our work consists of eternal research and study of various information: market, competitors, product
Search for resources, information, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends is the key to success.
Could you tell me more about the prospects of the position?


Amanda Plummer
Yes, of course! An excellent question Growth is possible from JUNIOR to SENIOR PM
When moving to a higher step, the responsibility in the company consequently increases
Junior is responsible for basic management, and he already has some responsibilities. He generates and offers ideas.
Middle is more responsible for features, he understands what needs to be done, and wants to find the best way to implement it. He is also in charge of tracking metrics and targets
Seniors are real engines and initiators of changes. They change processes and look for the best ways to implement ideas. As a PM, you must be able to analyze and correctly prioritize, to be able to say no, when necessary, to have strong soft skills to be able to solve difficult situations.
You must be able to win the trust of users and teams, be inquisitive and constantly develop yourself as a professional, to be resourceful

Imagine for a while, that you do not have a designer, but the team needs to understand clearly what to develop. You must be able to at least draw a phase wareframe.
You are a troubleshooter and need to find a solution to any situation, and with the growth of the company, responsibility and responsibilities grow as well
The ball is in your court now.
But before you proceed to working on the practice assignment, we need to do some set-up work (this will be a "set it and forget it" type of affair).

A little bit of technical magic and we'll make sure everything runs as conveniently and smoothly as possible. When we're done, you'll be able to submit your HW and monitor your (and others') progress in the course.