The 3 Types of Product Managers
By Arijit Banerjee
A product manager has the power to make or break the product that they oversee. A good product manager should analyse market conditions and plan out a path that will help the product excel in the market. To do so a project manager can be either design focused, business focussed or customer focused. Let’s take a look at what each of these types of Product managers do.
Design Focused Product Managers
A design-focused product manager is one who works hard to see to it that the product has a great User Experience. They worry about how good the product is in terms of design if it is something that will stand out in the market and beat the competition.
This type of Product Manager should also be able to translate what the customer needs and incorporate it into the design of the product. In order to do this, a design focused manager will usually have a basic knowledge of design as well as visual design and will be able to do things such as sketching, wireframing, make adjustments with regard to contrast, hierarchy and more. Their developed taste in design also allows them to think critically about what works best for the product while still meeting the needs of the user.
Picture Courtesy - UserVoice Blog
Business Focused Product Managers
Product Managers that are business focused tend to look for ways to maximise business value from a product. They look for ways to maximise their sales or business growth through the product and keep the investment that the product needs to a minimum.
These Product Managers have the company’s or the business’s best interest at heart while planning the product. They look for ways to create something that will do well in the market irrespective of if consumers look at it as an essential product. Think of what the team at Apple did while coming up with the iPad or iPod, it was not something that customers viewed as essential, but yet, they were able to create a market for it and meet their business goals. They believe that the customer might not yet aware of the use of the product, but once they use it, they will grow to appreciate it. This is Product management at its best.
Picture Courtesy - hr-portal.ru
Customer Focused Product Managers
This type of product manager is very focused on what goes into the product and that is – exactly what the customer needs. They look to align the needs and wants of the customer with the product and ensure that the right product is ready for the customer’s use.
These managers rely heavily on feedback via surveys, customer service emails, Tweets, blogs, comments in forums and even qualitative research. They listen carefully to what the customer needs and try to cater to them as carefully as possible while product planning. The aim of the product becomes solving a problem and not selling a product. This method of product management is what fosters an ongoing relationship with the customers, the customers that work for tend to feel heard and cared for and hence are more loyal to the brand.
Picture Courtesy - Linkden
Tell us what kind of product management you think will work best. Do you think it is possible to have a healthy mix of all three types? Leave us a comment with your views.