Behind Every Great Product, There's a Product Manager
By Arijit Banerjee
It’s 1966. There’s a group of engineers working on software funded by an intelligence agency to match suspect faces to a database of mugshots.
It’s 2016. You’ve just sent a Snapchat of you with a flower crown around your head to your friend, and you’re both talking about how cute it is.
What do these events have in common?
Facial recognition. Snapchat’s filters are just another application of the same facial recognition software that researchers were putting together way back in 1966.
These two scenarios may have the same underlying technology but who really decides how to take that concept and make it something that people will want to use? The answer is a Product Manager.
Why are Product Managers crucial to building a great product?
Product Managers (PMs) bridge the gap between what people need, and what technology is available to fulfill that need. If an engineering team can develop an algorithm to speed up database lookups, it’s the PM that can find ways to make that algorithm solve a real world problem, and make it profitable to do so. Alternatively, a PM can also find a problem and work with the engineering teams to find a solution for it.
1.To find the right product for the market:
In both cases, before a product is build, a Product Manager finds gaps in the market that need to be filled. They talk to the target audience to confirm their hypothesis about the market gap. Then, they brainstorm solutions with the engineering team. Once a solution is tentatively decided upon, they go back to the audience to see if this solution really will solve their problems as needed. With that feedback, they make some more tweaks to their solution and test it again (as many times as needed) before launching.
2.To keep the team on the same page:
Through the lifecycle of a product, a Product Manager is the person that keeps all other teams on the same page. They also act like the line of defense against customer requests and complaints to make sure the core teams can keep doing what they do.
3.To be prepared for the launch:
Once the product is ready, Product Managers are also in charge of making sure the product is released at the right time. Even a groundbreaking solution to a problem will not make an impact if the audience is not ready. On the flipside, if too much time is spent in testing and tweaking, a competitor might solve the problem first. Finally, ahead of a launch, the PM will provide the marketing teams with all the information they need for product branding and marketing.
The best part about product management is that with the right mindset, anyone can be a PM. Even companies that don’t have someone in a dedicated product manager role, probably have someone else managing those same responsibilities. Next time you use an app or check out a website, put yourself in a Product Manager's shoes and take a minute to think about how that same technology could solve a different problem. Who knows, you could find a way to build the next Snapchat!
PG Program in Product Management
This is a comprehensive program, addressing all the interdisciplinary areas will prepare product managers to take on the challenges and address the diverse needs, giving appropriate depth to each sub role, and transform the way product management is perceived within the organization, and the way the organization is perceived in the customer ecosystem.
BY THE END OF THE PROGRAM, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO:
- Determine risks of the products and test them before launching
- Explore various business models and find the most effective model for your product
- Prioritize opportunities by minimizing risks and optimizing results
- Identify key needs of the consumers and design a product based on these needs
- Align the business objectives of your organization and your product
Measure a product’s success and tract its life cycle.