A Day in the Life of a Product Manager
By Arijit Banerjee
The role of a product manager has evolved with time. Today, it has reached a point where these professionals play a tremendously important part in any organization. Their role is ‘open-ended’.
Of course, every organization, team, stage of product management and product manager himself/herself has different styles, but let’s put you in my shoes for now, so you can experience a day in the life of a product manager…
6:00am – Wake up, head to the gym. A workout gives me the energy I need to get through a busy day.
8:00am – Reach office to get an early start to the day, (in an attempt to beat Bangalore’s rush hour traffic). Scan through emails and messages to check for exigencies that need immediate action or attention. Read and respond to mails, as is needed and forward messages that need further action from my team.
8:30am – Read the news to stay up-to-date on the industry and our competitors, trend reports and regulations – basically anything that affects our stand in the market.
9:00am – Log into the project management tool, review progress as of yesterday, review areas that need improvement, make notes for my meeting with team leads. Create, organize and assign new tasks, if any.
10:00am – Grab a quick coffee as I check the Product Requirements Document (PRD), which defines all the product requirements clearly in writing. Things like - what should the product do? How fast should it be? What are the product release specifications? Make updates as necessary based on market changes or development team’s specs.
10:15am - Weekly meeting with the product team leads to the outlining of the broad framework for the coming week, review everyone’s progress, and discuss roadblocks or reasons of concern. Communicate changes made to the PRD. Check to see that the product vision remains consistent across the board.
11:15am – I’ll be presenting the product review to the company executives later in the day, so I begin to work on the slides, making necessary tweaks to the presentation.
12:30pm – Grab lunch from the local joint down the road with a colleague as we discuss new insights from customers for the product.
1:30pm – Check the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to see if I need to add an update into my presentation.
1:45pm – Meet the lead developer to ensure that the bugs found in the last test have been fixed and that there are no new bugs. Ensure that all the code changes are tested before going live. Discuss any backlog and fix new deadlines as necessary.
2:30pm – Meet the designer to discuss the results of the focus group’s usability study to create the perfect User Interface. We discuss the due date for the prototype. I make notes to take back to my team and to the company executives.
3:30pm – Check in on the Operations and Development team to answer any questions or discuss any ongoing issues. Check the project management tool to see the day’s updates and respond to anyone requesting a feedback.
4:15pm – Grab a quick coffee as I go through the slides ensuring everything is ready for my meeting with the executives.
4:30pm – Meet the executives to make a presentation on the progress of the product. Following which we discuss changes, new features, business strategy, revenue models and ensure them that the product is in line with the company’s goals.
6:00pm – Read relevant blogs and newsworthy pieces to stay ahead of the competition or any possible competitor.
6:30pm – Scan emails and product management tool for any end of the day emergencies. Work on updating the product roadmap to keep up with the necessary documentation of the product development process. Outline briefly the tasks for tomorrow in my planner.
7:30pm – Finally, head home in time to watch the IPL match.
Although the day may seem long, there is always a flurry of activity and no day is the same as the one before. This is one job that never gets boring because there is something new to do almost every day!