Life of a Product Manager
By Arijit Banerjee
Confused About What A Product Manager Really Does?
The job responsibilities of a Product Manager change from one company to another and so does the definition of the role. Product Management is extremely vital to a company’s growth. While everyone is aware of the contribution and involvement of designers and engineers in the product-development, it is always the product manager’s responsibility to take the idea fromconceptualization to the product-delivery.
This is the definition of the product manager’s (PM) job role:
A product manager communicates product vision from the highest levels of executive leadership to development and implementation teams. The product manager is often called the product “CEO.”
They are responsible for each action and phase within the product’s lifecycle. Deciphering the vision and ideas from the company’s CEO and driving them to actual products is the main skill of a product manager. Furthermore, they devise the roadmap, product-strategy and feature-definition for the products or the entire product line.
Major responsibilities of a product manager:
Although, the responsibilities of a PM vary across companies and industries, they all carry out a set of similar routine activities each day.
The infographic below will run you through the various activities that a product manager carries out throughout a routine day:
Wearing multiple hats simultaneously, is one of the basic tasks of a product manager’s job role. It is because they are involved with all aspects of the development, design and execution of a product.
- About 30% of the product manager’s timeis utilized in brainstorming sessions to discuss various aspects of the product and the associated strategy. They interact and coordinate with engineers, designers and themanagement to discuss important product-nitty-gritties.
- While 25% of their time, PMs are busy developing and planning product strategy around various product-related tasks in the product-life-cycle.
- A considerable 20% of their time goes in interacting with the tech-team to discuss technical challenges and hurdles. The tech-team informs the PMs about the particular tasks or product-features that are not technically feasible to be developed or incorporated in the product development.
- Then about 15% of PM’s utilize their time in interacting with the customers to understand their pain-points and opinions better. If a customer gets a new idea about enhancing or incorporating a new feature in the product under development, this is the time when customers update the PMs about it.
- Interaction with the stakeholders is another routine task of PMs. It is crucial to keep the stakeholders updated and informed about the new developments. A PM usually spends about 5% of his time in such interactions.
- Mostly, PMs spend an equal amount of time in interacting with vendors and consultants to carry the business forward. This number is also 5% to be precise.
While many PMs manage the junior teams daily, there are many others who coordinate with the senior management to keep the product-development process smoother and continuous.
Hence, product managers are aptly called the “mini-CEOs” of the products they build.
About the Author:
Dr. Yogesh Bhat
Head and Director
Manipal Global Academy of Information Technology (MGAIT)
Dr. Yogesh is a Graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee; Post-Graduate from CEPT University, Ahmedabad; and Fellow (Doctorate) from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad.
Dr. Yogesh Kumar Bhatt is the Vice-President – IT Education and Training at Manipal Global Education (MaGE). He heads Manipal Academy of Information Technology (MGAIT), and looks after entire academic development and delivery of programs for Information Technology vertical. He has around two decades of experience involving employee competency development, education, training, delivery and consulting in Information Technology sector.
Prior to joining MaGE, he has worked for 16 years with Infosys, spending this time across various functions and roles. His last role at Infosys was as the Associate Vice President and Head.