Role of a Product Manager
By Arijit Banerjee
Every member of the product team has a crucial role to play in the success of the product. Be it designing, building, testing or launching a product, every stage is vital and the product team is well-aware of it.
Furthermore, the role of the product manager is significant in bringing a good product into existence. Not everyone can handle the responsibilities of a product manager. Hence, it requires the know-how to pinpoint the needs of the customers, the strategic thinking and planning to bring the optimum product to life, and the leadership and management skills to drive the entire team towards a common goal.
With great product comes great responsibility. Therefore, here are some of the most crucial roles of a product manager:
1) Managing the product lifecycle:
The management of the product lifecycle, right from strategic planning to tactical activities, is one of the responsibilities that hold paramount importance. To execute this role perfectly, a product manager needs to possess a unique fusion of business and technical knowledge. The same blend also helps in finding innovative solutions to the existing problems of the target market.
2) Conducting periodic and comprehensive research:
A product manager prepares research plans to collect the views and feedback from the customers. It helps understand how the existing product is performing in the marketplace. It also aids in determining if there is any scope for improvement. The role of the product manager goes beyond the collection of data. He/She also has to carry out proper analysis to take a product to the next level.
3) Maintain synergy with other departments:
For a product to be successful, it is important that all other departments involved, including the non-technical ones, are on the same page.
A product manager strives to maintain synergy with all the other departments. It helps yield a successful product that is not only flawless, but also profitable. For instance, a technical product manager works closely with the engineering department and has the technical competence to bestow the product with much better specifications. Also, the same manager stays in touch with the marketing team to make the members understand those specifications so that the product can be marketed as desired.
A product manager interacts with the development leads to make sure that the requirements are well-understood by them. Also, he coordinates with the same leads along with the leads of sales, marketing, service teams, etc. for successful product release.
5) Product road mapping:
Product managers are experienced in road mapping products with specific technology solutions to help meet short-term as well as long-term goals of the entire organization. It is a procedure that applies to either a new product, process or to an emerging technology.
A product manager is responsible for managing several product lines simultaneously. Hence, product managers play a pivotal role in an organization, giving them immense control over the product success.
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 also 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. Furthermore, his last role at Infosys was as the Associate Vice President and Head.