Intro to the World of Product Management
In order to understand this role; which lots of new and experienced product managers get asked. While there is no definitive history of product management, it’s often useful to consider our roots and understand how this role evolved over time.
What is Product Management?
It all started in the 1930s with Neil H. McElroy, a P&G employee who dared to ask “How can I sell more soap?”. He wrote a memo in 1931 that revolutionized the industry. The memo is to explain the need to employ more people (sounds familiar to current PMs?) and he called them “Brand Men” where their role would be of advertising, managing products and promoting them while tracking sales (sounds pretty similar to the current role of PMs, doesn’t it?).
Well, after this role evolved over the years, I can summerize it in a nutshell, Product Manager is a strategic role and the one responsible of aligning between 3 major pillars:
Stakeholders (that includes customers, Executives and any other related stakeholders).
Engineers or Developers.
Product Manager should be able to speak the language of all the above 3 pillars. Product Manager is also the one responsible to follow the success of the product from an emerging idea to development to going live in the market and it’s growing afterwards.
What Does a Product Manager Do?
Product managers are responsible for the success of a product. They are usually the ones who create and design the product, find ways to market it and make sure that it is meeting customers' needs.
The first step in being a successful product manager is to understand what your customers want. You should be able to identify problems that they may have and figure out how you can solve them with your product.
A product manager has to work closely with a team of people including designers, engineers, marketing experts, salespeople, etc. Product managers often have many responsibilities but one of their most important jobs is market research which includes getting feedback from current and potential customers about their products.
“The role of a product manager is to oversee the development of a product and make sure that it meets the needs of the customer. They are responsible for creating a vision for the product, determining which features to include, and how to market it.”