How Critical Is the Role of a Product Manager?
” Success is just a never-ending process of getting better and better at whatever you are trying to achieve. “
– John Traver Product management , Co-founder, and CTO, Frame.io
A question often asked nowadays, is “how to define the role of the product manager in today’s app-driven economy?” Consider this. Across most of the start-ups, the CEO or CTO in all likelihood is also playing the role of the product manager. Even in established organizations, where does the manager belong – Marketing or Design or Development; because he/she seems to be wearing all those hats. In fact, some even argue that management can even be a part-time role for someone in these areas or the top management itself.
Let us try to look product management across three aspects.
- What does the role involve, and what does it take to be successful there – as this may help someone in making the all-important career shift or start a new one; or for that matter help you evaluate the suitable candidate.
- What is its role in Agile Development – because of the critical role a manager can play here
- Can product management be outsourced – since this decision can impact time-to-market / quality/ competitiveness/profitability like no other.
What does the role of product management involve?
Laurence Bradford writes in Forbes’ article – 8 Tips For Landing Your First Product Manager Role, writes, “The role sits at the intersection of business, technology, and design, combining strategy, marketing, leadership, and other skills with the end goal of launching an amazing product.”
One thing is given – the importance and comprehensiveness of the product manager’s role. Today’s complexity of the business and technology landscape, as well as the constant churn in an organization’s product portfolio, requires a more active role for the manager. The bare minimums of the role include:
- Understand the vision of the management of the product and communicate it effectively to design, development, testing, and marketing teams (in their own languages).