Product management has been in our lives for almost 80 years. However, it may continue to stay in our lives in various forms that will take shape over time. That's because people have always been on a quest. Each day, people's needs and demands grow and are expected to accelerate. Let's put it this way: As long as humanity exists, each person will look for solutions to their different problems. They may even want to compare this solution with a service or a product.
"What kind of customer problems does the product solve?" is perhaps the key question for product management and product managers. A product can be considered great if it eliminates, develops, and improves a problem using the right tools and strategies. Well then, what is this concept that has been in our lives for so long called 'Product Management'? In this blog post, we would like to touch upon questions such as "What is product management?", "What is a product manager who has an effective role in product management?" and "How to become a great product manager?". I wish you an enjoyable read.
What is Product Management?
Considering the rapid development of technology and the increasing competition between industries in today's world, product management has become even more significant. Product management is necessary for companies to use the optimum product according to their company goals, develop their products at low cost without sacrificing quality, and present them to the market. Briefly, product management is selecting and employing the best among diverse strategies and methods required for product development and improvement.
Regardless of the quality of a product, it is still not considered a high-quality product without the ability to be managed using suitable tools and strategies. Thus, managing the product with accurate and effective approaches is highly crucial and valuable for product managers.
What is a Product Manager?
A product manager focuses on a product still in its idea stage. Once the idea is established, the product managers consider it a newborn baby and embrace it, even adding something of themselves. They aim to develop and improve it. Product managers support a product's entire life cycle, beginning from the seed stage, and managing it until it reaches the expected success.
What are the Attributes and Responsibilities of a Great Product Manager?
o Customers and their demands are critically important. A product needs to be developed according to customers' demands. Thus, understanding their customers fully and communicating with them closely to stay up-to-date and discover their new demands are essential responsibilities of product managers.
o Product managers find solutions to their customers' problems and issues based on their needs and demands by getting to know them better.
o They create user personas, namely, determining which personas are best for the product. According to these personas, they then identify first users, allow them to use the product, and receive their feedback. Based on the input, they meticulously focus on the areas of improvement and development.
o They always pay attention to the results of the enhancements made.
o Product managers should consider the product a part of themselves, knowing it inside out more than anyone else. Product managers need to know as much about the product as the development team. Regardless of the quality of a product, it cannot be competitive enough in the market without a great marketing language and product awareness.
o Thus, product managers need to follow the market closely and stay up-to-date. They should address their products just as their opponents will, therefore, making improvements that will create a difference in market competition.
o The only constant in life is the change itself. Thus, they should be open-minded to make necessary product revisions while encountering potential situations.
o They should keep in close contact with their team, be open to suggestions, and value teamwork.
o They should always be in touch with the sales team and contribute to their development. They should play a central role in identifying the ideal sales strategies to close more sales.
How to Become a Product Manager?
Anyone aiming to become a product manager should start equipping themselves after graduating from their university. Besides possessing engineering skills, product managers mainly benefit from soft skills. There is no straight path to becoming a product manager. However, it is the ideal option for self-improver, fast thinkers, results-focused, and above all, empathetic. That's because among the most important skills for product managers is the ability to put themselves in their customers' shoes, meaning to empathize. They should empathize with their customers and find an answer to the question "What kind of issues should the product solve for customers?", thereby taking innovative decisions.
While encountering potential issues related to the product, they should show strong analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, making healthy decisions. Product managers should also adopt a sense of teamwork and lead the team suitably. If you also aim to enhance these skill sets, you can send an internship or volunteering application to a Startup.
Stay healthy and happy,
Furkan Melisa Çetin
Product Management Assistant Specialist