What does Product Manager do?

Original author: Mike Fishbein
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We decided to refresh the summer season with the career event “What Product Manager lives for” , and to understand the topic of product management. Alpha UX's

marketing team conducted an online study to find out how Product Manager’s regular day goes. The survey involved more than 100 products from 500 different companies. Let's see what happened:

// Planning and execution

To begin with, product experts were asked what was part of their responsibilities and what they generally do at work. Here are some answers:

- I am an “external” product manager. I spend as much time communicating with clients as the products themselves. I also often interact with the marketing department and generate ideas for creating content ...

- I lead the product development strategy up to its development and implementation, I work with heads of different departments: from sales and marketing to development ...

- I prioritize product requirements, manage life product development cycle from idea to release, distribution and implementation of the product.

As for daily tasks, product managers talk about getting involved in both strategic and tactical work. Although few products write code on their own, they still need to have technical skills and sometimes get their hands dirty. Here are the popularity indicators of various types of daily activities of product managers:

It is not surprising that meetings are the most popular type of activity among products, given how much space communication takes in their work.

// Focus on the user

Product work implies an understanding of users and marketing processes, the ability to find problems and opportunities, as well as the generation of new product ideas. About 60 percent of respondents spend time communicating with clients in person.
To get insights and versatile feedback, products constantly conduct interviews with customers, collect focus groups, and in the case of digital products, they track metrics.

Product managers often think that they know what their potential users want, but after losing valuable time and money they realize that they were mistaken. To avoid such situations, products try to get feedback from users and learn insights throughout the entire product creation cycle.

// Everyday problems

Until now, the organization’s internal policies, processes and bureaucracy remain the most serious product issues. Other serious difficulties are the lack of resources and the work with R&D to determine the product concept.

Disagreements between products and developers are quite common, several guides have already been written that are designed to help departments work together. Friction is mainly related to the desire of developers to specify and document everything as clearly as possible on the one hand, and with the confidence of the products that constant iteration and experimentation is necessary on the other.

Products work tirelessly! Most work on more than one product at a time: on average, one manager can “pull” from 3 to 10 projects.

// Tools and resources

Specialists in product management use an incredibly wide range of tools, which is not surprising given the amount of their daily responsibilities.

The most popular tools are Microsoft Office, Google Apps, JIRA, Wufoo, Balsamiq, SAP, GoToMeeting and Trello.

// Conclusions

The management and development strategies and tactics that product managers use have evolved significantly over the past couple of decades. In a large company with an advanced team, product managers must do in a day ... well, in general, they have a lot to do.

Product managers monitor trends, constantly and comprehensively develop to understand and predict the requirements of the market and customers. They use third-party products and services to in turn develop and improve their products. The main quality of each product is the ability to think strategically. This is what helps to create a structural roadmap of the product and find new opportunities first.

Full research can be found here . If you want to know about the work of a product manager in the first person -Come to us.

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