Even from seasoned businesspeople, the question "What is product management?" comes up rather frequently. One reason is that many different types of roles are involved in product management. The function itself, in fact, has very distinct meanings in various organizations.
Here is our best, concise answer to the question, "What is product management?" Product management is the process of strategically directing the creation, introduction to the market, ongoing maintenance, and enhancement of a company's products.
Obviously, that is just an abstract description of the job. What exactly is product management then? What is the job's scope?
Product management: What is it?
The regular tasks cover a wide range of tactical and strategic responsibilities. Most product owners or managers do not assume all of these duties. In the majority of businesses, other teams or departments possess at least some of them.
However, the bulk of product experts devote the majority of their time to the following:
Researching to become knowledgeable about the market, user personas, and rivals of the organization.
Creating a Strategy
transforming the knowledge they have gained about the business into a high-level strategic plan for their product, which would include goals and objectives, a general description of the product, and perhaps a rough schedule.
putting together a practical strategic plan based on a product roadmap and presenting it to important internal audiences including executives, investors, and development teams, etc. continuous contact between their cross-functional teams during and after the development process.
Coordinate with the appropriate teams—product marketing, development, etc.—to start carrying out the strategy, assuming they have been given the all-clear to do so.
Acting on data analysis and feedback
After developing, testing, and launching the product, learn through data analysis and direct user input what functions well, what doesn't, and what should be added. integrating this input into upcoming product revisions by working with the appropriate teams.
Agile product management: what is it?
The term "agile product management" means exactly what it says. In an agile context, product strategy and roadmaps are to be created. It promotes an adaptive strategy for product development and execution so businesses can react fast to input and create goods that customers adore.
Agile product management, often known as scrum or kanban, is fundamentally a reaction to the pervasive adoption of agile software development approaches. These techniques place a strong emphasis on early delivery, continual improvement, and evolutionary development. If you are new to agile, reading our agile development handbook about the origins and guiding principles might be beneficial.
Agile product management advantages
Agile reframes how product managers approach product planning and development. New consumer experiences were previously conceived, designed, executed, and tested one step at a time. This indicated that additional functionality was introduced in stages. It was challenging to make any adjustments once the requirements were established and given to the development team. The need for a more flexible strategy was prompted by the high failure rate of protracted and extensive software development initiatives. Teams required a method for adjusting to client feedback and other lessons learned.
In comparison to traditional software planning and development, agile offers a more flexible approach. Since products are developed in small steps, product managers have the chance to modify the strategy as they go. Some of the main advantages of agile product management are as follows:
Throughout the life cycle of the product, get client feedback.
Adjust the near-term roadmap as needed to satisfy client expectations.
Continually provide customers with value
Quickly adapt to fresh and evolving demands
Work together with engineering to complete projects promptly.
Techniques for agile product management
Flexibility is essential for product managers working in agile environments. This is because less time is spent initially defining the product, necessitating ongoing adjustments to the product roadmap and reprioritization of what to produce in response to consumer feedback.
Here is a summary of how the fundamental product management duties are handled in an agile setting:
Define a product strategy
In an agile workplace, having a clear plan in place is essential. Product managers are in charge of outlining the product's long-term goals and vision. To achieve this, it's necessary to establish strategic product goals and efforts that are in line with larger corporate goals, as well as to closely collaborate with customers to comprehend their pain points and do market research.
Recognizing client requirements
Agile techniques prioritize providing clients with value as soon as possible. In order to fully understand what customers want, product managers must remain in regular contact with them. Agile practices include early and frequent feedback collection to make sure the product provides consumers with the benefits they expect.
The product roadmap should be made
A short-term plan for implementing the product strategy is established through an agile roadmap. It often represents promises made on a monthly or quarterly basis and is continuously updated to reflect the change. Product managers create the roadmap around strategic work topics that uphold the overarching strategy and provide customers with valuable products.
Make features a priority
Maintaining the product backlog, creating user stories, and choosing what to develop and when are all part of agile product management. To estimate features, specify needs, and jointly develop a release schedule based on the team's capabilities, product managers communicate closely with developers.
Divulge client experiences
Agile teams aim to deliver novel consumer experiences on a regular basis. The cadence can be weekly, biweekly, quarterly, or even daily. Product managers are in charge of providing customers with a Complete Product Experience, regardless of the frequency. To achieve organizational readiness, tight collaboration with engineering, IT, marketing, sales, and support is required.
Calculate a product's success
Customer interactions with products and services and their effects on customer acquisition, growth, and retention are key indicators of product success in an agile context. Customer engagement (such as time spent using the product and repeat users), conversion rates, customer churn, and the frequency of feature updates are examples of success indicators.
Agile roles and responsibilities
A variety of new roles are introduced by agile approaches to organizing how teams collaborate. Let's look at some of the additional positions that are expressly defined in the scrum framework because we've previously discussed the fundamental duties of a product manager in agile.
Team for development
How are product management teams structured?
How do you build a strong product management team?
A cross-functional, self-managed team of individuals with the appropriate expertise to create a tested, usable product increment is known as an agile development team. The team frequently consists of members with expertise in design, development, testing, and delivery.
A product owner's job is to maximize the value of the product the development team has produced. This position, which is internally facing, collects technical requirements, shapes the product backlog, and provides user story details.
Coaching the team in agile techniques is the responsibility of the scrum master, a servant-leader. In order to finish the tasks the product owner prioritizes, this role leads the team through the agile process. Scrum masters take away obstacles that prevent the team from working effectively.
Anyone who will be impacted by the creation of a software project is a stakeholder. This encompasses a wide range of individuals, including executives, end users, IT, operations, portfolio managers, and support.
It is crucial to realize that these are not job titles but rather roles. This may lead to misunderstandings regarding the distinctions between a product manager and a product owner. The product manager actually serves as the product owner. This is due to the fact that a product owner's duties essentially encompass the internal-facing work that a product manager performs, which involves collaborating closely with engineering to create innovative user experiences.
Some companies decide to divide the two jobs involved in product management. In this scenario, the product owner describes user stories and takes part in scrum rituals, while the product manager adopts an external emphasis. To create things that people adore, both roles—which are crucial to the overall success of a product—must collaborate closely.
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