Product management is the job of looking after a specific product within a business.
It is a role at the heart of an organization that must balance the need to provide value to your company (usually profit) with what customers want and with what is technically and operationally possible.
This means creating a product strategy, thinking about what to build (Product Development) and figuring out how to market and sell the product (Product Marketing).
What are the main goals of product management?
The 3 main objectives of product management are:
- Build once, sell many times - this achieves economies of scale resulting in higher profitability
- Being an expert in the market besides the product - this allows you to create products for customers to buy
- Lead within the business with a balanced view of all aspects of the product
Various product roles
Product management is done differently from one job to another. This software is to work with physical products, depends on the size of your company, or is related to services and businesses or consumers purchasing.
The different types of product management don't stop there. You may only have internal customers, sell customized solutions, or manage a service - and still be called a Product Manager.
It is not very common for a single role to be responsible for all these activities. Typically, they span different roles and divisions. However, if a company has products, all these activities must be going on somewhere in the business.
What is product management for other parts of the business?
Product management provides direction to the development team, provides insight into what the market wants, and verifies that what they create is necessary. If the development team loses focus and starts creating unwanted things by customers, it is up to product management to get them back on track.
Product management for the sales team can be saviors delivering shiny new products that allow them to have new conversations with their customers.
It also provides information and support to help the sales team make sales. Sales teams, however, have a great motivation to keep their customers happy, and this often means that new features must be added to a product.
As a result, sales sometimes see product management as the 'sales prevention department' when they get a no answer. In these cases, product management must balance one customer's needs with the needs of others by assessing what is planned for the roadmap, perceived business value, and resource constraints.