Who are Product Managers?

At Knowledge Officer, we take it upon ourselves to help people achieve their career goals. Thousands of users use our product on a daily basis to learn the necessary skills and unleash their potential to be prepared for the job market that awaits them with its never-ending demands.

We have always been keeping an eye on preparing our users for the most trending jobs in the technology industry, and especially those with a continuous and dynamic change in their pre-requisite skills. Among those jobs is one which has been dramatically growing over the past 10 years, and will keep on growing by at least 14% through 2020: the Product Manager.

And to be able to provide our users with a clear path to their first product management job and to up-skill them for product management mastery, we need to first help them answer the question: Who are Product Managers?

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Product Management Defined

Product management is one of the hardest jobs to define in any organization, partially because it differs from one company to the other. But there are still some definitions that are sort of globally accepted and can be taken as a good starting point.

In his book, InspiredMarty Cagan describes the main role of the product manager as

to discover a product that is valuable, usable and feasible”.

And the most common definition of Product Management is defined by Martin Eriksson as

“the intersection point among business, technology and user experience (UX)”.

Both are definitions that make product management a perfect tool for helping teams achieve business goals by mainly focusing on customer needs or user experience as a paramount reference, and directing the day-to-day technology development to meeting those needs. Product Management is the motor that directs the product’s lifecycle and the gate to defining the core value proposition of the business and its scale opportunities.

A product manager cannot fulfill this role by simply setting the product vision, strategy, and design, but must also get somewhat involved in product execution in order to make these visualizations a reality. When it comes to product execution, the Product Manager is responsible for removing all obstacles facing working teams and prioritizing all product development work by making the call about what needs to be done, when, and in what order.

The Product Manager’s Role

Because of the varied and diverse impact of product management, “Product Manager” isn’t simply a title or a role with strict and well-defined responsibilities. It’s a responsibility and a code of trust that the team has handed you to help them ship the right product to the right customer while making sure this drives the business forward and keeps everyone happy.

The Product Manager’s Skills

As the product manager deals with the company’s end product on a daily basis, having a business background only is not enough. A product manager must be aware of all those different technicalities that come with products. A good PM is someone with expertise in one or two product-related aspectsand with a fair level of knowledge about all the other aspects of products.

It takes a lot of work for any product to be launched successfully, passing through the many phases of studying, planning, preparation, execution, and evaluation– a process that requires the skills of sales, marketing, design, programming, pricing, public relations, strategic planning, and a lot more. And as the PM is responsible for bringing together all these different company teams with their different areas of expertise in order to create perfectly-fit products, he needs to be aware of all those different product aspects in order to better serve customer needs and add business value.

The Product Manager’s Focus

Your job as a Product Manager is customer/user focused because, at the end of the day, the product you are working on arises from and goes back to the user. So, the central part of the job is to align your end product with all customer needs, keeping in mind that you are more likely to receive a lot of ideas, suggestions, and complaints regarding an existing product or a new one, so you need to be able to extract the significant signals from the noise.

All of what we’ve discussed previously signifies that being a PM means doing a lot of work, and different kinds of work. You are expected to master product discovery and product development; to work alone and with others, as you become the intersection point of all company teams; to analyze data correctly and take decisions based on data-driven insights; and take up a lot more responsibilities and develop a lot more skills as the needs arise.

As a Product Manager, the success of the product defines your own success.

How We Can Help

Getting even more excited now about Product Management? Do you want to become a product manager?

We offer you a perfect learning path for Product Managers that covers:

  • Product Management Fundamentals starting from understanding the PM role all the way to product discovery, vision, strategy, and roadmap
  • Product Discovery Principles which you will need for your PM career, like market research, design thinking, customer development, and competitive analysis
  • Agile principles which are catered for a PM career like Agile, Scrum, and Kanban

Get to know how to choose a business strategy and a business model, define your growth strategy and discover networks effect in our Business Fundamentals topic. And guess what? We even go the next mile and recommend our top learners to employers, and present them with job opportunities that match their skills and a lot more.

Whether you want to get your first job as a product manager, get promoted, or switch from an entirely different career, there is a personalized learning path specially designed to help you go through this challenge and achieve your career goal.

Sign up today on https://app.knowledgeofficer.com/ and join our Product Manager track to enjoy a unique learning experience and learn from the best resources on product management.