Product manager’s competencies map and their function in business

The profession of a product manager still contains a number of uncertainties: it is not clear what all these people are doing, what they should know and be able to do. It’s time to find out. Analyzing myself in working on different products, I realized that there is a basic functionality of a product manager that is expected in the position. The list turned out to be frightening.

Product Manager functions:

  1. The product manager manages all processes related to the product line: research of analogues and market trends, product development and modifications, promotion of the product line on the market.
  2. Analyzes the development of products and changes in product metrics: sales volumes, profitability, turnover, service requests, returns.
  3. Requests, receives and analyzes information from sales, marketing, distributors, and service departments in order to obtain information about market trends and needs, product errors and malfunctions, and competitors’ actions within the product line.
  4. Develops marketing strategies, predicts the profitability of products and product lines, the payback of development / modification, together with the marketing and sales departments, plans promotion and sales.
  5. Tracks the range, technology, and functionality of competitors’ products.
  6. Determines sales channels, sales conditions, new areas of application of the products of their group for marketing and sales specialists.
  7. Together with the sellers, develops a strategy and tactics for sales, pricing and bringing new products to the market,
  8. Coordinates the work of their team (the product manager may have assistants), monitors the tracking of product development, the process of training and consulting dealers and distributors.
  9. Conducts capacity studies of potential markets, examines customer and user needs, tracks innovations and best practices in its product area, and assesses opportunities and risks in potential and covered markets.
  10. Responsible for the implementation of target budgets and the achievement of planned indicators of profitability of the product line.
  11. Participates in the formation of technical requirements and technical tasks for the development and modification of products, makes the requirements for the products being developed.
  12. Checks the results of the development, controls the process of eliminating inconsistencies found in the development process.
  13. Monitors the life cycle of each of its products, conducts timely product updates, and ensures continuous product improvement.
  14. Assesses the economic efficiency of the product line, promptly removes unclaimed and outdated products from the range.
  15. Adapts the performance characteristics of products taking into account technical and other regional standards, national and cultural characteristics of the markets of presence.
  16. Maintains technical and risk management files for each product and is responsible for the correct and timely maintenance and entry of information in these documents by all responsible employees.

Embracing such functionality in reality, you can go crazy to any unprepared person. Here is an important set of competencies without which you can not do. Of course, from project to project they may vary, I will try to determine the most “Universal”.

  1. Must have an entrepreneurial mindset. Yes, it is very difficult to attract and retain such people in the company, but you have no other choice.
  2. The product manager must love or be able to love their products — even if they are not a user of them themself, they must feel and empathize with those who use their products, i.e. the product manager must have a very strong empathy.

Unfortunately, many product managers do not like their products, treat their customers and users with disdain, and sometimes with snobbery — this is unacceptable.

  1. Technical knowledge in the field of product design and operation, for which the product manager is responsible.
  2. Marketing thinking and design thinking. We create products not for ourselves, but for users and customers, and these products have a life cycle that you need to be able to manage.
  3. Developed soft-skills-the product manager interacts with customers, users, sellers, sets tasks for marketers, developers (R&D), production, and service services.
  4. The ability to analyze information and quickly make effective decisions — most often in their practice, a product manager faces conflicts between developers and production, marketers and service, etc.
  5. Often, the manager’s product resolves conflicts within the collective. The ability to try on the warring parties results in a basic understanding of the psychology of conflict-free communication.

If you haven’t subscribed to my telegram channel yet, now is the time to do so by clicking on the Product Monkey link. You can find a lot of interesting things there.(https://t.me/productmonkey). Every day I make posts about the most important things in product management.
If you want to learn more about team interaction, here is my course on Udemy. I created my own course on this topic, based on the fact that I believe that the product is built, including on relationships in the team.(https://www.udemy.com/course/interaction-with-the-product-team)

Product Manager nut. Stirring up some monkey business. Delivering genius solutions. Teaching on moonlighting. Usually here: https://t.me/productmonkey

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Andrei Smagin

Andrei Smagin

Product Manager nut. Stirring up some monkey business. Delivering genius solutions. Teaching on moonlighting. Usually here: https://t.me/productmonkey

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