Product Management in a Tech Company
Do you like overseeing the products’ development lifecycles?
Do you enjoy, in your free time, during your day-2-day micro-moments to monitor and identify customer needs, pair these needs with new solutions and services that fit both consumer and business needs?
If you have answered yes to the above questions, you might probably have been already a Product Manager or you might have the requirements to be one.
Product management is not 40 hours a week job. It is essential to feel that you can easily go beyond this barrier, not being based in promoting a certain lifestyle only, but mostly feel emotional and creative about it. A Product Manager is responsible for leading a product's strategy. Do you think that the basic management skills that any PO ought to possess for them to perform their duties are gathering and prioritizing requirements, writing business cases, supporting, and training the sales force?
Well … not exactly! Do not being confused about the management skills that either you have them in high or low percentage or can be taught!
Knowledge of the technological ecosystem related to your product, analytical and research skills will always be crucial assets to build on.
But the most important skill is LISTENING and being able to work in a cross – functional way with various teams, that probably do not have the luxury, the ability (or the will?) to try to work together as a team. Moreover, you must be the ‘bar tender’ in your company; always being able to listen to what different kind of stakeholders, partners and colleagues have to try to build a common product management vision, and ‘serve’ ideas, directions, and solutions that the development teams can build on.
Not an easy task if you are not emotional and passionate about this!
Moreover, you need to enjoy strategizing and planning what comes next, be able to see a common thread in different people's needs and consolidate different point of views and approaches that can serve these needs. The cornerstone for this is to go beyond project-driven development needs of ongoing projects and focus on new products and services.
Do you understand your product’s target market, and can you deploy strategic awareness to make your product being adopted in order to gain new customers, as well as build trust with the existing ones?
Can you define the conceptual and visual identity of your product to depict in a super-efficient way the purpose it was created for? Congrats, then you can act as Product Marketer as well!
On top of all these, do you also enjoy writing and deploying social media and blog posts?
Not the usual social ones, that aim to prove you as an influencer, but these that come from working with designers to address specific stories, create infographics and other modes of sharing information about a product with your target audience for the purpose of marketing, advertising, and generating leads! If yes, hello Mr. Content Manager, the field is right in front of you!
Product Management is not a simple task, it’s a consolidation of different roles and capabilities that are more likely to be horizontal in the non-technology companies. Technology companies need the expertise of Commercial Product Managers to help them plan a proper market positioning for their products. The tech companies have realized how valuable it is to understand the way users are engaged with existing products. Thus they work alongside the development teams to decide and define the product roadmap, as well as make all the necessary research and analysis on what type of new products is needed to be developed, addressing the clients’ needs across markets.
Do you feel empowered?
Play your game, make your vision reality!
Author: Manos Arkas, Senior Product Manager, Banking & Finance, at Netcompany-Intrasoft