Businesses all around the world have been accustomed to developing and providing tangible products and services for the longest time. However, when it comes to developing and deploying products or services in the form of software, there is still a vast, largely unexplored territory that needs a clear vision, strategic prowess and the ability to adapt as per rapidly changing needs and demands. This makes the role of the person driving the end-to-end development, deployment, and after sales process of a technology product highly important.
Product Management roles are of high importance in all growing technology companies and are equally demanding. Product Managers are the strategic drivers of the ship of a tech business, responsible for curating the entire process right through the development of a product to evaluating and building upon its market response. The ultimate goal of your CEO-level role as a Product Manger is to ensure that the company’s product caters to the end customers’ needs, and gets backed by actual conversion.
Product Management: Roles & Responsibilities
A Product Manager is entrusted with the critical responsibility of balancing his role that connects all the dots in a modern tech company, without having any authority over different functional partners.
On a broad level, a Product manager has to –
- Understand the purpose, vision and mission behind the end product
- Interact with the engineering and developing teams to understand what goes behind the development of the product at the very core
- Align the properties of the product with overall business goals
- Work on maximizing the ROI and overall business value from the product
- Focus on delivering the product keeping in mind the users’ perspective
- Gauge user experience for the end product and provide strategic inputs to help improve the product on a continuous basis
When top tech giants are looking to hire for product management jobs, there are some specific key skills that such companies are looking for considering the dynamic and all-encompassing nature of the role. Irrespective of the industry that you are trying to get into, and whether you are looking to break into a product management role at an entry level or at the senior level these are some key capabilities that recruiters look for:
An Individual Perspective
There is usually a lot more than what meets the eye in the typically asked product management interview questions. With questions pertaining to problem solving, what recruiters look for more than the perfect solution to the problem is the manner of arriving at the solution. With product management, there is no one size fits all approach while hiring. Each company looks for a perspective and a personality that matches their requirement, which is why the ‘what would you do’ part of the solution isn’t perhaps as important as ‘why would you do it this way’.
Leveraging Your Knowledge Or Experience
Typically applicable to entry-level product managers or those looking to change industries, your product management resume might highlight your contribution towards a certain product pertaining to a certain industry, but that doesn’t mean that the knowledge is of no use elsewhere. Candidates are often stumped in interviews where they are asked about the products that they have worked on in the past or would like to work on in the future. An honest account, in this case, can be highly beneficial as your answer can give a true insight into your approach towards handling the role. The product in the case might be different, but it is the approach towards handling it that counts.
Problem Solving Capability
Product managers are expected to be an end to end solution providers, adept at educating themselves about everything – right from the technical aspects of the product to the end consumers’ perspective. This means that a product manager has to have a solution oriented approach that is in the best interest of all stakeholders involved in the product. The problem solving ability here is a broad concept that includes being thoughtful, empathetic, learning from mistakes and constantly striving to find better solutions and cater to best practices.
Not being the ultimate authority over the product or project should not keep a product manager from being accountable for wins and losses. Product managers are entrusted with the most crucial responsibility of ensuring there are no loose ends in the entire process, and accountability is a virtue that would rank high on your resume for product manager role. All involved teams are at your disposal as the CEO, and you must have the capability to get work done as well as step in to do it yourself, whenever required.
Driven By The End Mission
A product manager’s role and responsibilities are all purpose driven – you must do what is in the best interest of the customer and scale the product accordingly. It is very important for a product manager to know the purpose of the product through and through, and ensure that it seeps through at all levels of development and deployment at all times.
Marketing, Communication & Other Skills
Since the product management role is of a strategic type, it involves dipping your toes in all dimensions concerned with the product being developed. A Product Manager needs a good business acumen, technical know-how, should be able to effectively forecast growth, oversee costs, and be a great communicator juggling these various dynamics between different expert parties involved in the process.
The Voice Of The Customer
The whole point of a product manager effectively managing multiple roles is to deliver in the end, exactly that which the customer wants. While market research and understanding the market demand are crucial during the various stages of product development, the role of the product manager doesn’t end there. The end product has to be buyable and viable, and it is the product manager’s responsibility to be the voice of the customer within the organisation.
Product development and management is a hit only if people are buying your product, if there is consistency in demand and a requisite growth rate. As a highly efficient product manager, you truly have to be a jack as well as the master of all trades