Part of course:
What is Product Management?
- What is a product?
- What is product management?
- Kinds of PM roles
- What does a Product Manager’s average day look like?
- Difference between product and project management
In this tutorial we will cover the following:
Products are all around us. Keyboards, laptops, t-shirts, and web browsers are all examples of products. From the perspective of companies however, products are more narrowly defined. It is rare to have product managers in charge of entire devices or pieces of software; most product managers are in-charge of specific features of products.
For instance, at Facebook, each of Photos, Newsfeed, User Profiles, Messaging, and Commenting are distinct products that have product managers and product teams responsible for them. Certain products may also be divided into subsequent sub-products; continuing with the Facebook example, Newsfeed is further broken down into sub-products such as the ranking algorithm and advertising.
In addition to segmenting product responsibilities by sub-products, from the perspective of product manager portfolios, products may also be broken down into platforms. So, PM portfolios will be segmented into sub-products such as the web, iOS, and Android versions of the same product.
It’s hard to precisely define product management because the ambiguity of the Product Manager role is near to its essence. Here's a great definition by Josh Elman, a former Product Manager at Twitter, Facebook Connect, Zazzle, LinkedIn, RealPlayer etc. and now a partner at Greylock Partners:
Help your team (and company) ship the right product to your users
Responsibilities of the role change across different companies, the industry, and the size of the company. That said, there are some core tenets that cut across these variations:
In the world of software and technology, there are three kinds of product management roles. The primary difference between each of these roles is the stakeholders:
Given the ambiguous nature of a product manager’s role, it’s hard to define an average workday for one. Every PM’s day includes at least some of the following:
While product managers certainly require project management skills, the designations of product management and project management entail entirely different portfolios of responsibility. Product managers are responsible for the success of a product — defined by certain metrics — by whatever means they deem necessary whereas project managers are responsible for completing a project while following a predefined set of intermediate steps; product management allows for a great deal of experimentation whereas project management requires one to adhere strictly to timelines and budgets.