What is Product Management?
Focus: Technology Product Management. In general Product Management is referred to as the discipline of defining and monetizing products, but this oversimplifies the issue and does not really provide a real answer.
The fact is that there are many different types of Product Management practices, so the question should be really answered in context (so it really all depends).
Product Management is derived from the Product – Market cycle and is a multidimensional discipline including the four essential dimensions required for the creation of technology products.
Product Strategy is the guiding beacon for the Product Manager and it is essential that the Product Manager is thoroughly familiar with the Product Strategy.
Any kind of product effort needs to be one that is based on Product Strategy. Product Strategy is the Goal Function for the Product Manager, it is a tool by which Product Success can be measured. Product Managers need to master the product strategy, even in cases where product strategy is not defined by Product Management, it is still essential for Product Management to have in- depth understanding of the Product Strategy. Without Product Strategy there is no way the product can be accurately defined. Product Strategy is the guideline for the Product Definition process. A good product definition is measured in terms of aligning the Product with its strategic goals.
Product Definition is about defining the product and its roadmap. It is about managing product functionality. It requires communicating the required functionality to the product development units. It is the role of the Product Manager to define the product in terms customer value being generated.
This is the dimension that most Product Managers are focused on. This is where they spend their time and arguably what is typically the place Product Managers make the most impact. The key to performing well on this dimension is both a through understanding of the product strategy as well as defining short term measurable goals and themes for the product.
Product Achievement includes all in-company Product Management activities which occur after product was defined. These activities involve communicating with the development units, including all units involved in developing and operating the product.
Product Achievement is about making sure that the product is developed, according to specs, budget and timelines. This often a neglected, and contested part of Product Management, but for the product to succeed, there needs to be one function within the organization that assume overall responsibility that the product generates profitable value to the customer. This is dependent on the company’s capability to ensure the product is produced on specs, on time and on budget.
We focus on Practical Product Marketing, since essentially what we present here is based on what Product Managers and Product Marketing Managers, should be doing.
The key in operating a successful Product Marketing organization is realizing that it is essentially rooted in the Product Management environment. It is a mistake to look at Product Marketing as a separate process than Product Management. It is the same process.
Product Marketing is addressing the challenge of creating an actionable perception in the customer. The customer perception is in line with product strategy. We really want our customer to buy our product. This is whats it all about. To do that the Product Manager, or Product Marketing Manager needs address four key questions:
o Who is the customer?
o What is the message to the customer?
o How is this message communicated to the customer?
o Where is the message communicated to the customer (platform)
The Product Organization
There are various types of Product organizations. This is not to say that one is wrong and the other is right, they can all be wrong and all be right. In different contexts one different Product Dimensions are more dominant than others. The various dimensions are taking on different focus in different companies and the person with the title Product Manager is often focused on different dimensions.
The most common focus of Product Managers is on the Product Definition dimension. Some companies, especially when Agile Development is utilized, make the Product Manager focus on the Product Achievement dimension. Often, in these cases the Product Manager is a combination of the Product Manager and the Product Owner, attempting to have one person take on both roles which creates a great complexity. This can work well in some cases and can work very badly in other cases, our recommendation is in most cases, not to combine the two roles.
Product Marketing focused Product Managers also exist in many organizations. In this organization the Product Manager is very close to the Sales and Marketing organizations, in many cases the Product Manager is a leading figure in the marketing organization. In the initial stages of the product creation, in a startup or in an established company when brand new product is created, the Product Manager, which in most cases would not hold the title of the Product Manager, but would have the position of CEO or General Manager, or another title, but would be focused on the Product Strategy dimension.
About the course
StarVision provides an in depth, comprehensive Product Management course, including 40 hours of frontal training hours and additional options to learn more outside of the frontal sessions, making this course one of a kind.
The course is focused on providing Product Managers with the skill set practical tools and to create great products that customers love and buy.