A Product Manager is typically found at companies that are building products or technologies for customers or for their internal use.
The Product Manager is often considered the 'CEO' of their product and is responsible for the strategy, the roadmap, and feature definition for that product or product line. The Product Manager often analyses market and competitive conditions and lays out a product vision that is differentiated and delivers unique value based on customer demands.
A Product Manager sits at the intersection between business and technology, and works as the middle person between the two. Their function is to translate business goals to the engineering teams, and to report on product development progress to superiors.
That makes the job sound simple, but sitting at the intersection involves a whole host of tasks, tools, relationships, and strategies. And meetings. Always plenty of meetings! Product Managers are often confused with Project Managers, but that’s not quite right. The main difference lies in the levels of responsibility and accountability these two roles entail. If someone goes wrong during product development, the buck usually stops with the Product Manager.
To make quality designed, high-performing products a reality, a Product Manager’s role is to drive the vision, strategy, experience, and execution of a digital product. With a primary goal to deliver business value, Product Managers are required to create products that are valuable, feasible, and usable and that sell.
Product Managers investigate what users really need and then work within a team to figure out how best to meet that need within cost and time constraints. It includes market research, testing, prototyping and mapping.
The possibilities in the world of product management are endless, with many Product Managers coming with previous backgrounds in User Experience (UX) Design, marketing, business analysis, project management, Information Technology, customer support, and entrepreneurship.