What is the role of a product manager?
Valentin Huang 09/15/2023 PM Guide
2 Minutes

Effectively managing the development and life of a product is essential to ensure its success. This is what the product manager is all about. At the heart of technical, business, and user experience issues, the product manager is responsible for the product strategy in the broadest sense. His or her objective is to develop the best product on the market, i.e. the one that offers the best possible experience to the end customer, and a viable economic model for the company. 

In this article, we review the role of the product manager.

What is a product manager?

As the conductor of the product management orchestra, the product manager (abbreviated to PM) steers the development of a product to meet the needs of users. He or she must therefore have a good understanding of the target customer's problem so that his or her product provides the best possible solution.

It is the PM who decides on the development of the product, based on clear objectives and an ambitious long-term vision. More generally, the product manager is involved in the company's strategy, as he ensures that the products released meet the needs of the market in which the company is positioned.

The product manager may be specialized in a specific type of product: B2C, B2B, platform, mobile, SaaS (in this case we speak of a digital product manager), etc. When the role is more operationally oriented, it is sometimes referred to as a product owner.


The role of the product manager

The role of the product manager is to ensure that the product contributes to the company's success. To do this, he/she ensures that the product developed meets 4 essential criteria:

  • Provide incremental value to its users: the product must provide more added value than the solutions already existing on the market.

  • Be usable: the target customer must be able to use the product easily to meet their needs.

  • Be feasible: the product must be both realistic and feasible for the company.

  • Be economically viable: the product must contribute to the company's profitability.

It is imperative that the product manager ensures that these 4 criteria are scrupulously respected. If this is not the case, the product may not sell, may not be profitable, or may even never see the light of day. This is why the product manager determines to a very large extent the success of a given product. He or she carries the product culture throughout the entire company.

The tasks of the product manager

To achieve his objectives, the product manager defines a global vision, an applicable strategy, and an actionable product roadmap to carry out this strategy in the short and medium term. One of the main tasks of the product manager is therefore to identify and prioritize product development opportunities that will enable the company's strategic objectives to be met and its vision to be achieved.

To do this, the product manager must define decision-making, collaboration, and execution processes, ensuring that they are effective throughout the life of the product. As such, the product manager is responsible for the organization of the product team, but also for communication with other teams, notably technical, sales, marketing and customer service.

In order to accomplish his mission, the product manager must be in regular contact with his customers and his market. He must have a very detailed knowledge of user feedback to ensure that the product meets their needs and must be able to adapt the product during its development and identify new opportunities for improvement. To achieve this, the product manager works closely with the UX designers, user researchers, and the development teams (particularly in the case of digital products).

Designing and developing a product is therefore a complex responsibility: it requires a 360-degree view to ensure that the product will be successful for the end customers and for the company as a whole. If you want to be helped by people who are passionate about product management, the Harvestr team is here to help.



PM Guide

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