Roles of a Product Manager: Key Skills, Roles and Duties

What is a product manager?

A product manager is a professional that is responsible for a company’s product development. They are tasked with handling both the product development and the marketing of products once it’s been produced. Product managers ensure that all product specifications and requirements are met, analyze product competition, analyze proposed products and more. Product managers have strong skills in product management, planning, inventory control, strategy and more.

 

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Examples of product management roles

Apart from an entry-level or managerial product management role, there are several roles to consider within a product management team. Here are some examples of product management roles:

  • Project manager
  • Product manager
  • Product marketing manager
  • Stakeholders
  • Business analysts

Project manager

Project managers are professionals that are responsible for the planning and execution of a particular project. They make sure that the project has a streamlined developmental process by monitoring it from conception to completion. They’re also tasked with decision-making revolving around the project and making sure the budget is adhered to.

 

Product manager

Product managers are responsible for developing products for a company or organization. They’re also tasked with creating an effective business strategy, creating requirements for the product’s development, negotiating with stakeholders and more. Product managers can also be seen assisting in the promotion of the said product. Like project managers, product managers communicate with stakeholders and clients and make them aware of the process progression. They also share duties with the product marketing manager such as collecting customer feedback, performing market research and more.

 

Product marketing manager

The role of a product marketing manager revolves around the marketing of a product. They conduct market research, handle product packaging, plan events and activities to promote the product and more. Product marketing managers use user personas to help them effectively market the new product to consumers.

 

Stakeholders

Stakeholders are individuals who are interested in a company’s product. As a stakeholder, they can influence the development of the product and are often consulted when decisions need to be made. Examples of stakeholders include clients and investors. 

 

Business analyst

A business analyst is a member of the product development who analyzes a company and its processes. They serve as the middleman between the developmental team and stakeholders as they make sense of business requirements that can be translated into product developmental tasks.

 

Key skills, roles and duties

In order to be a successful product manager, it’s important to have a directly related set of skills in order to effectively complete your job duties. Here are some examples of key skills and duties for someone in this role:

 

Skills

Product managers have a variety of hard and soft skills that help them complete their work to the best of their ability. Some of their main skills include the following:

  • Marketing skills: Product managers should be able to oversee the marketing side of product development which includes product promotion, market research, creativity and more.
  • Analytical skills: In order to effectively analyze data, product managers need to have strong analytical skills to use market data for the benefit of their product in regards to strategy, development and pricing.
  • Time management skills: Product managers should have strong time management skills in order to meet product timelines.
  • Problem-solving skills: If issues arise during the product development process, it’s important to have strong problem-solving skills to reach a solution with ease.
  • Interpersonal skills: As a product manager, it’s important to be able to effectively communicate and influence several people. 
  • Technical skills: Product managers need to have strong technical skills to analyze data and manage the budget.

Roles and duties

Here are some common duties and roles that product managers play:

  • Analyze market competition by comparing competitor products with their own
  • Conduct market research in line with customer needs and wants
  • Plan products for the product management team to deliver and strategize to create an effective roadmap
  • Work with outside parties to determine licensing opportunities or product partnerships
  • Use marketing knowledge to understand customer purchases and product competition
  • Act as a leader within the company

Further reading about product managers

Here is related information on product managers, their skills and the role they play in their every day:

Product management FAQs

Here are some common FAQs about product management:

  • What are some of the qualifications for a product manager role?
  • What technical skills should product managers have?
  • What is the role of a product management assistant?

What are some of the qualifications for a product manager role?

The journey to becoming a product manager will vary by your experience and background. Typically, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in business or a similar field. Because product managers come from various backgrounds and work for various companies, it can be helpful to take courses in marketing, customer support, engineering, research and development and more. There are several online project management degrees to consider, as well.

 

What technical skills should product managers have?

Product managers should have a variety of technical skills including technological capability, the understanding of data, a strong sense of business and more. Along with technical skills, it’s also important for product managers to have soft skills such as interpersonal skills, good communication skills and analytical skills.

 

What is the role of a product management assistant?

Product management assistants are responsible for assisting product managers in the development of new products or the promotion of others. They work under the product manager and support them through decision making, monitoring marketing efforts and more. Product management assistants also create strategies for product promotion based on several factors including consumer needs and desires.

 

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