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March 14, 2024 - 4 minutes

What is a Product Manager?

Discover the important responsibilities that product managers hold in the tech world. 

Juliette Carreiro - Tech Writer


A product manager plays a critical role in an organization; they are in charge of recommending and making an evaluation of a company’s product. And as a product manager, you’ll be responsible for the blueprint and strategy of that product.

This role combines various areas of expertise such as design knowledge, strategy, and understanding customer needs to create a valuable product, studying the competitive market conditions and to create a product based on the customer’s demand.

A product manager guides their team and motivates them to achieve their goals and success in selling a product and can only do this if they understand and are able to coordinate the different abilities of their staff. 

The objective of a manager is to optimize sales and increase profits for a company throughout the entire lifecycle of the product.

The Responsibilities of a Product Manager

As you can probably imagine, product managers have quite a few responsibilities, but we can divide their duties into two main areas: setting strategy and defining releases. 

Setting strategy

The head of product should set the product strategy and develop a road map to help implement the vision of the company. A manager does extensive research about the market, the customer, and the problem they plan to solve:

  • They analyze the available information including statistics, customer feedback, and research, developing a vision that they share with your company.

  • The manager should then develop a product strategy, explaining the customer base and the product will serve and how it will benefit them. Additionally, determining the product strategy will establish the company’s goals for development throughout its entire life cycle.

  • During the development of a product, some issues will come up that sidetrack the plan and the product’s development; a clear product strategy is essential as it acts as a reference for you and your team, allowing you to adjust accordingly and make intelligent strategic decisions in case unexpected changes crop up.

Defining releases

A product lead handles product release, which essentially means launching a product to market. Together with their team, the manager turns the product strategy into a working plan against a timeline which requires planning sprints, identifying risks, and meeting clear expectations.

Here are some of the crucial aspects of defining releases:

  • A successful release requires meticulous coordination of tasks, dates, and people.

  • Customer feedback and evaluation of product progress helps achieve successful freedom. 

  • It’s crucial to have a release roadmap to help the team track milestones and dependencies. 

  • As a result, the stakeholders are aware of the progress and well informed about the plan.

The Necessary Skills to be a Product Manager

For product managers to be successful, they should boast the following characteristics:

  • Strategic thinking: as a manager, you need to possess strategic thinking to develop a product vision to then create a roadmap to how you will achieve it.

  • Empathy: a manager must engage their customers and develop a solution for their needs and to do this, product managers need to have empathy. 

  • Leadership: as the term dictates, a manager has the leadership qualities to lead a group of teams; a good leader is diplomatic and compassionate and can handle his/her team without being a dictator.

  • Communication: to be an exceptional manager, you need to possess excellent communication skills. A manager should effectively and pass critical information to different stakeholders including customers, salespeople, developers, and executives. No information should be lost when giving information across the board.

  • Research: a good manager should be able to understand their customers and market, carrying out extensive research as to not miss out on anything that will help you actualize your product vision and bring customer satisfaction.

  • Technical: product managers should have basic tech knowledge. They do not have to be at the level of an expert, but they need to possess basic technological knowledge. These skills come in handy, especially in making release plans. 

  • Financial: a manager should analyze several financial elements such as operational costs, pricing, and generated revenue. Part of your team includes the accountants and the salespeople. 

  • Analytical: data analytics is crucial for product development, especially in strategic planning because it analyzes raw data to look for trends and metrics on a dataset. A manager should have the analytical skills needed to identify patterns and understand the metrics. 

  • Project management: developing and launching a product takes a lot of coordination and a project manager will coordinate a team full of professionals from different backgrounds; you need to bring them together cohesively to develop and launch a product.

  • Presentation: a manager is responsible for giving demos and presentations at conferences and presenting progress to customers, production team, and management. Presentations should be concise, engaging, and relevant for your audience. 

At times, the responsibilities of a product manager may appear to overlap with other roles, but it’s important to remember that each duty adds distinct value to an organization, offering strategic direction that helps achieve product goals. Moreover, they oversee the efficiency of the tech team and as a product manager, you will also act as the organization’s link to external customers, end-users, and partners.

Product managers are perfectly suited to join Ironhack’s global tech community to sharpen their technical competencies or if you're thinking of a career change, Ironhack can help you develop the required skills through an intensive bootcamp in web development, UX/UI design, data analytics, cybersecurity, data science and machine learning, artificial intelligence engineering, and DevOps and cloud computing. 

Find the best bootcamp for you and get started today. 

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