Every innovative software product must have a considerable and distinctive worth to maintain a prominent position. Elements – idea, clarity, strategy, approach, meticulousness – adds value to your digital product development process.
So, let's talk about who the key player is in the development process and what expertise he brings to the table to get the job done:
Who is a Product Manager?
A product manager sets these development standards. However, a product manager delves a little deeper into the things such as setting success goals, finalizing the best-suited features that suit the product, monitoring modifications, and so forth.
Process of Product Development
Product managers are hired when a firm recruits a one-person army. A product manager assists organizations to rev up their process, quality, and product development process.
Organizations hunt such a multitasker who can efficiently chain up and maintain the essential aspects – UX, Technology, and Business. Then, when all the factors altogether, they result in immense success.
Product managers are accountable for adding business value and its success. He is a professional who strives to optimize the product and its development to hit the business goals and ensure that the software product supports your business’s entire strategy and goals.
As a result, massive ROI can be gained. A technical product manager also does business analysis to understand the product nature that does not match the business need.
The software product manager decides how to make the product development process smooth for a user. Meaning that the way a user interacts with the product is convenient, seamless, and result-driven or not? The skilled product manager has practical communication skills to collaborate with the product developers’ team efficiently and the user during the development, testing, and deployment phase.
The product manager is also responsible for providing solutions to the problems a user gets stuck on. He knows the tactics of pulling out the feedback and reviewing from the user that aids the product development team improve features, UX, and the overall quality of the software product.
A skilled product manager understands the tech stack and level of expertise and efforts required to make the right decisions. However, having years of experience and next-level expertise, product developers still need technical guidance to design and build the product as demanded by the customer. Therefore, the product manager understands the technicalities from the customer side and dictates them to the development team.
A good product manager gets involved with the team daily and throughout the development phase. This involvement of developers and their managers requires more attention in the agile methodology. The core technical skills that every product manager should be well familiar with are as follows :
Data structure algorithms, structured Query language (SQL), programming languages (Python, JS, HTML, CSS, C languages, etc.)
Did you know about the importance of PoC in software product development? Here is the complete detail.
Product Manager vs Project Manager
Although product managers and project managers sometimes collaborate, their duties are separate. For example, a project manager manages the various projects that make a product's mission, objectives, and economic track a reality. In contrast, a product manager establishes the product's ambition, targets, and business path. In other words, if the product manager is a great strategist, the project manager is an implementer.
A product manager is in control from the start of a product's lifespan until the finish. This entails defining a product's concept, overseeing any improvements, and ensuring the product continues to meet consumer expectations until it is decommissioned. Product management, with the exception of project management, does not always have a distinct start and conclusion.
A project manager is in charge of a project from beginning to end. A project is a collection of actions aimed at achieving a specified objective. Projects might be significant, such as constructing a new facility, or minor, such as implementing a new application for staff to utilize. A project manager is someone who organizes these initiatives from start to finish by forming teams, defining timetables, managing finances, and engaging with clients. A project usually has a strictly delineated start and finish.
Responsibilities of a Product Manager
1. Understand and Define User Persona
Personas comprise the user requirements and demand, such as their objectives, problems, features, what to include, and what to not - related to product management. The information about ongoing research is jotted down to get a clear roadmap for the development process. A product manager understands and dictates what the customer wants while keeping the entire product development workforce focused on product development based on exceptional user experience.
A veteran product manager knows the methods for elaborating “what and why” for the decision-making process. Having excellent communication skills, a product manager communicates the crucial requirements for the specific user group to the development team and explains the priority features that could solve the user problems.
To elaborate more about the user persona, take two types of companies. The BMW company owns luxury auto brands – BMW Motorrad, MINI, MINI JCW, and so many stylish automobiles in the list. BMW targets upper-class social groups of audiences who can afford its expense and maintenance services.
Similarly, software development companies target a group of potential audiences to use their specific digital products – 2D/3D games for game lovers, eCommerce websites for business owners, social media websites for marketers, and general audiences.
2. Empowers Decision making and Innovation
In a SaaS niche industry, having an idea and taking important decisions to implement it into the development process is a critical phase, but not taking lead developers’ views and decisions into consideration could take you in the wrong direction.
Indeed, software project managers and product managers create the path straight by removing obstacles and hurdles – challenges and risks – for a swift and smooth development process. At the same time, the tech specialist team follows the direction given by the pro leaders.
Product managers help teams enhance their skills to conclude ideas and empower them to make result-driven decisions based on a fundamental part of the product management – methodologies, tech stack, tools, structure, business- and user-centric approach, etc. Finally, the product manager validates the idea and opens up the doors for new opportunities.
3. Plans a Robust Strategy
Simply put, a project manager builds the strategies and gives a vision for product development. Then, a product manager helps the development team execute the shared strategy and vision. How?
An expert product manager creates worthy strategies to smooth out the development workflow. However, 96% of PM lacks strategic thinking, while almost 97 percent of product leaders consider building plans for roaring success.
Living in 2022 means living with innovation in every area of life. When it comes to the professional level, being a PM requires more accountability for having innovations to stand out, problem-solving skills, identifying the best ways, and finding optimum solutions to assist the team.
Why strategy? Because in the business domain, where many products and services are being deployed to market swiftly, staying one step ahead of advancement is, undoubtedly, gold and beyond.
4. Gets Involved with Activities
Have you ever imagined growing up without parents? It means no guidance, no directions. A blindfolded walk!
A product manager leads and directs the teams on a “how” basis. When the team asks “HOW?” the PM replies with “this is how it is done” while directing them to implement strategies in the best possible manner. Monitoring activities during the project development phase is essential for team leaders but getting involved and executing the tasks together with guidance and support adds value to the “product manager” profession.
Activities like Planning, prioritizing tasks, execution, measuring metrics and KPIs, analyzing the proper framework and tech stack, sales generation, and track recording of different activities require a PM's well-versed expertise to deal with.
Despite all the above activities, you will see product managers fully engaged with tasks like defining a product vision to the team, describing the notion of stakeholders and customers, representing user needs, and working with internal stakeholders.
5. Guide for Software Product Deployment
Project deployment comprises crucial efforts and a quick-witted approach. A product manager, in this case, ensures the product is flawless and fully functional. He addresses all the requirements like product documentation, maintaining backlogs, creating functional roadmaps, and so forth.
In agile development methodology, the development team continuously deployed small sprints to the customer so that any kind of modifications as agile methodology offers flexibility at any development stage.
Therefore, a product manager analyzes all the weak points of development and offers to bridge the gaps in product development. Product leaders also determine the validation methods to ensure the product is deployed, keeping all the essential factors focused.
The product deployment phase requires full attention while testing the delivered codes by executing them to the client-end server. First, however, a product manager ensures that the product delivery is successful and within a defined timeframe.
A takeaway that works for a product manager is that many top organizations think wise when estimating delivery time. A well-experienced project and product manager knows that the SDLC process goes under unexpected delays for many reasons, which consumes time and exceeds the deadline and even budget.
Due to this very reason, proficient product managers convince clients to give them at least two months over the deadlines. This practice allows the product development team to analyze the pain points of the product, efficiently test it and deploy it in the market with complete confidence.
Different Roles of a Product Manager
Failures and miscommunications are part of any Software development life cycle, but it doesn’t mean to stop solving problems that lead to such unpleasant situations. Therefore, by taking innovative steps for setting the product development process with high standards, the product leaders are being categorized into different types to handle the department with their specific expertise.
Business Product Manager
Apply tactics to transform customer requests into product roadmaps.
Having excellent communication skills, a business product manager convinces stakeholders and investors and efficiently combines the requests of business-involved people into the product development scenarios. In addition, product management leaders look deeper into integrating the business requests with the technical realm.
One role of the product manager is to study business cases and examine business models to find the potential problems. Moreover, product managers also manage business pricing specifications and customer demands, so they know how to align business requirements with classic product development strategies that astonish both market domain – business and technology.
Hardware Product Manager
Builds more comprehensive relations to connect hardware with software
In some cases, software development is highly dependent on the excellent functionality of the connected hardware components. However, combining the hardware with software requires more time, budget, and effort. To that end, hardware development often requires more stable relations with market vendors and relevant partners.
A good relationship with cross-industrial partners can leverage your product development strategy and process with their immense support. Because, in the end, product management comprises a combination of skills, expertise, knowledge, and support from many other tech-savvy people. So, when the product harnesses all success parameters and support, it ultimately unlocks the achievements.
Technical Product Manager
Implements technical skills into the business to thrive.
The complex digital products based on the technicalities like AI modules, hardware-implemented modules, voice, face or image recognition models, etc., require a high level of technical expertise of the development team. However, being focused on the technicalities of the product, product managers hardly get into the business and customer side activities.
The technical product manager then supports the expertise of the internal team with processes – training, support, operations, and so on. Being an engineer, having past hands-on programming experience, and knowing the trending tech stacks in the market, a technical manager can suggest the best technology for the proposed product development.
Growth Product Manager
Uses a data-driven approach for next-level production
Every organization expects its managers and leaders to build a product that leverages its identity. Likewise, every product manager expects their team to make result-driven efforts resulting in stellar product development. To that end, a growth product manager is responsible for determining bounce rates, customer reviews product development strategies based on the business requirements, etc.
They usually work with engineers, marketers, designers and track the overall marketing performance metrics to state the growth rate of the product and the development company. Therefore, when a product booms the marketplace, it's because an expert growth product manager has once applied his expertise and thorough research to make it a compelling product.
Designer Product Manager
Build a product on a creative approach that satisfies users.
Design is the first part of the interface with which the user interacts. To that end, each software product needs to be visually appealing and must encompass all the WOW factors that draw high impact. Therefore, the product design manager handles the designing process innovatively and spends a lot of time researching how the user will likely interact with the software product.
The role of product design manager is also to conduct interviews and analyzes gathered user feedback that gives a clear picture of the design strategies. However, since UI/UX designing requires high creativity, those designers typically take this passion to the next level – as a UI/UX product manager.
Essential Product Manager Skills
Project manager roles demand various skills, from communication skills to stress management skills, which get better with time. In addition, product/project management deals with unexpected changes in the project development process. Sometimes, it becomes a headache when you have already hit the deadline, and the product still needs numerous changes.
Sometimes product technicalities and repeated modifications exhaust the team so much that they ask for technical assistance from the product/project manager in terms of defining the product development methodology, making technical decisions, and so forth because, in the end, technical work demands specialized knowledge and expertise.
According to the report, only 5% of product managers are hands-on or familiar with coding/programming. Therefore, having a technical background is a plus point that leverages you as a product manager and adds value to what your team (under your supervision) delivers to the customer and launches in the market.
To be successful in the product management career, one must know their abilities to adopt technology insights to comprehensively cover all the parts of the adapted product management process. For example, being on duty to handle teams and interact with multiple teams, a project manager doesn’t grab a chair and start coding. Instead, he guides the programmers.
Why Technical Knowledge is a Plus Point?
Let’s do this in this way. You’re a software product manager, and as a product manager your role is to manage a large-scale AI software product development. The client asks to include different modules based on new frameworks or technologies- not know about it, how would you explain these requirements to your development team? What if you are asked to build the software product choosing a particular development methodology?
You should know the software development processes in a professional management domain – initiating, planning, designing, developing, closing. And sometimes, the process gets lengthy with Proof of concept, prototyping, and MVPs. However, you have a non-technical background, and you should know the basics of getting technical in the software development domain.
How Product Managers Add Value
Product managers are essential in the present-day workforce because they oversee a product's lifespan, adopt executive-level concepts, develop a strategic plan, and drive its implementation in the marketplace. Today's products are the heart of many businesses, and to remain relevant, they all need to keep innovating.
By elevating product management to an organizational role with executive-level decision-making, a company's thinking is influenced to recognize changes, emphasize the marketplace, and eventually align today's revenues with tomorrow's development.
Highly Qualified Technical Product Managers at Your Service
Successfully deployed multiple global software products globally, our veteran and highly qualified technical product managers never miss a chance to let Cubix stand tall and prominent in the software development world.
We allow customers to hire our proficient developers of wide-ranging expertise in game development, eCommerce platform development, application and web development, and so forth.
The highly collaborative professional development environment enables the team to build a fully functional and robust product that exceptionally fits your requirements. Want to get more insight into how and what we serve to the worldwide clientele? Ring the bell right away.