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Aspiring Product Manager

This article contains an introduction and resources for those who are looking for being Product Managers helping them shipping πŸš€ products that customers love 🧑.
πŸ“’ In the beginning of this article, I will jump to some frequently asked questions about product management, so you get to know it from different aspects at a glance without falling into the details. Later, I will refer to resources that can help you get the details.

Introduction

What Is A Product?

The product is something (physical or not) that is created through a process and provides benefits to a market. -Mike Cohn
In software industry, it could be a website, a mobile app, web service, library, add-on... that can be used by an individual consumer or an enterprise.

Who Is The Product Manager? πŸ€”

The product manager works with
trying to deeply understand the problem, and find the best feasible technical solution for this problem in a way that is easy to use by the end users.
The product manager's ultimate goal is to discover a product that is
valuable (Business)
,
usable
(UX)
and
feasible (Tech)
.

What are the Product Manager Responsibilities?

The responsibilities of the product manager differs from one company to another depending on the nature and size of the product, customers, industry..., here is the list of the most common Product Manager responsibilities:
Strategy
The product manager is responsible for setting a product vision and strategy. Their job is to clearly articulate the business value to the product team so they understand the intent behind the new product or product release. The product manager owns the roadmap and must prioritize building what matters most to achieve the strategic goals and initiatives behind the product.
Ideation
Product managers own the creative process of generating, developing, and curating new ideas. They determine which ideas should be promoted into features to push the product strategy forward β€” namely those that will achieve key objectives for the product line and business. To this end, they also ensure that feedback and requests are seamlessly integrated into their product planning and development processes. Product managers then communicate the status of ideas back to the customers, partners, and internal team members who submitted them.
Features
The product manager prioritizes features by ranking them against the strategic goals and initiatives. This requires making difficult trade-off decisions based on the value that new features will deliver to customers and to the business. The product manager is also responsible for defining the requirements for each feature and the desired user experience. Product managers work closely with engineering on the technical specifications and ensure that teams have all of the information they need to deliver a complete product to market.
Releases
Product managers must plan what their teams will deliver and the timeline for implementation. This holds true no matter which development methodology the engineering team uses. The product manager is responsible for defining the release process and coordinating all of the activities required to bring the product to market. This involves bridging gaps between different functions within the company and aligning all of the teams involved β€” namely marketing, sales, and customer support. Responsibilities also include managing dependencies in and across releases to complete release phases and milestones.

What is the typical day of a Product Manager?

Standup Meetings:
discuss progress updates, blocking issues and priorities.
Writing Product Requirements
β€” define features with pre-requisites, assumptions, short-term & long term goals and the success metrics for every feature, which require research, meetings, getting approvals.
Reading
β€” Reading is a very important component in a PM’s day. What is the competition doing, what are the next set of market trends and how different organisations have solved certain problems. This information is quite helpful at the time of having a conversation with developers. It lets you can add context to certain features with facts and numbers and it is easier to convince the developers when you are defining the need for certain features.
Project Management β€”
Although the engineering team updates the status of the daily tasks, it is important to keep track of how we are currently placed in terms of the overall project deadline. Also, if certain features are taking more time than estimated, as a Product Manager you get to decide if some features can be moved to the next release or if the deadline needs to be shifted to count in for the effort.
β€Šβ€”β€ŠHow I track metrics has evolved based on what stage the product has been in. Also, with time, I have become more informed about the various ways of capturing these metrics. This article on HackerNoon talks about the
for capturing the right set of metrics and evaluating them.
As per Cole Mercer, the five broad categories under which you could track your metrics areβ€Šβ€”
Qualitative Feedback β€”
Talking to customers, customer success teams, tracking the queries on your customer messaging platform and app reviews can provide a lot of insights on how you can improve your product or what new features you can bring in. If the scale of the reviews is too large and you cannot go through each and every review, you can use Google Cloud NL API to run a Sentiment Analysis on your user reviews and add a weight to each of the problem areas. Here is a video that demonstrates the same.

Who Are Their Stakeholders?

The Market
Users
Customers
Partners
The Core Team
Engineers
UX Designers
Quality Assurance
Extended Team
Operations and Support
Researchers
Sales and Marketing
Finance
Public Relations
Legal
Business Development
Executives

How To Measure Product Success?

Product success depends on the product objectives, which is measured by KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), while defining OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to improve these KPIs.
Here are some examples for commonly used KPIs:
Forecast Business Success
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
Average revenue per User (ARPU)
Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV or LTV)
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
User Engagement
Daily Active User/Monthly Active User Ratio
Session Duration
Traffic (Paid/Organic)
Bounce Rate
User Interest
Retention Rate
Churn Rate
Product/Feature Popularity
Number of Sessions per User
Number of User Actions per Session
User Satisfaction
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

So, How Can I Become A Product Manager?

Learn About Product Management

Blogs
Events and Meetups
Courses

Follow Trends

Product News
Producthunt
Try other products inspires for ideas
Technology News
Business News

Startup Weekends

Take part in a Startup Weekend in your area.

Freelance

Networking And Social Participation

Help others (posts, advise, articles, sessions, book)

Work as Product Owner

It is a subset of Product Management.

Start A Side Hustle

where you create your own product or service.This gives you an opportunity to practice the market focused skills.

Prepare for PM Interview

Interview questions
Profile and interviews
Dashboards and reports
Check LinkedIn and udemy course content
Search for PM Jobs
Salary Range (dynamic)

References

(Mountain Goat Software)

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