When hiring, I have quite often seen people confusing the Product Manager’s role with that of a Product Development Manager. These are two distinctly different roles and it is important to clearly understand these roles to avoid confusion and heartburn.
The product manager is the owner of the product and plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between the product and customer needs. His role includes:
Identifying Customer Needs: Understand the existing processes, pain points and the reasons, what it is costing the customer and what would help to establish that customer delight in terms of measurable business benefits.
Translating needs into product functionalities: Work with the development team to help them understand the functional processes and features that would help to address the pain points and establish business benefits.
Testing: Conducting product POC’s and customer trials to help fine tune the product and make it more customer- relevant
Marketing: Developing the customer conviction stories and enumerating the business benefits. These would include product presentations, white papers, case studies etc. to help sales.
Product Pricing: Understand what the customer would be willing to pay, with first understanding the business benefits that the customer would derive from the product and convert these into measurable financial metrics and thereby build the ROI. It is only ROI that would help to determine what the customer would be willing to pay.
Competitive Analysis: Understanding competitive products and help build the competitive barriers.
Building the product road-map: Constantly interacting with customers to gauge product experience and track changes in requirements to help product development team to manifest the changes in time and stay ahead of the curve.
The Product Development Manager manifests the product definitions into a set of functional features. This person will work very closely with the Product Manager in the development and evolution of the product through its entire life cycle.
Being a crucial role in a product company, the product manager should ideally have deep domain knowledge and a feel for customer’s business processes.
The author, Srikanth Vasuraj, is a Business Consultant focused on helping start-ups to grow. He can be reached at +91-98454 78585 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Please visit www.nodiva.co.in for more information.