As Marty Cagan, Founding Partner of Silicon Valley Product Group and a 30-year veteran of product management, puts it, “The job of a product manager is to discover a product that is valuable, usable, and feasible.” Similarly, our own Martin Eriksson calls it the intersection between business, user experience, and technology (only a product manager would define themselves in a Venn diagram!). A good product manager must be experienced in at least one, passionate about all three, and conversant with practitioners of all three.
Read on to learn more about what is product management, how the product manager job works, and what you need to do to become a top product manager and build products people love.
How Much Should I Understand? A friend, who’s recently become a product manager, asked me that recently. She’d inherited a technical product where the engineers already had a view of the direction and deliverables required. Even though it had been broken into phases, each phase was large in scope and involved a number of unconscious […]
I have hired product managers for a while now, and worked with dozens. And since I come from a tech background, I have been asked many times (and I asked myself) if product managers should have some tech skills. Should they know how to code, and how it would help them in their daily work? […]
Dave Wascha started as a product manager 20 years ago working on Internet Explorer 4.0. Since then he’s had his share of successes and failures in a storied career spanning the US and Europe, and in this entertaining and insightful talk from Mind the Product San Francisco he distills those 20 years into twelve key […]
Being a product manager encompasses many things; vision, organization, analysis, and communication, to name a few. But in my experience there is one universal trait that permeates almost everything a product manager does – curiosity. In the context of product management, I see curiosity as a desire to fully understand a problem from all angles, […]
Prioritisation is a necessary evil of every product development lifecycle. Deciding what to build, where to focus limited resources and what customer segments to target are questions that face every organisation on a daily basis. With this being the case, why do companies prioritise so badly? Prioritisation is one of the most critical aspects of product […]
Let’s establish this right upfront: nothing beats a well-managed full-time in-house team of local developers. So why would you want to outsource anything? Doesn’t outsourcing come with a lot of headaches just for a bit of saving? As with anything complex, it depends. Outsourcing: Why and When? Are there enough skilled developers at your location? […]
In my experience, to succeed at data-informed product management you need to master “double-think” and be comfortable with two conflicting statements: “Be data-driven” and “don’t trust your data”. Blindly following data can lead to some bad things. Analytics products aren’t perfect – sometimes data capture gets messed up, and slight changes to code can cause […]
Assimilating new hires can take a big bite out of your schedule, but it’s a process I’ve always enjoyed, despite this. Having a captive audience eager to learn about the product is red meat to me. The only part of it that ever made me cringe was when a question about the product roadmap caught me […]
This is the introductory piece to a series of interviews with product managers. I am on a quest to find out what different product managers do, how their role compares to product management theory, what their daily struggles are, and how I can become a great product manager myself. Why am I doing this? I want to become […]
Josh McWilliam is a co-founder and Vice President of Product at College Factual. Their mission is to help every student realize their full potential through the best fit education their money can buy. While their focus is on students with the College Factual brand, they also have other brands like Ed.ai (for advisors), Educate.ai (for […]