What Is A Product?
It may seem like an obvious place to start, but the definition of a product is perhaps more complex now than ever before thanks to the technological and design advances in both tangible and non-tangible goods.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the diverse roles that make up a product manager’s responsibilities, helping you to better understand what’s required to succeed and the educative steps you can take to get there.
What Does A Product Manager Do?
The duties of a product manager are almost as diverse as the wealth of products being churned out by businesses around the world on a daily basis! During your product manager career, you’ll be responsible for managing almost every aspect of an individual product, from liaising its initial vision to multiple departments through to ensuring that it’s marketed correctly to optimise sales.
A product manager is often described as being the CEO of each product that they manage, such is their essential relationship between director and senior level management, and those within the business hierarchy carrying out the physical delivery.
A successful product manager career will be defined by your ability to carry out the following duties at the very least, however they vary considerably from company to company:
- Creating detailed analytical reports that assess your existing demographic
- Thoroughly researching your competition and market trends
- Investigating, selecting and driving the development of each product
- Performing key marketing duties and ensuring that sub teams deliver a consistent branding
- Producing profit and loss reports as well as detailed forecasting for use at director level
- Ensuring that each department is working towards the same shared goal
Why Consider Product Management As A Career Path?
Every product that’s released by a business, whether tangible or intangible, will present its own range of unique challenges. These ongoing, evolving challenges mean that no two projects will ever be the same, offering fantastic diversity and continued opportunities for professional and personal growth.
The financial rewards of a successful product manager career can be excellent, plus you’ll benefit from learning almost every single stage of the product development and release process. This highly demanding role certainly isn’t for everyone, however there are plenty of roadmaps to get there that will ensure you build up the required skill set without stepping needing to bite off more than you can chew.
What You Need To Succeed
First and foremost, the product manager will need to be adaptable and able to perform at a high level across multiple areas whilst under strict deadlines and budget constraints. Here are some of the sought after traits you’re likely to need to make a success of your product manager career:
- Exceptional organisational skills
- Highly attentive to deadlines and time keeping
- Effective communication across multiple departments and assessing their performances in relation to the overall product goal
- A keen eye for marketing, branding and promotion
- An ability to spot and solve problems before they occur in order to minimise their impact
- A strong understanding of budgets, financial preparation and reporting
- A deep knowledge of market competition and the existing/predicted industry climate
Studying In Order To Have A Successful Product Management Career
There are a huge number of educational opportunities available to those wishing to pursue a career within product management. There are bespoke university courses available within business education that serve this field, although due to the diversity of the role you’ll inevitably need to be someone who can think and learn on their feet.
Courses Dojo can help you quickly and easily find suitable training courses to help you quickly rise the ranks, whilst ensuring that you never feel out of your depth taking on new product management tasks.
The chances are that you’ll have already built up an excellent understanding of your industry and sector prior to taking up a product manager role. However, your employers may also encourage you to undertake further training depending on the novelty of the product or service that you’re looking to release to the market.
Career Progression and Salaries
The variety of product manager roles available makes it tricky to provide a fully accurate roadmap to salaries within this sector, but here are some examples taken from the IT industry which could help:
Junior Product Manager £20,000 – £36,000
Product Manager £30,000 – £48,000
Head of Product Management £50,000 – £75,000
Director of Product Management £75,000 – £95,000
Discover a huge range of courses and educational resources which can help you to climb the product management ladder with us. Whether you’re new to the sector or already on the path to success, we list courses that can help you to reach your full potential and earn a fantastic salary in the process!