So, you’ve landed a job interview for a product management role. Excited to finally get the career opportunity almost everybody’s clamoring for, you start your rigorous research on the company and how you being their product manager would be a great asset to them. Then the much-awaited date came. During the interview, you are asked what qualities you have that will make you a great product manager for their company. What do you tell them?
The definition of what a product manager is can be a bit confusing, actually. A lot of people want to be one, even taking up a product management training course, but if you ask them what they know about the position itself, you will be amazed at the many variations of the job description you will be getting. To help you know what a product manager really is, we are enumerating what it is not. Here are four of the most common misconceptions about the product manager role:
No, a product manager is not a technical role. Although the position would require some technical know-how to envision the possible solutions the product could offer, product management is more of a commercial role – knowing what the market needs and leading teams to work together in creating a product that provides value to customers.
And while a product manager would have to know the needs of the market and create a product that offers the best solution to these needs, the role is not exactly a marketing one. A marketer deals directly with customers, showing them the many reasons why they should buy the product; a product manager communicates these selling points to stakeholders and business units, including sales and marketing, to help them effectively convince the market of the many benefits being offered by the product.
A Data Analyst
There is a dedicated team that collects and analyzes all the data. What the product manager does is interpret these data and think of the next product that will make the customers happy. While the product manager would have to know how to use data to think of new innovations that would address present customer needs and also anticipate and prevent possible problems, their use of data is more related to how it would be useful in presenting a great new product to the market.
Effective product managers collaborate, instead of dictate. They know the importance of teamwork in producing a great product. They encourage discussion and allow a creative flow of ideas, they listen to feedback and provides updates to the entire team so everyone is on the same page. They make sure that everyone is involved in the process, that decisions are made for the good of the entire company and their market.
Aside from understanding the market, they make time to understand the teams involved in the creation of the product, communicating to each team in a manner that is sensitive to their unique, individual values and cultures.
So, there you have it – four common myths about the product manager position. And now that you know what it is not, you will be able to work your way towards becoming what it really takes to be a great product manager.
Michelle Rubio has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on product management training such as those offered by ProductSchool.com.