I see a lot of things change around me especially in the tech space, the way people work, and also in the start-up space. I am also at a point in my career trying to figure out in what direction I should steer myself - continue in tech, venture into management roles, or try my hands at being an entrepreneur.
During my research, I stumbled upon the job description "Product Manager". I am collating all my learnings here hoping it might help someone.
What is a product manager?
In a broad sense, you can consider the product manager as the CEO of the product. This term was coined by Ben Horowitz, CEO of Opsware. A product manager is responsible for setting up the vision of how the product should be and what the product will not be. A product manager prepares strategies that strike a balance between the budget, time to market, and resources available. They also have to motivate the execution team and are responsible for the outcome of the development lifecycle.
Does that mean product managers have special authority? They don't.
Responsibilities of a Product Manager
Specific responsibilities vary between organizations, but if I had to summarize my research:
Identify the customer needs and the larger business objectives a product will fulfill through market research and competitor analysis,
Define the success metrics for the particular product, and,
Rally a team to turn that vision into reality.
In a smaller organization, you may have to do more work from defining the vision and seeing it through the execution. But in larger organizations, they may have more sub-teams and tools to make your life easier but aligning everyone to a single vision might take a lot of effort.
The product manager lies at the intersection of business goals, the tech, and the user experience as you can see from the Venn diagram.
Even though there are dedicated teams for UX, Tech, and business, he should know the terms and the lay of the land to communicate effectively with these teams. For example, knowing Figma can make brainstorming with the UX designers more productive.
If you already have the skillsets or are willing to cultivate these, then you can be a good product manager:
Good at prioritizing,
Learn to influence people without authority,
Decision-making on the go,
Know the team you're working with.
All these and a knowledge of a lot of tools to help organize your work - JIRA, Confluence, Trello, Teams, Figma, etc.
Salary Scales for Product Managers
All the glam and glory that the product manager role brings apart, what does it pay at the end of the day? Based on my research, the average salary for a product manager in India is about 20 LPA and going up to 35 LPA (at the time of writing this blog). Check here. Largely varying based on your experience and the type of organization.
Doesn't matter whether you are from a service industry, a product company, or starting your own business, a product manager or knowledge of product management is a game changer for the organization. That one person who can envision and rally a team behind that vision will determine whether your product is the go-to product or will be just another product in the market.