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WHAT IS A PRODUCT MANAGER?
The role, the responsibilities and the
unexpected perks
YOU’VE HEARD THE WORD
BEFORE, BUT YOU DON’T
QUITE KNOW WHAT THEY DO.
“Product managers”
(Good news! It’s less boring than it sounds.)
LET’S START HERE
Image credit: Martin Eriksson
“A good product manager must be experienced in
at least one, passionate about all three, and
conversant with practitioners in all.”
MULTIDISCIPLINARY
Product managers are…
@bfgmartin
Martin Eriksson, Co-Founder at MindTheProduct
STRATEGIC
Product managers are…
“Your job is to deliver a product that
is valuable, usable and feasible.”
@cagan
Marty Cagan, Partner at Silicon Valley Product Group
PERSISTENT
Product managers are…
“Articulate what a winning product looks
like. Rally the team to build it. Iterate on it
until they get it right.”
@tjack
Todd Jackson, VP Product & Design at Dropbox
COLLABORATIVE
Product managers are…
“You don’t need to have all the answers. But you do
need to surround yourself with smart, experienced
people and ask the right questions.”  
@simplybastow
Janna Bastow, Co-Founder at ProdPad
FOR HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PRODUCT MANAGERS
GET THE
BTW, WANT MORE OF THIS?
SIGN UP NOW
NEWSLETTER
THE BIG QUESTION
“What problem are
we trying to solve?”
EVERY PRODUCT MANAGER ASKS:
?
WHICH LEADS TO QUESTIONS
LIKE…
What is our product vision?
What do customers want?
What do customers expect?
What’s actually doable?
What will help us meet our business goals?
SET A PRODUCT VISION
Product manager responsibility #1:
MANAGE IDEAS & FEEDBACK
Product manager responsibility #2:
Image credit: Peter Thiel
PLAN & PRIORITIZE
Product manager responsibility #3:
Image credit: Janna Bastow
BUILD A PRODUCT ROADMAP
Product manager responsibility #4:
LEAD THE PRODUCT
EXECUTION
•Support marketing, customer support and dev
teams, especially for cross-team tasks
Product manager responsibility #5:
•Make sure every team is crystal clear how they’re
supporting product goals
•Ensure clear deliverables product specs, user
stories and release plans
SHIP!
Product manager responsibility #6:
GET FEEDBACK &
SHIP SOME MORE
Product manager responsibility #7:
• Collect feedback and satisfaction
• Monitor behavior & usage analytics
• Make a judgment call on next steps
SHIP AGAIN!
Product manager responsibility #8:
PRODUCT MANAGERS
USUALLY EXCEL IN ANOTHER
PRODUCT DISCIPLINE FIRST
Product marketing
UX Design
Software development
(Although even this does not guarantee you’ll be
a good PM.)
Customer success
BECAUSE BEING A GREAT PM
REQUIRES SERIOUS PEOPLE
SKILLS.
You’re managing people over projects.
You’re managing expectations over deadlines.
You’re a cheerleader - and sometimes you
have to make tough decisions!
EXPERIENCE
IS IMPORTANT
Because you need to understand
how everyone’s jobs work so
you can work with them.
NATURALLY CURIOUS
GOOD AT MANAGING PEOPLE CREATIVE
HUMBLE
INQUISITIVE
BIG PICTURE THINKERS
PRACTICAL
DELIBERATE
AND VERY, VERY ORGANIZED.
Great product managers are:
Plus, they’re crazy passionate
about the product they’re building.
(Otherwise it’s pretty hard to do.)
IT ATTRACTS PEOPLE
FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE.
Trained violinist Former pizza parlor manager Former rocket scientist
@dreasaez @simoncast
Andrea Saez, ProdPad Simon Cast, ProdPadMatt Bilotti, Drift
@mattbilotti
“The honest brokers who balance customer needs with engineering realities,
market requirements with financial goals. We were the handful of matrixed
product champions and driver-drivers who push great things out the door.
Truth-tellers in the executive suite.”
LET’S GIVE IT A POETIC END, EH?
-Rich Mironov,
author of The Art of Product Management
@richmironov
THANKS FOR READING!
P.S. GET MORE PRODUCT
MANAGEMENT TIPS RIGHT HERE

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What Is A Product Manager? | The Quick Guide To Product Management

  • 1. WHAT IS A PRODUCT MANAGER? The role, the responsibilities and the unexpected perks
  • 2. YOU’VE HEARD THE WORD BEFORE, BUT YOU DON’T QUITE KNOW WHAT THEY DO. “Product managers” (Good news! It’s less boring than it sounds.)
  • 3. LET’S START HERE Image credit: Martin Eriksson
  • 4. “A good product manager must be experienced in at least one, passionate about all three, and conversant with practitioners in all.” MULTIDISCIPLINARY Product managers are… @bfgmartin Martin Eriksson, Co-Founder at MindTheProduct
  • 5. STRATEGIC Product managers are… “Your job is to deliver a product that is valuable, usable and feasible.” @cagan Marty Cagan, Partner at Silicon Valley Product Group
  • 6. PERSISTENT Product managers are… “Articulate what a winning product looks like. Rally the team to build it. Iterate on it until they get it right.” @tjack Todd Jackson, VP Product & Design at Dropbox
  • 7. COLLABORATIVE Product managers are… “You don’t need to have all the answers. But you do need to surround yourself with smart, experienced people and ask the right questions.”   @simplybastow Janna Bastow, Co-Founder at ProdPad
  • 8. FOR HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PRODUCT MANAGERS GET THE BTW, WANT MORE OF THIS? SIGN UP NOW NEWSLETTER
  • 9. THE BIG QUESTION “What problem are we trying to solve?” EVERY PRODUCT MANAGER ASKS: ?
  • 10. WHICH LEADS TO QUESTIONS LIKE… What is our product vision? What do customers want? What do customers expect? What’s actually doable? What will help us meet our business goals?
  • 11. SET A PRODUCT VISION Product manager responsibility #1:
  • 12. MANAGE IDEAS & FEEDBACK Product manager responsibility #2: Image credit: Peter Thiel
  • 13. PLAN & PRIORITIZE Product manager responsibility #3: Image credit: Janna Bastow
  • 14. BUILD A PRODUCT ROADMAP Product manager responsibility #4:
  • 15. LEAD THE PRODUCT EXECUTION •Support marketing, customer support and dev teams, especially for cross-team tasks Product manager responsibility #5: •Make sure every team is crystal clear how they’re supporting product goals •Ensure clear deliverables product specs, user stories and release plans
  • 17. GET FEEDBACK & SHIP SOME MORE Product manager responsibility #7: • Collect feedback and satisfaction • Monitor behavior & usage analytics • Make a judgment call on next steps
  • 18. SHIP AGAIN! Product manager responsibility #8:
  • 19. PRODUCT MANAGERS USUALLY EXCEL IN ANOTHER PRODUCT DISCIPLINE FIRST Product marketing UX Design Software development (Although even this does not guarantee you’ll be a good PM.) Customer success
  • 20. BECAUSE BEING A GREAT PM REQUIRES SERIOUS PEOPLE SKILLS. You’re managing people over projects. You’re managing expectations over deadlines. You’re a cheerleader - and sometimes you have to make tough decisions!
  • 21. EXPERIENCE IS IMPORTANT Because you need to understand how everyone’s jobs work so you can work with them.
  • 22. NATURALLY CURIOUS GOOD AT MANAGING PEOPLE CREATIVE HUMBLE INQUISITIVE BIG PICTURE THINKERS PRACTICAL DELIBERATE AND VERY, VERY ORGANIZED. Great product managers are: Plus, they’re crazy passionate about the product they’re building. (Otherwise it’s pretty hard to do.)
  • 23. IT ATTRACTS PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE. Trained violinist Former pizza parlor manager Former rocket scientist @dreasaez @simoncast Andrea Saez, ProdPad Simon Cast, ProdPadMatt Bilotti, Drift @mattbilotti
  • 24. “The honest brokers who balance customer needs with engineering realities, market requirements with financial goals. We were the handful of matrixed product champions and driver-drivers who push great things out the door. Truth-tellers in the executive suite.” LET’S GIVE IT A POETIC END, EH? -Rich Mironov, author of The Art of Product Management @richmironov
  • 25. THANKS FOR READING! P.S. GET MORE PRODUCT MANAGEMENT TIPS RIGHT HERE