What does a Product Manager do exactly?

Building great products can be extremely difficult. A successful product needs to be adopted quickly and widely by customers, and a group of committed, focused, and passionate team members is necessary. This starts with a strong Product Manager who feels a deep sense of responsibility for their role and managing all aspects related to this mission.

Product managers (PM) are responsible for guiding the success of a product and leading the cross-functional team that is responsible for improving it. this important organizational role (especially for tech companies) sets the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition for a product or a line of products.

Let's dive in and examine the core aspects of product leadership that all product managers should feel accountable for.

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Through our analysis, we gathered information about Product Managers profiles around the globe, in this article we try to present some of the most relevant insights we drew.

The job of a Product Manager involves a diversified set of skills, ranging from Marketing and Management, which are the foundation for the job, to Business Strategy, Market Research, Product development, and Agile Methodology.

Some of the most common skills for product managers include:

  • Business strategy: One of the first steps to Product Management is making sure to get involved with the business strategy in place, i.e. the major goals and initiatives taken by top management. The product's ultimate goal is to fulfill the business strategic goals and fit within the allocated resources as well as the internal and external environments in which the organization operates. 

  • Market Research: Once aligned with business strategy, the Product Managers are bound to do thorough market research, which is an organized effort to gather information about target markets or customers. It allows the Product Manager to define the positioning of the product in the market to help achieve a competitive advantage over the long term. Market Research provides important information which helps to identify and analyze the needs of the market, the market size, and the competition.

  • Product Development: The next step for a PM is to actually build the product. This product Development stage includes the conceptualization, the design, and the execution and has to take into account various business considerations. This process allows Product Managers to transform the market opportunity into a product available for sale.

  • Agile Methodology: One of the most efficient ways to conduct Product Development is to use the agile methodology, which is a particular approach commonly used in software development. This method assists teams in responding to the unpredictability of constructing a product. It uses incremental, iterative work sequences that are commonly known as sprints. Most Product Managers rely on this methodology to test their product-market fit iteratively by gathering periodic (about 2 weeks generally) user feedback and constantly adapting the product roadmap accordingly.

After talking about the skills Product Managers need to succeed in their job, it's time to see what are the companies with most paid Product Manager paths. 

Through our analysis, we created the chart below ranking the top 10 companies for Product Managers.

Now it's time to take a look at the early beginnings of Product Managers and see how they kicked off their careers.

As our analysis reveals, many Product Managers start their professional career in Software Engineering, which indicates the most of them worked in tech companies or have been involved in the making of a tech product. 

Below we present some of their most frequent first job titles.

 

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