Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What is Product Management ?

Today, I was discussing with my friend in XLRI GMP "Eric Nishant Ekka" about what Product management is all about ? Eric has been in product management for a long time and he has extensive experience working with products.

He brings tremendous experience in product strategy. Well, so here are his inputs about what product management is all about ?

About product management:

The role is v good. You will thoroughly enjoy it.
It will have its own set of challenges and rewards. Pay scale for a product management position would be definitely good.

Employer's will need someone who can understand domain v well. So you need to be good at domain.

Also, this involves strategy- so you will have to give inputs about positioning/ segmentation and targeting of the product that you are managing. Though not directly involves sales, but may have to interface with sales personnel.

But more of a product strategy role.
In future - 5 yrs down the line, you can should target the senior role in strategy and marketing- like VP Strategy/marketing. This is how a person seeking career in product management should plan his career.

The role is more towards strategy (80%) and less towards marketing( 20%)

Also, you should be able to compare products, and be dynamic in understanding how industry is evolving- what changes shud be incorporated ? and how you can design the product to make it even more appealing to the clients. You have to make sure that a wonderful product is created. Selling and business development- that is not your work.

As a product manager, your area is to make the product successful.

You have to prove yourself in terms of strategy and in product roadmap - esp product design/ development and how it should be positioned in the market- what kind of similar products are already existing - regulatory compliances - etc.

Also, the focus is also on strategic management. A product manager also needs to focus on NPV/ IRR - that is important to show senior managers how you will analyse - how product is performing- about PLC (product life cycle) and about various growth stages in product lifecycle- is the market in growing phase or mature market ? if growing- what new areas are coming up ?

That's all about product management.

With thanks to Eric for his wonderful insights.