What is a Product Manager?
A Product Manager is the person who figures out what a customer wants and what the business goals are for a product or feature, explains what success looks like for a product and gets a team together to make that vision come true.
The role of the Product Manager covers a wide range of tasks, from the big picture to the details. Because of this, Product Managers are often the hubs in the middle of product teams, connecting customers, engineering, marketing, sales, and support teams. Product Managers are the product leaders in their companies. They are great at getting teams to agree on how to solve customer problems and what those problems are.
The most effective Product Managers are those who can see the future. As a Product Manager, the success of a product is in your hands, and you’re in charge of leading the interdisciplinary group charged with enhancing it. This is a critical function in any company. Strategic product decisions can’t be made without the knowledge and experience that Product Managers bring to the table.
Successful Product Managers have an inner motivation to constantly seek out methods to advance, close organisational gaps, and produce better products.
When it comes to Product Management, the size of the organisation affects the specific tasks of Product Managers. In bigger companies, for example, Product Managers are often part of teams of experts. Researchers, analysts, and marketers help gather information, while developers and designers handle the day-to-day work, make designs, test prototypes, and look for bugs. These Product Managers have more help, but they also have to spend more time getting everyone to agree on a single vision. On the other hand, Product Managers in smaller companies spend less time trying to get everyone to agree and more time doing the hands-on work that comes with defining a vision and seeing it through.
In general, though, a good Product Manager will focus on the following tasks:
- Representing user needs and knowing what they are.
- Setting a product’s direction
- Keeping an eye on the market and making analyses of the competition.
- Putting product features and abilities in order of importance.
- Getting everyone on board with the product’s vision.
- Creating a shared brain for larger teams so that they can make decisions on their own.
As a Product Manager, your income will be determined by the complexity of the product you're in charge of, the size of your company, and where you work.
The UK national average salary for a Product Manager is £56,996, ranging from £37,000 to £88,000. The average salary for a Product Manager based in London amounts to £62,249 per year, ranging from £41,000 to £95,000.
Typical office hours for Product Managers are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Regular meetings and contact with all stakeholders is a vital part of the function; therefore, you may need to work outside of these times if your firm has operations in various time zones. The completion of a project, such as the introduction of a new feature, may necessitate working overtime for some businesses. Time off in lieu of overtime pay is the norm rather than extra money for working late or on the weekend. Jobs in Product Management that are only part-time or temporary are unusual, however, they may be available if you’re responsible for a specific subset of a bigger product.
Job openings for a Product Manager may be found at any company that produces goods of any sort. Typically, this means:
- Banking services and products, including checking and savings accounts
- Computer-related goods (e.g., software, applications, and games)
- Made goods, including electronics, medicines, and toys.
The Product Manager’s skill set is broad. If you ask three Product Managers to explain their typical day, you will get three quite different accounts. You’re in charge of organising all that needs to be done to develop, release, and support the product. The variety and novelty of each day contribute to the stimulating nature of the work. The responsibilities of a Product Manager might change depending on the firm and the product. It is true, however, that Product Managers do their duties at the crossroads of business, technology, and aesthetics. Finding a middle ground between product maintenance and future progress for the company is essential. People thinking about entering the Product Management field may be interested in learning more about a typical day in the life of one of these professionals. If you are already filling this function, you can improve your chances of having a productive day. Where should you put the bulk of your efforts? How do you keep up with what’s occurring in the industry while simultaneously paying attention to the nitty-gritty details of the features you need? What else can you do to keep your stakeholders up-to-date on your product’s development? Product Managers have a unique vantage point from which they may assist all teams in contributing to the success of the product. It’s a way of thinking that may be used in your regular work as well. In order to make progress toward your long-term objectives, you need to gain a clearer picture of the specific difficulties and areas of concentration that require your attention.
Product Managers typically hold a postgraduate degree, most frequently an MBA. Although college majors do not have a significant effect on earnings, they can influence a graduate’s ability to find work after graduation. An emphasis in business or technology, along with appropriate internship or co-op experience, might set candidates apart from the competition.
Product Managers come from a variety of professions, such as:
must have skills:
Each organisation may have quite distinct duties for Product Managers. A lot of Product Managers handle user experience, program management, and product marketing.
Every Product Manager needs a certain set of fundamental talents to succeed, regardless of their job description. As a future Product Manager, you probably already stand out in several of these categories:
- Strategic thinking – Strategic thinking is needed to define product vision and direction. Your product’s success depends on your ability to create a Product Experience (CPE). Roadmapping software can connect strategy and plans.
- Leadership skills – Every successful product has a team with common aims. You’re the Product Manager. You must lead without authority. Great Product Managers are confident, kind, and diplomatic.
- Empathy – A likeable product demands user empathy. It’s a skill to understand clients’ anguish. You must engage customers and translate their emotions into tangible answers.
- Communication skills – Your cross-functional team needs excellent communication abilities. Executives, developers, marketers, and salesmen require essential information. The more you understand each team’s needs, the better you can communicate with them. Each squad will need you to:
- Executives – strategic plans, goals
- Developers – User stories, feature needs
- Marketers – Go-to-market timetables, communicating new functionality’s value
- Salespeople – What’s new, and why customers benefit?
- Technical skills- Even if you don’t write code, you must grasp your product’s technology. Know how it’s built. Learn the engineering team’s methods, techniques, and tools. This simplifies estimating features, defining requirements, and committing to release plans.
- Research skills- Great Product Managers know their market and customers. Knowing how to analyse information is crucial. Research is compiled into shareable documentation (e.g., business models, user personas, competitive analyses) so the team can learn from it.
- Presentation skills- Product Managers present to the team, management, and customers. You may also do demos, webinars, or conference presentations. A good presentation is brief, interesting, and audience-focused.
- Project management skills- Launching products and features requires collaboration. Tasks, dependencies, and due dates might feel unending. As a Product Manager you will have to utilise your project management skills.
- Financial skills-You’re like a product accountant. Pricing, operational expenditures, and recurring revenue must be analysed. As A Product Manager you will learn from finance, sales, and business development peers.
- Analytical skills- You must track your progress as you implement your strategy and product plans. You will have a ton of information on product usage at your disposal. But data only provides you with a limited view. You can uncover trends and delve into the “why” behind the stats if you have strong analytical abilities.
Although you cannot obtain a specific degree in Product Management, numerous undergraduate degrees can still prepare you for this position. You can enrol in Product Management certification courses, such those provided by Market Research Society (MRS).
Despite your preparation, you will learn the most on the job. To become a successful Product Manager, you need practice in the real world. You are joining a field that is fascinating and developing quickly. Your desire to evaluate your skills and continuously improve them is what really counts.
If you aspire to join the ranks of Product Managers, you must adopt their mindset first. Think carefully about the things you use on a regular basis. Check them out first from the perspective of a customer and then from that of the Product Manager in charge of creating them. In your opinion, what might the product strategy be? What sorts of enhancements would you stress the most? If you are currently employed in a product-related capacity and would like to advance your career, you can take the initiative to do so. Seek for experiences that will allow you to hone your abilities in analysis, technology, product development, management, and communicating with clients.
Product Management is a growing field, and as a result, there is a growing demand for training programs and educational resources to aid aspiring Product Managers. However, Product Management is still a field that requires a great deal of informal education. Maintain consistent communication with your user base. Take or observe consumer calls as needed. Spend as much time as possible with your product so that you can master it. Your career in Product Management will flourish if you adopt these strategies.
The University of the West of Scotland London offers this two years and eight months full-time degree, and students can choose from a variety of start dates. Students at UWS London get access to industry experts, guest lecturers, and seasoned professionals throughout their studies. Students may participate in the UK’s economic hub thanks to the fact that this programme is provided on the London Campus, in the country’s capital.
A one-year foundation degree from the University of the West of Scotland in London will get you ready for undergraduate coursework and build the platform for a career in Product Management. You will learn about contemporary research sources in this course, along with useful case examples. The students’ English language and study abilities will also get a boost as they gain knowledge of crucial business courses. You will be well-prepared to enter the undergraduate level with confidence after completing the Business Foundation Programme and gaining the necessary knowledge.
The University of West Scotland’s one-year full-time programme will equip you with the executive training you need to kick-start your career in Product Management. This program is available at UWS’ London Campus, which is located in the heart of London’s economic district.
The MBA and digital marketing components are combined in this one-year full-time program at the University of the West of Scotland’s London Campus. The MBA portion of the course looks at business practices and operations, such accounting, finance, and human resources, as well as how they are all related. This course allows students to specialise in digital marketing in a more specific manner, in addition to gaining a wide business perspective and the base for a career in Product Management.