Q. What is the role of a Product Manager (PM)
Ans: It’s Complex !
The Role of a PM is not defined. But as a Product Manager, he/she can surely start with a simple baby step and that is to TALK. Communication holds the key to start and define the role of a Product Manager.
As a Product Manager (PM), I need to talk to my customers, stakeholders, developers, designers, end users, etc… Communication creates the real context on what problem the PM is solving.
In parallel, the PM will think of how it will be solved.
Hence, after understanding the pain point while talking to multiple stakeholders and end users, the PM creates a script/story. It can be in the form of a word document or a presentation or a movie. After creating the script i.e. gist the PM will have to talk to the developers and designers to understand the complexity in building and usability of the product for the end user.
Because, it is rightly said, “It is so simple to be difficult, but it is very difficult to be simple.”
After getting a high-level answer to How the product will take shape, go and talk to business or sponsors. Let them know your idea in the form of a script/movie and get confirmation if it will be feasible by explaining what pain-point you are going to solve as a PM.
Once done, create a roadmap. Now, how to design a roadmap of your product will depend on the highest priority problem statement that needs to be solved. This is usually decided by communicating with all your stakeholders. Roadmap helps the team to identify tasks at high level, the time that will be taken to build, plan, execute, monitor, identify risks, etc…
A roadmap will work as a google map by which the PM can influence others without authority. Indeed, what a great way to think and start like an entrepreneur.
The 3 important factors that will drive your product development is the scope, cost and time. Hence Learn Fast and Fail Fast. The PM role indeed becomes complex.
To sum it up, read carefully again the below lines from legendary Bruce Lee to understand the role of a Product Manager –
“Be Water, My Friend.
Empty your mind.
Be formless, shapeless, like water.
You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.
You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle.
You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Now water can flow or it can crash.
Be water, my friend.”