What is the real value of a product manager?

The role of product manager is confusing and misunderstood. So, share your perspective — what would you say is the REAL value of a product manager? 

9 Replies

Prioritization for building what matters most.

Every product manager has an opportunity to embrace the challenging and rewarding role of creating and applying the product vision. This goes beyond product development and implementation and into product lovability - having product managers able to see both the details and the big picture is valuable. As product visionaries, they can build product roadmaps with customers' needs in mind and leverage knowledge and skills of technical teams to ensure their products are truly enjoyed by customers.

Determining the right product to build and rallying the team around that vision

Keeping the business focused on its core strategy and innovating.

Product Manager is a "small CEO".

He is responsible for creating the intra-company system of permanent product move forward.

  1. Guarantee the process of ideas accumultaion and assessment;
  2. Monitor all the problems that customers come across (client service, marketing);
  3. Make sure that production unit (designers, developers, QA etc.) do their best in most effective way, solving problems and ideas;
  4. Control the return of the launched changes (product anf financial analytics);
  5. Control the effectiveness of distribution and customer retention

So that is the value of ProdMan - to control all the aspects of the product and its progress.

Turning ideas into reality.

Going in to bat for customer needs when creating solutions, when opposing forces could pull decision making in the wrong direction.

I've recently read statistics with the most growing salaries. Actually, the product manager's salary is one of the highest nowadays. This demonstrates that the position is in priority.

The role of product manager in companies are estimated not less than the role of CEO.

So what is the real value of PM?

I'd connect the answer with 4 concepts that describe the key responsibilities of a product manager. He/she is responsible for:

  • A global strategy
  • Ideas generation and prioritization
  • Features analysis
  • Product releases control

All of these make product managers really valuable in companies. Besides, a product manager in IT companies is not just a team leader. He/she is also an intermediary between marketers, technical specialists, sales managers and support guys.

The real value of a product manager is keeping everyone's focus on satisfying the needs of their organization's customers in a way that supports the organization's objectives. Those two aims can be in conflict (doing what is best for their customer is not always best for the organization and vice versa).

This focus shows up when a product manager does all the things everyone else mentioned (prioritization, creating/applying the product vision, etc.)