What is product management? That’s a good question, because the name can be slightly misleading, though what it implies isn’t mistruth but rather not the whole truth. Product management is a big, important science and skills within this are highly sought after and for a good reason.
But, what is product management? It encompasses several factors of a product’s lifecycle, which we’ll cover in smaller points in a moment. But first, let’s point out that while they’re not exclusively part of product management, aspects of usability, user experience and other fields do affect this, and it affects them as well, so expect some minor crossover in data and related metrics more often than not.
So, what aspects does product management cover, directly? Here are several things that are inherent to it, but not the only things within it.
#1 – Development Cycle
Product management relates to UX, programming, design and usability as well as testing, when it comes to the initial design and development of a product or service.
During this time, the role of product management people is purely observational and directional, with more input coming from the project leaders at that time. Product management takes this time to do the beginnings of another aspect of the project, which will come next.
#2 – Marketing Planning
Marketing planning happens during development lifecycle, and even more during testing, but also happens semi frequently in products with a long or indefinite lifecycle.
Products have to have new advertisements to reach new demographics in new social climates often, and they have to reach out to their demographic in the first place, starting out. This is part of product management.
#3 – CRM and Maintenance
Product management, during the long run of a lifecycle, when not working with the marketing department to handle outreach, must also work with the CRM and financial departments to maintain viable cost over overhead for profitability of a product in its current maintained form.
If something doesn’t jive, product management must make suggestions to the production of the product, or the developers of the product, to change to meet the immutable requirements of the finances and CRM departments.
They must also work with the developers to update and maintain a digital product as feedback comes in on problems, requested changes or general public opinion as well.
#4 – Discontinuation and Rebooting
Product management also includes working with the developers and CRM people for discontinuing an old version or product design, and launching its successor when needed.
New versions of software, website overhauls for content providers and other such things are all product management, which is handled by a group of specialties which come together to cover the concept.
It’s also about discerning when to discontinue and reboot a product as well as managing the logistics and procedures therein.
What is product management? It’s the actions that several departments must take in handling the lifecycle of a product from development, marketing and launch, to maintenance, CRM and even discontinuation and restructuring.
There are not a lot of people who claim product management as their field of expertise not because it’s not an important and prevalent subject, but because it’s a term applying to a series of specialties working together during this lifecycle we discussed.