- Yashaswi Prateek, Senior Product Manager, Coviam Technologies
- Previously worked as a PM at Times Internet Limited and as a Scientist at ISRO
Product management is one of the most misunderstood and ambiguous roles in the world. Tech leaders think that a product manager is only a spec writer and with major technological advances happening around us, the role of a PM (Product Manager) is becoming even more ambiguous.
“You think this is ambiguous? Try moving up the ladder and experience the clarity. Ambiguity only increases as you grow up the ladder, so get used to it.”
-Someone – Don’t remember exactly who
Yet, it is the most sought out job today in the market.
Depending upon the company’s methodologies and the processes, the definition of the role of a PM changes. The role changes windly from company to company, from team to team and from a particular day to another. There is no single definition of the role, which at times makes it difficult for people to explain it to others and therefore, we often see the same job description rolling out in the market. Don’t agree? – Try explaining the role of a PM to your parents or someone who does not belong to this field.
Product management is a field that has existed since 1931 but only became popular after the digital revolution. Today, everyone is convinced that the way forward is Digital, Automation, AI and Machine Learning. Most people, who are looking to switch their jobs are looking out for such an opportunity to learn about one or more product in each of these fields.
Here is the most common graphical representation of Product Management:
Over the last couple of years, I have been in the Product Management role and have handled Desktop, Mobile web and Apps in the News/ Media and E-commerce industries. Today, I want to share what I have realized about this role over the years and try to address it.
When I joined as an Associate PM, few of the most striking realizations were the types and the number of hats that a PM has to wear.
Broadly, these ‘hats’ are not disparate roles. These are the different facets of a PM — sometimes you wear them individually and sometimes all at once, depending on the problem you want to solve and the people you face. Your goal defines the hat you wear. At the end of the day, a PM can be accurately summed up by one single thing – ‘Your Product’.
A faithful representation of your success as a PM is based on the products that your team builds and the manner (exciting, timely, user-friendly and bug-free) in which the products are shipped. It is something from which you cannot hide. It is your legacy. It is quite literally the sum product of all of your efforts, your team’s efforts and every single decision that you make along the way.
I will be writing about a handful of these ‘hats’ that I have experienced and things that you’ll discover, instinctively or accidentally.
Here is the link to my next blog of the series – UX Hat – The Customer Advocate
Also published on Medium.