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Product Management

What Is Product Management? Everything You Need to Know

Unlocking Product Management Insights: The Essential Guide for Success in Every Stage of Product Lifecycle.

Dmytro LokshynDmytro Lokshyn
January 23, 2024
product management workshop*source

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For a released product to be as efficient as possible, it needs to be thoroughly managed from the beginning to the end. From the planning stage to the development, launch, and management, its lifecycle goes through various stages. A product manager is responsible for overseeing every development stage of that cycle, ensuring its success once it hits the market.

But what exactly does product management entail, and where does the product manager come in? What are their responsibilities in this process? Let’s find out!

What Is a Product Lifecycle?

The product life cycle marks the stages of life through which a product goes, from the beginning until its very end. It starts with the visualization of the product until the moment it dies down. No matter how good a product may be, it will eventually phase out as the market becomes saturated.

The product lifecycle is there to give you some insight into what worked for a product and what didn’t, along with the data that it gathered. It may help you determine the best advertising timelines, packaging designs, price points, and more.

The product management lifecycle is usually broken down into four stages, which include:

·      Development

The development stage is also referred to as the introduction stage, and it usually starts before the product even hits the market. It starts with the presentation of the product after you figure out exactly which product type you want to present to the market. The product manager does a lot of market research in this stage, finding diverse opportunities that have growth potential.

This stage may involve quite a bit of testing, along with trial and error. The product you start with may not be the same as the one you release. A lot of research and customization shall be done in this stage to ensure the development flaws are kept at a minimum.

·      Growth

With the product now hitting the market, you will watch as it is gaining users, and increasing in popularity. At this point, a lot of the focus will be on the growth marketing and promotional strategy. This is the stage that draws customer interest your way, as more people are learning about what you have to offer.

With the popularity increasing, you may notice that your sales are going up. This is something that your competition will take notice of as well. They’ll see what you are doing and upgrade their efforts as well so that they can take your product down a notch. The market continues expanding for the product, and more updates are often made in this stage, to keep the product appealing and relevant.

·      Maturity

The maturity stage is when you reach a peak point in both popularity and management efforts. In this stage, you’ll have more market competition to deal with, and it will take more effort to fend them off. Your product may still be popular enough, but there will likely be others out there that have gained the upper hand.

During this stage of the product’s lifecycle, you may notice that the sales are slowing down. They may not be necessarily on the decline, and people may still be buying them. However, they may not be selling out as fast as they did when you originally introduced them to the market. You may need to resort to marketing resorts such as discounts or bundles to get people to purchase your product.

·      Decline

The last stage of the product development lifecycle is always the decline. Even the best products will eventually go off the market, as trends are continuously changing. This decline may occur months or years after the release, depending on the product itself. Once the cycle closes for this product, another cycle may begin for a different one.

Product Management Process

Each product release will have its own product development stages. This includes ideation, prototyping, marketing, development, and launching. Once the idea has been implemented and released to the public, the product manager must use the appropriate tools and make the right changes for improvement. The better the strategy, the longer the product’s lifecycle will be.

1. Agile Product Management

The most popular product management process often used is Agile, which stands at the basis of every product development. The Agile definition is rather simple: an iterative product management method where teams work in incremental, brief “sprints.” Team members will frequently review the management process, determining if there is a need for updates.

The purpose of Agile is to keep the market on the product for as long as possible. After each iteration, the team will once more deliver the updated product to the customer, gaining more feedback. The changes they make will keep them one step above the competition, preventing the decline for as long as possible.

2. Product Management Tools to Consider

For the product management framework to be smooth, you may need to use a series of tools, including the following:

·      Jira: Used for scrum and agile product management, Jira is used to create a precise product roadmap.

·      Confluence: Confluence can easily integrate data management and documentation into the lifecycle of the product.

·      Miro: Miro is great for those requiring visuals of the project, ensuring seamless collaboration. You can brainstorm and plan your projects effectively, watching as they follow their path.

·      Notion: With Notion, you can track projects and communicate updates to the rest of your team.

·      Monday: Popular for its scalability features, Monday helps manage small and large projects alike, making it an efficient choice for growing companies.

Each project management process is different, which is why you should review various tools and see which one fits your needs the most.

What Is a Product Manager?

Product manager in the office.

The name “product manager” is suggestive of what their role is within the team: they are in charge of product development. They oversee a product idea come to life and they bring the necessary input to see it released. A product manager sees that there is a good strategy behind the product and that it meets functional requirements.

Many people confuse product owner vs product manager, thinking they are the same. Indeed, a product manager can also be the owner, should you only have a small startup with only you as the main employee. However, for bigger companies, these roles are often split. The product owner focuses on the goals of the product, guiding the development team. Product managers oversee the entire process, creating the necessary strategy to reach the goal.

An average of 75% of released products fail to bring income after hitting the market, mostly because they cannot meet the expectations of the customers. The product manager is responsible for preventing that from happening, and predicting what needs to be done so that the company can meet its objective.

1. What Does a Product Manager Do?

Product management includes various tactical and strategic duties to ensure the smooth development and release of a product. Many tasks are often delegated to members of the team, the manager overseeing the essential steps of the process.

Overall, the product manager responsibilities include the following:

·      Conducting the Research

A product manager needs to do thorough research on the market so that they may understand the user persona. They need to know the potential client’s needs and desires so that they can accurately represent them. A product manager should also keep an eye on their competition, gaining as much insight as possible so that they can stay ahead.

·      Creating a Strategy

After finishing research, a product manager must come up with a strategic plan for developing and launching the product. This includes the objectives and goals that they wish to achieve and a rough overview of the product. Depending on the data available, a product manager can also come up with an average timeline for launching a certain product.

·      Communicating the Plans

With the rough plan now in hand, it is time to present it to the stakeholders, which is also the responsibility of the product manager. This includes informing investors, executives, etc. Aside from sharing the information, the product manager also has to create a communication strategy to be implemented throughout the development process.

·      Coordinating Development

If the plan was given a green light upon presentation, the product manager must discuss the strategic plan with their team. What will the product marketing be like? What should the basic development stages include? This should make it easier for them to execute their plan and launch the product in due time.

·      Acting on Data Analysis

Product development never stops, even after the product has already been launched. It is one of the product manager’s responsibilities to ensure the item is up to expectations. They should analyze the data they received to determine what works and what doesn’t, or if any new features should be added. They should analyze the feedback so that they can once more start development.

2.    How to Become a Product Manager – Top Skills to Have

Becoming a product manager is a career that many people can opt for, regardless of their industry interests and educational background. For the most part, you need a bachelor's degree to get into product management, but experience at different companies can also help. Nowadays, most employers look for skills, not a degree.

The application process is the same as with every other job – the company looks at your set of skills to determine if you are a good fit. If you are interested in becoming a product manager, here are the skills that you should hone:

·      Problem-Solving Abilities

As a product manager, it is your job to ensure the product is efficient when it hits the market. However, as experience tells us, many items don’t become successful upon the first launch. It is your job to find the problem and a solution that will work best in specific circumstances.

·      Empathy

Perhaps one of the most important skills to hone as a product manager is empathy for the end user. You must be able to get in their head, to feel for their product – and for that, you should look within yourself. What do you need or enjoy most from a product, and what bothers you? What would you do to make the experience better? Being able to understand the pain points could set you up for a career in product management.

·      Leadership

As a product manager, you need to be at the head of your team and uphold the product vision. This is why you need to learn how to be a good leader. You can take leadership courses to hone this ability, but for the most part, a good leader already has the innate skills for it. You need to learn how to motivate your team, but it is also important to demonstrate confidence. To become a product manager, you need to recognize the value of collaborating with your team.

·      Become Organized

As a product manager, your main task is to look for solutions. This is why you need to hone your organizational skills if you are trying to step into such a role. Learn prioritization as early as possible and try to keep a good sense of everything that is around you.

What Is a Technical Product Manager?

Product managers can have different roles, depending on their focus areas. Both regular and technical management leaders should meet the business and functional requirements. However, while a product manager focuses on product ideation, vision, and strategy, a technical product manager will concentrate on the technical parts.

Technical product managers, as the name may suggest, take care of the technical implementation, design, and potential software maintenance of the specific product. They usually work on products that have a digital nature such as apps or platforms, where a piece of software is designed from start to finish. Their roles and skills are the same, and they collaborate closely with the technical product owner to release a qualitative product with as few bugs as possible.


Product management is a very important part of product development, as it prolongs the lifecycle of an item. By honing your skills as a product manager, you should be able to use the right resources to keep your competition at bay and gain success.

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