Product Manager Job Description
What product managers and product marketers do varies from company to company. There is no single product manager job description that can cover all the different ways these roles are set up.
The information on this page is here to help you develop a job description or job specification that is right for your situation.
Click on the icon below to download a set of templates.
Product Manager Job Description
Product management is the job of looking after a specific product within a business.
A product manager is responsible for the overall success of their product. Some people describe it as running your own business (your product) inside a larger organisation – like a ‘mini-CEO’.
There are two parts to the job – developing new products and features, and managing those that are already launched or ‘in-life’.
There’s a lot to do and different skills are needed. The full set of product management activities are often split across different roles – which makes the product manager job description tricky. Some product managers work with the development team and others focus on how the product is marketed and sold. Job titles vary and no two companies are set up in exactly the same way.
It’s a role at the very heart of a business that needs to balance the need to make money with what’s technically possible, the demands of customers and the impact on different parts of the organisation.
In summary, the full product manager role is responsible for
- product planning, delivery, launch and marketing throughout the product lifecycle
- developing a vision and roadmap for the product based on input from internal stakeholders, customers and the market
- developing a forecast for the product (Business Case) and managing its delivery
- working closely with Development/Engineering and other teams to deliver a product that aligns with this vision and meets market needs
- identifying the key benefits and value proposition of their product to help the sales and marketing teams
- fixing issues with existing products
Typical candidate attributes include
- Excellent written, verbal and presentation communication skills
- Proven ability to work under pressure and deliver
- Commercial and customer focus
- Excellent teamwork skills
- Ability to motivate and drive cross-functional teams without formal authority
Product Manager vs Product Owner
A common question we get asked is “What is the difference between a Product Manager and a Product Owner?”.
You can see our thoughts in this blog post, A Product Owner is not a Product Manager.
Product Management vs Product Marketing
Another question we often get asked is “What’s the difference between product management and product marketing?”. Our response is that it’s usually about a different focus.
One way of thinking about the differences is that Product Managers are responsible for ‘getting products onto the shelf’ and Product Marketing for ‘getting products off the shelf’. Another angle is that Product Marketing is about ‘making products famous’. However in many companies there is lots of overlap between the two roles. In addition Product Marketing often overlaps with Marketing and Marketing Communications.
We find our Product Activities Framework (below) can help define the roles clearly and we’ve included a job description in our templates above.
How to make sure everything is covered
Our Product Activities Framework identifies all the product activities that should take place in any company with products.
All these activities should be owned by product management or the other areas that work on the product. Use it to check your job description is complete.
Sign-up for a free copy here.