A product manager is arguably the most important cog in the lifecycle of the product, the pivot that keeps all the parts functioning smoothly. How well the product addresses the need of the consumer, whether it is delivered at the right time, how the product responds to market dynamics – all of these are a function of the vision and managerial qualities of the product manager.
Thus, a good product manager leads by example, inspiring all the teams involved in the productization process towards a common vision of the complete product. Failing this, the entire process becomes disjointed, with various departments running in different silos while the core product idea becomes an unrealized dream.
What then, are the main elements that distinguish an effective, inspiring product manager from an ineffective one?1.Core product idea: The critical characteristic of a product manager is how well he or she envisions the core product idea that will drive the product to market. A bad manager will typically not have a definite vision of the product whereas a good one will have a clearly documented concept of the product idea and its growth trajectory.
The product manager wears many hats but in the end he or she has to remember that the direction of the entire productization lifecycle depends on how well the different elements, processes and functions are managed. Being an expert in human psychology, while being responsible for the conceptualization and delivery of a product into the capricious markets is not easy – but that’s precisely where a good manager rises like a Phoenix – above the ashes of a bad one.