I was sent an email by a great Product Manager at Telstra who wrote:
I was just reading the Product Management definition on http://brainmates.com.au/?page_id=303 and don’t completely agree.
She followed up her statement by giving us a great definition of Product Management:
I would say that Product Management is the brains of the organisation where long term value is created through the creation, development and management of products that support overall business strategy (whether that be revenue, market share, cost reduction etc).
A Product Manager needs to be commercially astute with an almost visionary understanding of the market (as they need to think years ahead), sensitive to customer psychology (understanding needs, sometimes even needs customers can’t articulate), entrepreneur-like in their thinking (to be able to see opportunity), with the ability to lead and inspire matrix teams and manage stakeholders (each with their own separate motivations), to create/implement/manage products.
So Product management is about:
1. understanding the unmet needs of the ‘customer’ (consumer or business),
2. identifying a gap in the market (opportunity) where those needs are being unmet
3. and designing an innovative solution (or product) that meets the customer need (better than a competitive or substitute solution)
4. which a customer will value enough to purchase.
We agree with Irene! There are so many words that can be used to define Product Management… But your definition encapsulates the role very well.