The Importance of Product Management
Updated: Mar 11
More than likely you have heard of project management and know what that entails, but, what about PRODUCT management? According to Atlassian (Atlassian.com) Product Management is an organizational function that guides every step of a product’s lifecycle: from development, to positioning and pricing, by focusing on the product and its customers first. In short, the purpose of product management is to push development of new products that generate benefits and value for the customer.
Oftentimes people confuse Project Manager and Product Manager as they both involved leading a project. However, Product Managers will always be involved in developing a product to deliver to a customer while a Project Manager many oversee a multitude of services or products that range in size and scope. A Product Manger’s role is strategic, much like a CEO but for the product, while the Project Manager’s role is more tactical, focusing primarily on the execution side.
Project managers develop, plan, execute, monitor and close a set of activities to achieve a particular goal, such as the delivery of a service or product. Product managers set the long-term vision for a company’s products, and communicate this strategy to all relevant stakeholders (https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/project-manager-vs-product-manager/). They come up with specific strategies to lead a team in developing the new product and delivering the product within its lifecycle. They are responsible for the delivery of the product, determining defining features of the product, and making elimination decisions, among other things. Product Managers focus on customer needs and develop a solution that addresses these needs with the assistance of the Project Manager as part of a team within the organization.
UpSlope’s owner and president, Aaron Kelley, recently completed the Product Strategy program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The focus of the program is a 360-degree approach to product strategy. Some of the key learnings from the program include an ability to analyze new product opportunities and arrive at decision about moving forward efficiently. Assessing the pros and cons of various business models, learning to create win/win partnerships, and developing go-to-market strategies.
UpSlope is now, move than ever, equipped to lead companies in their product management needs.