How to Explain the Role and Responsibilities of a Product Manager?

Sometimes it can be a real challenge for product managers to explain the meaning of their role and the main responsibilities in a couple of words.

It would not be a problem for an engineer, economist, surgeon or a driver to describe what they do. What about product managers?

I’ve found a short and clear PM job description on blog. There is a post where the role of a product manager is clearly defined. Here’re the extracts:

The truth is: as a PM you may definitely face the problem of interpreting your professional activities.

How to explain what PM is quick, confidently and to avoid dozens of extra questions?

The role of a PM is connected with many activities from strategic to tactical. They provide important leadership between engineering, sales, marketing, support, and sales teams.

Step 1. Start with your product and the company

Tell briefly about the meaning and utility of your product for customers and a little about the company you work for. Then introduce your job starting with its core aspects.

Step 2. Describe the main aspects of product managers’ job

Explain briefly (avoiding details) what your job is, describing the core aspects you work on every day.

Step 3. Dive into the vision and strategy

As any product manager, you are responsible for setting a product vision and building a strong strategy. One of the global goals is to clearly articulate the business value to the product team. All the members should understand the intent behind the product release. Tell a couple of words about product manager’s tools. Product managers own roadmaps and prioritize features, building what matters most to achieve the strategic objectives.

Step 4. Tell about ideation

Product managers are responsible for creative activities aimed to generate and develop new ideas. You define which ideas should be promoted into features. You also care about feedback and requests ensuring that they will be integrated into their product planning processes.

Step 5. Product features

Product managers know exactly how to prioritize features by ranking them against the strategic goals. They work with the most appropriate prioritization techniques and use special PM tools and services.

Step 6. Describe the importance of releases

Product delivering and the timeline for implementation is one more direct PM responsibility. You should coordinate all activities and events required to bring the product to the specific market. It’s also about managing dependencies in and across releases to complete the milestones and release phases.

Step 7. Details

If your listener is not tired yet – shortly describe the key PM responsibilities:

  • to research and analyze market segments
  • to collaborate with stakeholders
  • to create user stories for the product
  • to develop a roadmap for the product to illustrate the vision and plans
  • to build a business proposal
  • to manage the product lifecycle
  • to review potential partner relationships
  • to manage risks

Be proud of your important role, and be always ready to present yourself as a brilliant specialist!

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