The 2 Fundamental Components of Product Management (WIP)

  • What is Product Management about?
  • What do Product Managers do?
  • What’s the difference between Product Management and Project Management?

They are the questions I get asked by my candidates, colleagues, and people in the industry. Due to the range and the variety of its responsibilities in different organizations, it’s not straightforward to explain what is product management about. However, if one can understand the fundamentals of product management, they can easily expand the knowledge and answer any question above. Product management is just simple… and difficult to master.

Product, the core of a business

“Product Management is the art and science of creating the products that give each company it’s existence. It’s the core of a business.”

Frerk-Malte Feller, Workplace by Facebook

There are 4 types of business

  • Delivering Value with Profit = Good Business
  • Delivering Value without Profit = Charity
  • Not Delivering Value with Profit = Are you phishing?
  • Not Delivering Value without Profit = Are you stupid?

The product we are going to talk about is the one that helps you build a Good Business, which must help your business deliver value and be profitable.

The components of Product Management

You might have seen this chart at least once when you started your research about product management

Or even these ones

Andrew Jones

None of them is wrong, however, they don’t boil down to the fundamental level of product management, which is the ability to turn your product, the core of your business, into a machine that does 2 important jobs:

  • Deliver value, monetize the value
  • Get revenue, reinvest to deliver more value
“Deliver value & get revenue” loop

And to build a sustainable product/business, the loop “deliver value & get revenue” must be grown continuously, this is what Product Management about.

Product Management is about building a continuous loop of delivering value and getting revenue to sustain your product and business.

Now you might ask “How come the other people say that product management is about user empathy, data analysis, marketing…?”. The short answer is, they are all the aspects of a business, let break “Deliver value and get revenue” into details.

Deliver value

For this part, product management is about to understand the problems and offer the best solution to the market, which leads to these activities:

  • Discover and understand the problems
  • User empathy: Interviews, Usability tests, Personas
  • Solutions: Design, Engineering, Project management
  • Analysis: Quantitative and Qualitative analysis
  • Support: Documentation, Onboarding, Help center

Get revenue

To be able to deliver more value sustainably, you need money to build up your product. And monetizing your product includes:

  • Sales and Pricing
  • Marketing
  • Product Marketing

Grow the Loop continuously

  • Vision, Strategy, Roadmap: prioritization
  • Competition
  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Operations
  • Partnership
  • Legal

Takeaways

  • Think Product as a core of a Business, it’s not only about building something
  • Product Management is about building a continuous loop of delivering value and getting revenue to sustain your product and business.
  • The fundamental is simple, but the activities are broad. To become a great product manager, you need to understand every aspect of a product.

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