What Does a Product Manager Do? Best Practices & Key Skills

What Does a Product Manager Do? Best Practices & Key Skills

Zuzanna Sobczyk
Zuzanna Sobczyk11 minJune 28, 2023

Navigating through the world of product management can be a complex endeavor. 

The role of a Product Manager is critical in any organization, bridging gaps between different teams and aligning everyone towards a common goal.

Yet, it often remains shrouded in ambiguity. 

What exactly does a Product Manager do developing a product or service?

What skills do they need? 

How does one get a product management job and become a PM?

In this article, we aim to demystify these questions, providing a comprehensive understanding of the role and responsibilities of a Product Manager.

Whether you’re considering a career in this field, or just curious about what the job entails, read on for a clear and detailed exploration of the world of product management.

Who is a product manager? 

The Product Manager is a key strategic role within an organization, primarily responsible for guiding the success of a product or product line.

They’re often considered the “voice” of the customer within the company, responsible for defining the why, when, and what of the product that the engineering team builds.

Responsibilities of a great product manager 

Being a Product Manager is akin to being a conductor.

You’re in charge, but instead of musicians, your orchestra consists of diverse team members you work closely with. 

They range from designers and developers to cross-functional teams like marketers and sales people. 

Your job? Drive the product’s vision and lifecycle, coordinate team efforts, handle roadblocks, and ensure everything’s on track for a successful launch.

Among the responsibilities, you can find:

New Product Strategy: The Guiding Vision of a Product Life Cycle

A strategy in product is the foundation of agile product management. It’s about developing compelling product ideas that guide all decisions related to it. 

For example, a product manager at a company developing a new fitness app might set a strategy focused on delivering an exceptional user experience that motivates individuals to maintain a regular fitness regimen. 

The strategy will integrate both the company’s business goals and the needs of the target market.

Customer Insight: The Heartbeat of Product Decisions

Product managers need to have their finger on the pulse of the customer’s needs and desires. 

It’s their job to gather and understand customer feedback and use it as a driving force for product development. 

For instance, imagine that customers of an e-commerce platform express frustration with the checkout process. 

A product manager should recognize this need and prioritize improvements to this experience in the product roadmap.

Market Analysis: Staying Ahead of the Curve in Product Planning

Market analysis involves continuously researching and understanding the market landscape, including competitor activities, industry trends, and potential opportunities. 

Let’s say a product manager in a SaaS company noticed an emerging trend in AI-driven customer service

They might then spearhead the development of AI chatbot features to keep their product competitive and innovative.

Product Roadmap: The Blueprint for Success

The product roadmap is a strategic document that communicates the strategic vision and the steps needed to achieve it for every product. 

It highlights key milestones, features, and priorities over time. 

As an example, in developing a new social media app, a product manager may outline stages in the roadmap for:

  • initial prototype development, 
  • beta testing, 
  • user feedback collection, 
  • feature enhancements, and 
  • full-scale launch.

Coordination and Communication: The Glue That Holds Everything Together

Coordination and communication are vital in product management

A product manager works with various teams and stakeholders, ensuring everyone understands the strategy and their role in achieving it. 

Suppose a product manager is working on a new software update. 

They’d need to explain:

  • what changes are needed to the software engineers, 
  • how to market the update to the marketing team, and 
  • how to support users during the transition to the customer service team.

Performance Monitoring: The Feedback Loop for Continuous Improvement

Once the product is out in the market, the product manager’s job isn’t over. 

They need to monitor the product’s performance, gather user feedback, and use these insights to make product improvements. 

For example, if a new feature in a mobile app is not being adopted as much as expected, a product manager might dig into user feedback and usage data to understand why and determine the necessary changes. 

This continual loop of feedback and improvement is what keeps a product alive and relevant.

How to become a product manager? Best Practices of PMS

Educational Foundation: Build Your Knowledge Base

Product managers often have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business, marketing, computer science, or engineering. 

Some even go a step further by pursuing an MBA. 

While formal education isn’t always a must, having a solid understanding of business principles, marketing strategies, and technological aspects can serve as a strong foundation.

Consider taking courses or earning certifications in areas like data analysis, project management, or user experience (UX) design.


Acquiring Relevant Experience: Learn the Ropes

Gaining experience in a role related to product management can be incredibly beneficial. 

This could be a role in project management, marketing, sales, business analysis, or software development. 

Through these roles, you can acquire a better understanding of different aspects of a product’s life cycle and how various departments operate and collaborate.

Mastering the Necessary Skills: Sharpen Your Tools

Successful product managers often possess a unique mix of soft and hard skills, especially in technology. 

On the technical side, they might need to understand software development, data analysis, and market research. 

On the softer side, skills like leadership, communication, decision-making, and problem-solving are crucial. 

These skills often develop over time and with experience. 

You might consider attending pms workshops, reading relevant books, or even finding a mentor to help you sharpen these skills.


Pursuing Product Management Certification: Validate Your Competence

Though not always required, a certification in product management can showcase your knowledge and dedication to potential employers. 

Several organizations offer these certifications, including the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM) and the Product School, among others. 


The certification process often involves coursework, exams, and sometimes, practical projects.

Networking: Connect with Like-minded Professionals

Networking can play an essential role in becoming a product manager. 

Attending industry events, participating in online forums, and connecting with current product managers can open up opportunities and provide invaluable insights. 

You could learn about the challenges they face, the strategies they use, and the trends they’re noticing in the industry.

Applying for Product Management Roles: Take the Leap

Once you’ve gained the necessary education, experience, skills, and possibly certification, you’re ready to apply for product management roles, e.g. on LinkedIn.

Remember to tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your most relevant experiences and skills. 

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t land your dream job immediately; the field of product management is broad, and there are many paths to get there.


Continued Learning and Adaptation: Stay Ahead of the Curve

Even after becoming a product manager, the learning doesn’t stop. 

The best product managers are those who continuously learn, adapt, and grow.

They stay updated with the latest industry trends, technological advancements, and customer preferences. 

Simply, they’re not afraid to challenge their assumptions, learn from their mistakes, and pivot when necessary.

Unleashing Product Manager Skills with LiveSession.io 🚀

Product managers often find themselves navigating through a myriad of tasks. How to keep a clear vision amid all these challenges?

This is where LiveSession.io steps in!


Here’s how it supercharges product managers in their everyday work:

🔍 Deep-Dive into User Behavior

LiveSession.io offers an immersive insight into user behavior analytics. With its session replays, product managers can put on their detective hats and investigate how users interact with their products, bringing crucial user experience (UX) improvements to light. This way, it’s much easier to bring product vision to life.

🐞 Effortless Bug Detection

For a product team, scouring through a product to find bugs can be as thrilling as watching paint dry. Not anymore! With LiveSession.io, spotting bugs transforms into an easy, hassle-free task, ensuring your users glide through their experience smoothly.


📈 Boosting Conversion Rates

Who doesn’t love seeing their product’s conversion rates soaring high? LiveSession.io’s event-based product analytics provide powerful insights. These insights serve as your secret weapon to increase conversion rates, turning intrigued visitors into loyal customers.

In a nutshell, LiveSession.io acts as the ultimate Swiss Army knife for product managers, offering an array of tools vital for day-to-day work, steering the product towards resounding success.


So let our solution help you in your role as a Product Manager - try LiveSession out today.

Be Ready For a Product Manager Role

Let’s face it, the work of product managers is no easy feat!

LiveSession.io steps in to help with its excellent suite of tools and features that make bug spotting a breeze while providing valuable insights for boosting conversion rates.

With this powerful platform at their fingertips, product managers can effectively manage their products and navigate ever-changing market trends.

We hope you enjoyed this article. For more insightful reads, check out our blog.

Other than that, good luck with product management!

FAQ - product manager salary, traits, tasks & more

Who is a product manager and what is their average salary?

A product manager is responsible for the development and success of a product or feature within a company. They collaborate with cross-functional teams, gather user feedback, and make strategic decisions meet customer needs. The average salary for a product manager varies based on experience, location, and industry.

What are the traits of a great product manager?

Product manager skills need to be rich and varied. As for hard skills, they include proficiency in data analysis, market research, product design and management. Looking at soft skills, they should excel in communication, leadership, problem-solving, and stakeholder management. Overall, they should know how to improve the product, manage the development process, prioritize product backlog activities, and align them with general business objectives.

How to best prepare myself to apply for a product manager role (pm role)?

To prepare for a product manager role, try to learn and grow the types of product managers skills that are needed. Gain experience in areas like product strategy, market research, data analysis, and project management. Additionally, develop your leadership and communication abilities, and stay updated on industry trends and emerging technologies. These will make a good pm out of you.

What are the tasks that a product manager must do?

A product manager will need to: conduct market research, define product strategy with the development team, gather and analyze user feedback. Product managers also collaborate with design and engineering teams, prioritize features, manage the product lifecycle, oversee product launches, and monitor the performance of existing products. They act as the “CEO of the product,” responsible for its overall success and growth. With so many responsibilities, many product managers use work management tools for supporting task completion and work scheduling. This type of activity makes a great product manager.

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