What Does a Digital Product Manager Do?

A digital product manager is responsible for the creation and the success of a digital product such as an app or a website.  A product manager “defines the what, how and why” of a product and its development team. Let’s have a closer look at what the digital product manager does:

1. The product manager sets the vision and mission for the product.
Just like a ship, a product without a vision, mission or a goal goes nowhere. A product manager defines what the product is, what the product aims to become, how, and why.

2. He/she sets the product’s features and roadmap
Instead of spending time and money releasing a HUGE product with a hundred features when there’s a risk of it failing… a product should first be released out as a simple MVP (minimum viable product) and evolve over time. Using his/her experience, knowledge, vision, and research, a product manager defines what features to include in the MVP, and sets what other features to include in the product’s next releases. He/she also estimates and defines when the product’s next version release should be, and how the product will evolve.

3. Manages & supervises the team
Just like a ship’s captain, the product manager leads the team and makes sure they’re developing the product properly and according to the plan.

4. Deals with stakeholders
A product’s stakeholders include anyone who has something to do with the product. This includes investors, company owners, developers, clients, and users. A product manager communicates and deals with these stake holders… Ex. He/she gets their feedback, gets info from them, or provides them with updates and information regarding the product.

5. Measures, researches, and analyzes
A product manager researches the market, competitors, the target audience/users, sets KPIs (key performance indexes – used to measure performance), checks analytics, and analyses data. These activities help the product manager define the product, refine or improve it, improve its performance, and make sure it reaches success.

6. Ensures the success of the product
Ultimately, the product manager’s goal using all of the above things is to lead the product to success.

As mentioned earlier, a ship without a captain or with a bad captain will get lost at sea and potentially hit some rocks and sink. A product manager is like a ship’s captain in relation to a digital product. If the captain isn’t experienced and knowledgeable, his/her ship is at risk. If you’re not an experienced captain, hire one.

I’m a digital product manager with more than 10 years of experience. I’ve co-founded more than 6 startups. Have a look at my product portfolio on www.karimmuhtar.com/product-management and contact me to see how you can use my help to make sure your product succeeds.

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