Product management is an organizational lifecycle function within a company dealing with the planning, forecasting, and production, or marketing of a product or products at all stages of the product lifecycle. Similarly, product lifecycle management (PLM) integrates people, data, processes and business systems. It provides product information for companies and their extended supply chain enterprise.
Product management often serves an inter-disciplinary role, bridging gaps within the company between teams of different expertise, most notably between engineering-oriented teams and commercially oriented teams. For example, product managers often translate business objectives set for a product by Marketing or Sales into engineering requirements (sometimes called a Technical Specification). Conversely, they may work to explain the capabilities and limitations of the finished product back to Marketing and Sales (sometimes called a Commercial Specification). Product managers may also have one or more direct reports who manage operational tasks and/or a change manager who can oversee new initiatives. Manufacturing is separate from the research function, the product manager has the responsibility to bridge the gaps if any exist.
- Product Life Cycle considerations
- Product differentiation
- Product naming and branding
- Product positioning and outbound messaging
- Promoting the product externally with press, customers, and partners
- Conducting customer feedback and enabling (pre-production, beta software)
- Launching new products to market
- Monitoring the competition
- Identifying new product candidates
- Considering new candidates
- Gathering the voice of customers
- Defining product requirements
- Determining business-case and feasibility
- Scoping and defining new products at high level
- Evangelizing new products within the company
- Building product roadmaps, particularly technology roadmaps
- Developing all products on schedule, working to a critical path
- Ensuring products are within optimal price margins and up to specifications
- Ensuring products are manufacturable and optimizing cost of components and procedures.