Product Management

Your constantly-updated definition of Product Management and collection of videos and articles
78 shares

What is Product Management?

Product management is the practice of applying an understanding of user needs, business objectives and technology to create products that provide seamless user experiences and meet business goals. Product managers combine their skills with those of designers. Their primary role is to identify and articulate the user needs and business objectives that a product must address. 

What does Product Management Mean in Design?

Product management and user experience (UX) design are two distinct yet intertwined disciplines that play crucial roles in the creation of successful products. As the digital landscape evolves, those who work in these fields often find themselves straddling the thin line that separates their roles. This has led to the emergence of a new breed of professionals known as UX product managers. 

The role of a UX product manager is to understand the customer's needs and translate them into product features that meet those needs. An important part of this is that these managers must work with UX designers to develop user-centric designs that solve customers’ problems and reflect a solid understanding of their user flows. These UX product design managers must also collaborate with product owners or stakeholders and engineers to ensure the product meets all necessary requirements. Moreover, they are at the helm to set product strategy, create business plans, launch products and manage market research initiatives

Ultimately, these managers are responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of a product that meets customers’ expectations and drives business growth. Particularly when product managers work with cross-functional teams, they must strive to construct a unified, smooth and solid “runway” to help digital products launch successfully into their target audience as optimal product experiences.  

The role is both technical and creative in nature, and it requires a combination of skills. These include user experience design, project management, strategic thinking, analytics, communication skills, problem-solving abilities and leadership capabilities.  

A successful UX product manager must have a deep understanding of their users’ needs. Also, a manager must be able to effectively communicate these needs across multiple stakeholders. They must be able to identify trends in the market and create strategies to meet customer demands. They must understand the customers’ needs and translate them into product features that meet those needs. Empathy for the target audience must therefore be a core concern of both the design team and the product manager in any given project. 

This video explains empathy, and why it’s vital in design and product management: 

Show Hide video transcript
  1. Transcript loading…
 

By definition, a UX product manager is a unique professional who combines the skills of a product manager and a UX designer. They define what success looks like for a product and rally a team towards the realization of that vision.  

However, unlike traditional product managers in the design of physical products, UX product managers also have a deep understanding of UX design principles and methodologies. This equips them with the ability to guide the product design process to ensure user needs are at the forefront of every decision at every stage of the product’s development. The role and responsibilities involve unique perspectives on product ideas, product concepts, marketing strategies, the target market and other factors.  

A Venn diagram showing functions of product managers and UX designers.

There is much overlap between a product manager and a UX designer.

© Suruchika Choudhary, Fair Use

Where does Product Management Intersect with UX Design?

Since the roles of product managers and UX designers often overlap in several key areas, considerable confusion can arise. Namely, there's confusion about who should be responsible for what. However, from a broader perspective, it becomes clear that these roles complement each other rather than compete. 

Managers and designers share a common goal: to create products that meet users' needs while these products achieve business objectives. Product managers and designers both focus on the user and conduct research to understand their needs. Also, they use those insights to guide the product development process. 

Product managers typically focus on strategic aspects, such as to set the product vision, prioritize features and align stakeholders. Meanwhile, UX designers delve into the details of the user interface, and create wireframes, prototypes and the final pieces of visual design. They also conduct usability tests to ensure the product is easy to use and meets users' needs. 

In essence, product managers define the “what” and “why” of the product, while UX designers determine the “how.” Together, they ensure that the product solves a problem for the users and does so in an engaging and delightful way. They are two major parts of why a finished product has a competitive advantage, and are vital to any business case. 

The Journey from UX Designer to UX Product Manager

There is a common question that arises in the field of UX design. It’s whether a UX designer can transition into a product management role. The answer is resoundingly in the affirmative. In fact, many successful product managers started their careers as UX designers before shifting across the design team. 

To make the transition from designer to manager, one must expand one's skill set to include strategic thinking, business acumen and leadership abilities. UX designers already possess a deep understanding of user needs, a skill that is critical in product management. UX designers can build on this foundation and learn about business strategy, market analysis and project management. When they do so, they can effectively transition into the role of UX product manager. 

Product managers can succeed in product management if they:  

  1. Assume an active role in idea generation and advocate for the user and user control. They should communicate ideas clearly and concisely. 

  1. Research the market. Product managers should research the market thoroughly to understand user needs, competitive products or services, and trends in the industry. This activity will help them develop an effective product strategy. It will be one that meets user needs in terms of products to market and keeps up with the competition. 

  1. Build strong relationships with stakeholders, such as developers, designers and executives, to ensure a smooth product development process. Managers should also foster relationships with customers and users to ensure that they create a product that meets their needs. 

    A diagram of three intersecting circles showing where product management is.

    Product management dwells in a special place in the UX world.

    © Joca Torres, Fair Use

What does Effective Product Management Involve?

Effective product management within the realm of UX design has five stages: Discovery, Design, Test, Build and Measure. Each of these stages plays a pivotal role to ensure that the product not only meets the users' needs but also aligns with the business objectives. 

  1. Discovery: This initial stage is all about understanding the market, the users and the problem that needs a solution. It involves extensive user research and analysis to gather insights that will inform the design process. 

  2. Design: As it leverages the insights from the discovery phase, this stage focuses on the creation of solutions. To visualize the potential product, it takes ideation, sketching and prototyping. 

  3. Test: Before the prototype can move into development, it undergoes rigorous testing with real users. This phase is crucial to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments to improve the product. 

  4. Build: With a refined design, the product development team then builds the solution. This phase calls for developers, UX/UI designers and product managers to work closely to bring the vision to life. 

  5. Measure: Post-launch, the manager continuously monitors the product against key metrics and user feedback. This data informs future iterations, and ensures the product evolves to meet changing user needs. 

Image of an iPhone

The iPhone is one famous example of exceptional product management. Apple thoroughly understood their market before launching an innovative, intuitive and now iconic product that has proven perennially popular.

© Apple, Fair Use

In the age of Agile design, visual roadmaps have become indispensable tools for product managers. These roadmaps serve not just as a plan but as a strategic communication tool that aligns the team and stakeholders around the vision and progress of the product. Key elements of an effective visual roadmap include: 

  • Themes: They articulate the overarching goals and narratives of the product, and ensure every team member understands the “why” behind their work. 

  • Color-coding: This visual cue links work items to specific outcomes, goals or priorities, and makes it easier for the team to stay focused on what matters most. 

  • Strategic focus: As it highlights items of strategic importance, the roadmap ensures that the design team concentrate their efforts on initiatives that drive the most value. 

The synergy between these stages and the strategic use of visual roadmaps exemplifies effective product management in UX. Product managers aim to take a methodical approach that emphasizes discovery, user-centric design, testing and continuous measurement. That way, they can steer their products towards success. Also, the use of themes, color-coding and a focus on strategic priorities within roadmaps ensures that the entire team is in alignment and moves towards achievement of the desired outcomes and goals. 

Diagram of a product manager's work process.

This is one example of a product manager’s work process.

© User Experience, Fair Use

What are Key Strategies for Exceptional Product Management in UX?

Several key strategies are pivotal. They not only streamline the product development process but also ensure that the end product resonates deeply with users. Below is a detailed exploration of these strategies, structured to provide clear insights into their application and benefits:

1. Have Regular Interaction with Customers and Feedback Analysis

  • Engage in continuous dialogue with existing customers to keep up with market trends. 

  • Analyze feedback meticulously to identify areas for improvement and innovation. 

This approach ensures that the product evolves in step with user needs and preferences, and fosters loyalty and satisfaction.

2. Prioritize Features Aligned with the Product Vision

  • Implement a structured framework for feature prioritization that aligns with the overarching product vision. 

  • Avoid waste of effort by focusing development on features that contribute most significantly to the product's strategic goals. 

This strategy prevents resource wastage and keeps the development team focused on delivering value. 

3. Conduct In-depth User Research and Maintain Empathy

  • Conduct comprehensive user research through interviews, surveys and observation to gain a deep understanding of user behaviors, preferences and pain points. 

  • Empathize with users. It’s vital to put oneself in their shoes, and aim to create experiences that suit their needs. 

This foundation of empathy and insight guides the design process. It ensures that products are user-centric and highly engaging. 

UX Strategist and Consultant, William Hudson explains the importance of user research in this video: 

Show Hide video transcript
  1. Transcript loading…
 

4. Ensure Cross-Functional Collaboration and Innovation

  • Foster a culture of collaboration; involve cross-functional teams in brainstorming sessions. 

  • Encourage the exploration of diverse design solutions, and leverage the collective creativity and expertise of the team. 

This collaborative environment not only generates innovative ideas but also ensures that various perspectives manifest in the design process. 

UX Designer and Author of Build Better Products and UX for Lean Startups, Laura Klein explains the value of cross-functional teams: 

Show Hide video transcript
  1. Transcript loading…
 

5. Do Rapid Prototyping and Gather User Feedback

  • Employ rapid prototyping to quickly validate design concepts and gather user feedback. 

This iterative process allows for swift adjustments based on user input. It ensures that the UX aligns with user expectations before final development. 

Author and Human-Computer Interaction Expert, Professor Alan Dix explains prototyping and the need for it: 

Show Hide video transcript
  1. Transcript loading…
 

6. Strategically Design Elements to Enhance Usability

  • Structure content and design intuitive navigation systems to streamline the user journey. 

  • Apply typography, color schemes and imagery to create visually appealing and intuitive interfaces. 

These design choices not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the product but also improve usability, and reduce friction and elevate user satisfaction. 

Principal and Owner of Lebsontech LLC, Cory Lebson explains usability in this video: 

Show Hide video transcript
  1. Transcript loading…
 

7. Prioritize Accessibility and Inclusivity

  • Prioritize the creation of accessible experiences. Consider the diverse needs of users, including those with disabilities. 

  • Adhere to accessibility guidelines and standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), to ensure that the product is usable and enjoyable for everyone. 

This commitment to accessibility underscores the brand's dedication to inclusivity. It ensures that all users can benefit from the product. 

See why accessibility is such a vital consideration in any design: 

Show Hide video transcript
  1. Transcript loading…
 

8. Apply Data-Driven UX Optimization

  • Utilize analytics tools to track relevant metrics and assess the impact of UX design on the product's success. 

  • Regularly analyze data to identify trends and iterate based on measurable outcomes and user feedback. 

This data-driven approach enables continuous optimization of the UX. It ensures that the product remains competitive and meets evolving user needs. 

William Hudson explains when and why to use analytics in this video: 

Show Hide video transcript
  1. Transcript loading…
 

9.  Advocate for Customer Needs

  • Always prioritize the needs of the customer; ensure that the product aligns with market trends and user expectations. 

10. Practice Good Self-Management and Social Awareness

  • It’s vital to develop strong self-management skills to handle tight deadlines and market demands while maintaining social awareness to understand and address customer emotions and concerns. 

Key Metrics to Measure UX Impact

To assess the effectiveness of UX product management, it's essential to track key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics provide insights into how well UX and product management efforts resonate with a brand’s users. They also show where to make improvements—for example, in the visual hierarchy of a user interface (UI).  

CEO of Experience Dynamics, Frank Spillers explains a central part of product management: 

Show Hide video transcript
  1. Transcript loading…
 

Some key UX product manager metrics to consider include: 

1. User Satisfaction 

Use surveys or interviews to gauge users' overall satisfaction with the product. 

2. Task Completion Rate

Measure the percentage of users who successfully complete a specific task or goal within the product. 

3. Time on Task

Track the average amount of time it takes users to complete a particular task or action. 

4. Conversion Rate

Monitor the percentage of users who take a desired action, such as to sign up for a newsletter or make a purchase. 

5. Retention Rate

Assess the percentage of users who continue to use the product over time. 

A diagram showing where a product manager's skills are.

The skills of a product manager delve into a variety of essential dimensions.

© Benjamin Miller, Fair Use

Overall, the fusion of UX design and product management in a UX product manager’s role is powerful. In a digital world where strategic planning is vital, product management is becoming increasingly important. It offers a unique opportunity to create products that are not only functional but also deliver exceptional user experiences.  

Good UX product managers understand user needs, business objectives and emerging trends in UX design. Therefore, they can drive product development strategies that lead to successful product launches and stable final products. 

Learn More about Product Management

Take our UX Management: Strategy and Tactics course. 

Read our piece on Product Design and UX Design Roles: Unveiling the Differences for valuable insights. 

Read Product Management’s Role in a Modern Cross-Functional Team by ProductPlan for additonal in-depth information. 

Consult The Ultimate Guide to UX Design for Product Managers by Maven for valuable tips and examples. 

Go to UX for Product Managers by Daniel Elizalde for further information. 

Read The overlap between UX & product management roles by Suruchika Choudhary for additional insights.  

Questions related to Product Management

How can someone transition into a product management role?

To transition into a product management role, one must gain relevant skills and experience and understand the responsibilities of what it takes to manage a product from conception to launch. Here's how you can make this transition: 

  • Educate yourself: Start by learning about product management principles and practices. Online courses, workshops, and reading material on product management provide a solid foundation. 

  • Acquire related skills: Product managers need a broad skill set, including market analysis, UX design and project management. Develop these skills through courses, projects, or roles that touch on these areas. 

  • Gain experience: Look for opportunities to work on product-related projects within your current job, even if it's not in a product management role. Volunteer for tasks that involve market research, user testing or product strategy. 

  • Network with product managers: Join product management groups or forums online and attend industry meetups to connect with current product managers. Networking provides insights into the role and could lead to mentorship or job opportunities. 

  • Showcase your skills: Build a portfolio that includes case studies of your work, especially any projects where you had a direct impact on the product strategy or development. This portfolio can be crucial to demonstrate your capability for a product management role. 

  • Apply strategically: Look for product management roles that match your experience and skills. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight relevant experience and skills that align with the responsibilities of a product manager. 

If you follow these steps and demonstrate a passion for product development and strategy, you can successfully transition into a product management role. 

Take our Master Class How to Manage Personal UX Maturity with Darren Hood, UX Designer, Author, Speaker and Podcaster. 

What educational background benefits a product manager?

A product manager benefits from an educational background that combines business, technology and design. While there isn't a one-size-fits-all degree for product managers, certain fields of study stand out for their relevance to the role. 

  • Business and management: Courses in business administration, marketing, finance and strategic management equip product managers with the skills to understand market needs, develop business strategies and manage product lifecycles. 

  • Computer science or engineering: A technical background helps product managers communicate effectively with development teams, understand the technical challenges of product development, and make informed decisions on technical trade-offs. 

  • Design: Knowledge in design principles, UX design, or graphic design enables product managers to focus on creating user-centered products that offer great experiences. 

  • Psychology or sociology: An understanding of human behavior and social dynamics can be invaluable in the design of products that meet users' needs and in order to conduct effective user research. 

  • Cross-disciplinary programs or experience that blend these areas offer a strong foundation for a career in product management. Additionally, practical experience through internships, projects or startup ventures can be just as crucial as formal education. Continuous learning and staying updated with industry trends, methodologies and tools also play a critical role in a product manager’s success. 

William Hudson explains the nature of product design in this video: 

Show Hide video transcript
  1. Transcript loading…
 

How much can product managers expect to earn?

Product managers can expect to earn a wide range of salaries, influenced by factors such as experience, location, and the specific industry they work in. Generally, entry-level product managers start with salaries around $60,000 to $100,000 annually, while more experienced product managers can earn between $100,000 and $150,000. Those in senior positions or at large tech companies can see salaries well above $150,000, not including bonuses and equity in some cases.  

It's important to note that the tech industry often offers the highest salaries for product managers, especially in tech hubs like Silicon Valley, where the demand for skilled product managers drives up salary ranges. Moreover, product managers in sectors like healthcare, finance, and e-commerce also tend to command competitive salaries, reflecting the importance of their role in guiding product development and strategy.  

For designers looking to transition into product management or enhance their earning potential within this field, it can be beneficial to focus on skills such as market analysis, product strategy, user experience design and data analytics. To gain expertise in these areas not only increases your value as a product manager but also opens up opportunities for higher salaries and more significant roles within organizations. 

Take our UX Management: Strategy and Tactics course. 

How do product managers develop a product strategy?

Product managers develop a product strategy by following a structured process that involves understanding the market, defining user needs, and setting clear goals. Here’s how they do it: 

  • Market research: Product managers start by gathering and analyzing information about the market, competitors and trends. This research helps them understand where opportunities or challenges lie. 

  • Identify user needs: Through interviews, surveys and usability testing, product managers collect feedback from current and potential users. This step is crucial to understand what users truly need and value. 

  • Define vision and goals: Based on market research and user needs, product managers articulate a clear vision for the product. They set specific, measurable goals that align with this vision. 

  • Prioritize features: With goals in mind, product managers prioritize features and functionalities that will deliver the most value to users and meet business objectives. This includes that they must make tough decisions on what to include or exclude in the product roadmap. 

  • Develop a roadmap: The product roadmap is a strategic document that outlines the timeline and milestones in which to develop and launch product features. It serves as a guide for the development team and communicates the strategy to stakeholders. 

  • Iterate and refine: Product managers continuously gather feedback from users and stakeholders, and use it to refine the product strategy and make adjustments as necessary. 

This process ensures that the product strategy is user-focused, goal-oriented and adaptable to changes in the market or user preferences. 

Take our Master Class Evaluating Your UX Maturity: Limits and Opportunities with Frank Spillers, CEO at Experience Dynamics. 

What constitutes a good product vision?

A good product vision captures the essence of what the product aims to achieve in the long term, inspiring and guiding the team towards a shared goal. It serves as the north star for decision-making throughout the product development process. Here are the key elements that constitute a strong product vision: 

  • Clear and concise: The vision should be straightforward and easy to understand, and avoid complex jargon. It allows everyone involved, from stakeholders to team members, to quickly grasp the product's purpose. 

  • Inspiring: It should motivate the team and stakeholders by presenting a compelling picture of the future that the product seeks to create. An inspiring vision drives engagement and commitment. 

  • Purpose-driven: The vision must articulate the problem the product will solve or the need it will fulfill, and highlight the impact on users or the world. 

  • Strategic: It should align with the company's broader goals and strategies, and ensure that the product contributes to the overall success of the organization. 

  • Future-focused: A good product vision looks beyond the current market and technology trends, and envisions where the product can go in the future. 

  • Achievable: While ambitious, the vision must be realistic and attainable, and have a basis in an understanding of what is possible given the resources and constraints. 

A product vision that embodies these characteristics provides a strong foundation for developing a product that is not only successful but also meaningful to its users and the company. 

Take our Master Class Strategy Custody: How to Secure Your Strategy's Success with Adam Thomas, Product Management Expert and Technologist. 

How do product managers work with development teams?

Product managers play a crucial role in bridging the gap between the development team and the broader goals of a product. They work closely with developers to ensure that the team's efforts align with the product vision and user needs. Here's how they collaborate effectively: 

  • Define clear goals: Product managers communicate the product vision and objectives to the development team, and ensure everyone understands the target outcomes. 

  • Prioritize features: They work to identify and prioritize features and functionalities based on user needs, business goals and technical feasibility. This process means that managers negotiate what to build next to maximize value. 

  • Create roadmaps: Product managers develop and share roadmaps that outline the planned features and updates. These roadmaps help the development team understand the timeline and what's expected of them. 

  • Facilitate communication: They serve as the main point of contact between the development team and other stakeholders, and ensure clear and open communication channels. Product managers relay feedback from users and stakeholders back to the developers. 

  • Solve problems: When issues arise, product managers collaborate with the development team to find solutions, and ensure that the project stays on track. 

  • Celebrate successes: To reccognize achievements and milestones helps to motivate the development team and fosters a positive working environment. 

When product managers perform these roles, they ensure that the development team remains focused on delivering high-quality products that meet user needs and business objectives. 

Take our Master Class Design For Agile: Common Mistakes And How To Avoid Them with Laura Klein, Principal - Users Know and Senior Design Educator - IxDF. 

Which metrics do product managers monitor regularly?

Product managers regularly monitor a set of key metrics to track the performance of their products, make informed decisions and steer the product strategy effectively. These metrics include: 

  • User engagement: This measures how actively users interact with the product. Metrics such as daily active users (DAU), monthly active users (MAU), and session length provide insights into the product's value to its users. 

  • Customer satisfaction: Tools like Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and customer feedback surveys help gauge users' satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement. 

  • Conversion rate: This metric tracks the percentage of users who take a desired action, such as signing up, making a purchase or upgrading their service. It's crucial for understanding the product's effectiveness in driving business goals. 

  • Retention rate: The rate at which users continue to use the product over time indicates its long-term value and stickiness. 

  • Churn rate: Conversely, churn rate measures the percentage of users who stop using the product. It's essential in order to identify potential issues with user experience or product-market fit. 

  • Revenue and growth metrics: Product managers monitor revenue, growth rate and other financial metrics to ensure the product contributes positively to the company's bottom line. 

If product managers keep a close eye on these metrics, they can identify trends, anticipate challenges and capitalize on opportunities to enhance the product and achieve strategic goals. 

Take our Master Class Design KPIs: From Insights to Impact with Vitaly Friedman, Senior UX consultant, European Parliament, and creative lead, Smashing Magazine.

How do product managers lead cross-functional teams?

Product managers lead cross-functional teams by acting as the central hub of communication and decision-making, and ensure that all team members work towards a common goal. Here’s how they do it effectively: 

  • Set clear goals: They articulate a clear vision and set achievable goals for the product, aligning the team around a unified direction. 

  • Communicate effectively: Product managers maintain open lines of communication with all team members, including design, engineering, marketing and sales. They ensure everyone has the necessary information to make informed decisions. 

  • Foster collaboration: They encourage teamwork and collaboration by organizing regular meetings and brainstorming sessions. This helps to leverage the diverse skills and perspectives within the team. 

  • Prioritize tasks: Product managers prioritize tasks based on their impact on the product’s success, and ensure the team focuses on work that drives the most value. 

  • Make data-driven decisions: They use data and user feedback to guide product development, making decisions that are best for the product and its users. 

  • Resolve conflicts: Product managers mediate disputes within the team, ensuring that differences in opinion do not derail the project. 

  • Celebrate successes: They recognize and celebrate the team’s achievements, and boost morale and motivate the team to continue delivering their best work. 

As product managers employ these strategies, they effectively lead cross-functional teams, steering product development towards success while maintaining a positive and productive team environment. 

Take our Master Class Design For Agile: Common Mistakes And How To Avoid Them with Laura Klein, Principal - Users Know and Senior Design Educator - IxDF. 

How does the role of a product manager evolve at different stages of a product's lifecycle?

The role of a product manager evolves significantly across different stages of a product's lifecycle, adapting to the changing needs and challenges of the product. 

  • Conceptualization stage: In the early stages, product managers focus on identifying market needs, conceptualizing the product and defining its vision and strategy. They conduct market research, develop personas and create a product roadmap. 

  • Development stage: As the product moves into development, product managers work closely with design and engineering teams to build the product. They prioritize features, manage the product backlog and ensure that the development aligns with user needs and business goals. 

  • Launch stage: During the launch phase, product managers prepare go-to-market strategies, coordinating with marketing, sales and customer support teams. They focus on creating awareness, facilitating a successful launch, and monitoring initial user feedback. 

  • Growth stage: In the growth stage, product managers analyze user data, feedback and market trends to identify opportunities for improvement and expansion. They focus on optimizing the product, adding new features and increasing market share. 

  • Maturity and decline stages: As the product matures and potentially enters decline, product managers must decide on strategies to rejuvenate the product or gradually phase it out. They may explore new markets, reposition the product or manage its end-of-life gracefully. 

Throughout these stages, a product manager's ability to adapt and manage shifting priorities is crucial for the product's success and longevity. 

Take our Master Class Strategy Custody: How to Secure Your Strategy's Success with Adam Thomas, Product Management Expert and Technologist. 

How do product managers prioritize features on the roadmap?

Product managers prioritize features on the roadmap by assessing their impact on user needs, business goals and technical feasibility. This process ensures that the team focuses on developing features that offer the most value. Here's how they do it: 

  • Understand user needs: Product managers gather user feedback through surveys, interviews and usability tests to understand what users need and value the most. 

  • Evaluate business goals: They align feature development with the company's strategic objectives, such as increasing market share, improving customer satisfaction or generating revenue. 

  • Assess technical feasibility: Product managers consult with the engineering team to estimate the complexity and resources required for each feature. This helps in the understanding of what is technically possible within given constraints. 

  • Use prioritization frameworks: Tools like the RICE scoring model (Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort) or the MoSCoW method (Must have, Should have, Could have, Won't have) help in objectively evaluating and ranking features. 

  • Balance short-term and long-term needs: Product managers prioritize features that address immediate user needs or regulatory requirements, without losing sight of long-term strategic goals. 

  • Iterate and adjust: They continuously revisit the roadmap, adjusting priorities based on new information, user feedback and changes in the business environment. 

If product managers follow this structured approach, they ensure that the product roadmap reflects a balanced, strategic plan that meets user needs, achieves business objectives and is technically viable. 

Take our Master Class Survival Metrics: Getting Change Done In An Agile and Data-Informed Way with Adam Thomas, Product Management Expert and Technologist. 

How do product managers handle conflicts within the team?

Product managers handle conflicts within the team by employing a constructive and proactive approach to resolve disagreements and maintain a positive work environment. Here’s how they do it: 

  • Identify the root cause: They start by understanding the underlying issues behind the conflict, whether it’s a miscommunication, differing priorities or personal differences. 

  • Encourage open communication: Product managers facilitate open discussions, and allow all parties to express their viewpoints and concerns. This fosters a culture of transparency and mutual respect. 

  • Seek common ground: By focusing on shared goals and the bigger picture, they help the team find common ground and agree on a solution that aligns with the product’s objectives. 

  • Mediate the discussion: Acting as mediators, product managers guide the conversation to ensure it remains constructive, and focus on solving the problem rather than assigning blame. 

  • Propose compromises: When necessary, they suggest compromises that respect each party’s concerns while moving the project forward. 

  • Implement solutions: Once a resolution comes about, product managers oversee its implementation, and ensure that the agreed-upon actions are carried out. 

  • Follow up: They check in with the team members involved to ensure the full resolution of the conflict has occurred and that the solution is working as intended. 

When product managers handle conflicts effectively, they ensure that their teams can collaborate efficiently and stay focused on delivering a successful product. 

Take our Master Class Design For Agile: Common Mistakes And How To Avoid Them with Laura Klein, Principal - Users Know and Senior Design Educator - IxDF. 

What are some highly cited scientific articles on the subject of product management?

1. Chowdhury, A., & Enam, S. (2023). Product management and user experience for creating successful software in SELISE digital platform. Internship report, Brac Business School, Brac University.

This publication is influential as it delves into the critical relationship between product management and user experience (UX) in the context of creating successful software within the SELISE digital platform. The research aims to determine the key factors impacting sales and the importance of developing successful software to drive business growth. It provides insights into the overall structure of SELISE and its core team, as well as the marketing strategies employed to reach out to clients. The publication also explores the impact of client interactions and project management on software success, highlighting the connection between UX and project management. Surveys were conducted to understand the perspectives of SELISE employees on the importance of UX for long-term product usage and customer satisfaction. Overall, this publication offers valuable knowledge and understanding of the objectives in creating successful software through the lens of product management and UX. 

 

2. Anitha, P. C., & Prabhu, B. (2012). Integrating requirements engineering and user experience design in Product life cycle Management. In 2012 First International Workshop on Usability and Accessibility Focused Requirements Engineering (UsARE) (pp. 1-5). IEEE.

This publication has been influential due to its focus on integrating requirements engineering and user experience design in product lifecycle management. It addresses the importance of considering user-friendliness as a fundamental requirement for product quality, going beyond traditional criteria like performance and reliability. By emphasizing the need to make products user-friendly and technically sound, this publication contributes to enhancing the overall quality and success of product development processes by incorporating user experience design principles. 

What are some highly regarded books about product management?
  1. Cagan, M. (2017). Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

This book by Marty Cagan, a leading expert in technology product management, has been highly influential in the field. It provides a comprehensive guide on how to structure and staff a successful product organization, as well as strategies for discovering and delivering technology products that customers will love. The book draws on Cagan's extensive experience and profiles of top product managers and companies, offering readers a master class in creating innovative and customer-centric products. It covers essential topics such as assembling the right product teams, defining the right product vision and strategy, embracing effective product development processes, and cultivating a strong product culture. "Inspired" is considered a must-read for product managers, entrepreneurs, and technology leaders looking to build products that truly resonate with customers and drive business success.  

  1. Torres, T. (2021). Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value. Product Talk LLC.

This book by Teresa Torres offers a structured and sustainable approach to continuous product discovery, helping product teams ensure they are building products and services that customers want and that deliver business value. The book provides a framework for balancing action with doubt to make informed decisions and prepare for potential missteps. It is recommended as a valuable resource for product managers and leaders looking to build successful, customer-centric products. 

  1. Sandy, K. (2020). The Influential Product Manager: How to Lead and Launch Successful Technology Products. Apress.

 The Influential Product Manager by Ken Sandy is a highly influential book that provides essential skills and strategies for product managers to succeed in their roles. The book covers a wide range of topics, including stakeholder management, decision-making, communication, and leadership. It offers practical advice and frameworks to help product managers navigate the complexities of their job, from aligning cross-functional teams to driving product vision and strategy. The author, Ken Sandy, is a seasoned product management expert, and the book draws on his extensive experience to offer insights and best practices that are applicable across various industries and product types. This book is considered a must-read for both aspiring and experienced product managers looking to enhance their impact and influence within their organizations.  

  1. Cagan, M., & Jones, C. (2020). Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products. Wiley.

Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products by Marty Cagan and Chris Jones is an influential book that focuses on empowering product teams and driving innovation. The book provides a framework for creating an environment where product teams can thrive and deliver exceptional products. It emphasizes the importance of empowering ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results, rather than relying solely on individual product gurus or heroic efforts. The authors draw on their extensive experience in the tech industry to offer practical guidance on recruiting, coaching, and developing product teams, as well as fostering a culture of innovation and customer-centricity. This book is considered a must-read for product managers, leaders, and anyone interested in building successful, high-performing product organizations.  

  1. Anon, J., & González de Villaumbrosia, C. (2017). The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager. Product School Publishing.

The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager by Josh Anon and Carlos González de Villaumbrosia is an influential book that provides insights on the role of a product manager and tips for leading better PM teams. The book covers a wide range of topics, including product strategy, roadmapping, stakeholder management, and team leadership. It offers practical guidance and real-world examples to help both aspiring and experienced product managers develop the skills and mindset needed to excel in their roles. The authors, who are seasoned product leaders, share their expertise on navigating the complexities of product management and driving successful product outcomes. This book is considered a valuable resource for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the product manager's responsibilities and learn effective strategies for building high-performing product teams.  

  1. Ries, E. (2011). The Lean Startup: How today's entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. Crown Business. 

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries has been highly influential in the entrepreneurial world for its practical approach to building successful startups. The book outlines a methodology that emphasizes rapid experimentation, validated learning, and an iterative "build-measure-learn" feedback loop. Ries argues that startups should focus on creating "minimum viable products" to test their hypotheses, rather than investing heavily in extensive planning and design upfront. By quickly getting customer feedback and adapting their products and strategies accordingly, startups can avoid wasting resources on ideas that don't resonate and instead focus on building things people want. The book has been praised for providing a structured, scientific framework for entrepreneurship that can be applied to businesses of all sizes, not just tech startups. Its principles of continuous innovation, data-driven decision making, and agile development have been widely adopted by entrepreneurs, corporations, and even government organizations seeking to foster a more innovative and customer-centric culture. 

Answer a Short Quiz to Earn a Gift

Question 1

Why do product managers conduct market research?

1 point towards your gift

Question 2

What is a primary goal of the product development process?

1 point towards your gift

Question 3

Why is cross-functional collaboration critical in product management?

1 point towards your gift

Question 4

What is essential to manage a product throughout its lifecycle?

1 point towards your gift

Question 5

How does a product manager help define the company's goal(s)?

1 point towards your gift

Better luck next time!

0 out of 5 questions answered correctly

Do you want to improve your UX / UI Design skills? Join us now

Congratulations! You did amazing

5 out of 5 questions answered correctly

You earned your gift with a perfect score! Let us send it to you.

Letter from IxDF

Check Your Inbox

We’ve emailed your gift to name@email.com.

Do you want to improve your UX / UI Design skills? Join us now

Literature on Product Management

Here’s the entire UX literature on Product Management by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about Product Management

Take a deep dive into Product Management with our course UX Management: Strategy and Tactics .

What sets top-performing organizations apart? Well, for one thing, it’s no coincidence that they place a focus on understanding and empowering their UX and UI teams. Not only does this drive organic growth through a more optimal user experience, but it also means that the business can benefit from the ROI (Return On Investment) that UX work can deliver. In most organizations, however, you’ll find there is a lack of UX maturity—that is, how embedded UX is within an organization’s culture and work processes. And this occurs even when the decision-makers know that UX is core to business and customer stakeholders! We want to help both you and your wider team create a culture, and design mindset, that can truly reap the benefits of UX work. By learning how to apply key tactics, you’ll be able to ensure that your UX efforts are having maximum impact across the wider business.

In this course, we will explore the ins and outs of UX maturity by looking at the way your organization is structured and developed. We will give you the chance to grasp UX management as not just a people issue but also a design methodology… all so that you can manage UX as a smart leader, and get the very best from the UX professionals you work with. Even if you’re currently a more junior UX, UI or interaction designer, the strategies you will learn in this course will enable you to truly realize the value that your work will provide to your organization.

You will be taught by Frank Spillers, CEO of the award-winning UX firm Experience Dynamics. By taking this course, you’ll leverage his experience from two decades of working with enterprise, midsize and start-up companies across a wide range of industries. Given that, you will be able to learn from, and avoid, the mistakes he’s come across, and apply the best practices he’s developed over time in order to move towards managing your UX team in an optimal way.

The course also includes interviews with experts—including a UX Director, Chief Experience Officer, Product Manager, and User Research Director. These will give you another practical opportunity to learn from people who are highly experienced in managing UX across organizations. All of this means that you will learn how an Outside-In design approach operates, and what it looks and feels like in practice—be it from a product management, executive or stakeholder perspective. Upon completing the course, you will have the knowledge required to avoid unnecessary growing pains, and ultimately accelerate your company’s UX maturity so that you win sooner and enjoy a more consistently high level of performance within the market.

All open-source articles on Product Management

Please check the value and try again.

Open Access—Link to us!

We believe in Open Access and the democratization of knowledge. Unfortunately, world-class educational materials such as this page are normally hidden behind paywalls or in expensive textbooks.

If you want this to change, , link to us, or join us to help us democratize design knowledge!

Share Knowledge, Get Respect!

Share on:

or copy link

Cite according to academic standards

Simply copy and paste the text below into your bibliographic reference list, onto your blog, or anywhere else. You can also just hyperlink to this page.

Interaction Design Foundation - IxDF. (2016, June 6). What is Product Management?. Interaction Design Foundation - IxDF.

New to UX Design? We’re Giving You a Free ebook!

The Basics of User Experience Design

Download our free ebook The Basics of User Experience Design to learn about core concepts of UX design.

In 9 chapters, we’ll cover: conducting user interviews, design thinking, interaction design, mobile UX design, usability, UX research, and many more!

A valid email address is required.
312,862 designers enjoy our newsletter—sure you don’t want to receive it?