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7 Product Management Myths to Bring You Back to Reality

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Product management is a key role in any software development process. It involves planning, organizing, and overseeing the development of the product.

It is the product manager’s responsibility to ensure that the product is of the highest quality and meets the target market’s needs.

It aims to ensure that the product is competitively positioned and meets the company’s goals and objectives.

So much so that, product management optimization can increase profits by 34.2% at a company[1].

With product management being such an important role in the development of products, there are, unfortunately, many myths and misconceptions that have been perpetuated over time.

It is essential to separate the facts from fiction when it comes to product management in order to ensure success in this field. 

In this article, we will be busting the most popular product management myths and highlighting the facts.

What is product management?

Product management is the practice of overlooking the entire journey of a product’s lifecycle, from its inception to its development to its eventual retirement.

Product managers are responsible for all aspects of a product’s development and management, including market research, product strategy, product design, product development, product launch, and product maintenance. 

They are responsible for ensuring that the product meets its objectives and is successful in the market. Product managers must also have a unique blend of technical, business, and marketing skills, as well as an understanding of the customer and the competitive landscape.

Product management is ultimately about creating a successful product that meets a customer’s needs and generates revenue.

The purpose of product management

Product management is a strategy-driven role focused on creating and driving successful products.

Product managers ensure the product meets customer needs, develop the product roadmap, and market the product. They must have a deep understanding of the customer, competitive landscape, trends in the market, and technology to make the right decisions for their products. 

They also need to be able to effectively collaborate with other departments and stakeholders and possess strong communication and problem-solving skills.

Product managers are ultimately responsible for the product’s success and must continually focus on improving the product’s performance and experience.

Product Management Myths to Know About

Product management is a critical function within any organization that aims to build and launch successful products.

However, it’s an area that’s often misunderstood, and there are many myths and misconceptions that can prevent individuals and teams from achieving their full potential. 

Let’s explore some of the most common product management myths and provide insights into how you can separate fact from fiction to become a more effective product manager.

So buckle up and get ready to dispel some myths!

Myth #1: Product managers are the CEOs of their products

While some people refer to product managers as the “CEOs of their products,” this statement is not universally agreed upon.

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, product managers do not have direct authority over most of the things needed to make their products successful, and their roles vary widely depending on a number of factors[2].

It is argued, however, that product managers can be excellent CEOs because they are capable of managing cross-functional teams, making strategic decisions, and understanding customer demands.

It doesn’t matter whether product managers are considered CEOs or not; their companies and products depend on them greatly.

They are responsible for guiding the product through the development process, ensuring it is up to the necessary standards, and communicating with the stakeholders.

Product managers should also be able to identify areas where the product can be improved and help develop solutions to fill those gaps.

While product managers may not be CEOs, they are critical to any product’s success.

Myth #2: Product managers need to have a technical background

One of the most common misconceptions about product management is that it requires a technical background. While having a technical background may benefit certain product management roles, it isn’t necessary for all of them.

In fact, the best product managers have a deep understanding of the product’s technical and business aspects and many successful product managers come from a wide range of backgrounds.

Being a successful product manager requires an ability to understand the technical challenges of product development and the business and customer needs that the product needs to satisfy.

They must be able to understand the technical challenges that the team faces and be able to provide guidance and advice on how to address them.

Myth #3: Product managers need to be creative geniuses

One of the product management myths is that product managers must be creative geniuses is pervasive and damaging.

While product managers should certainly be adept at coming up with innovative solutions, simply being a creative genius is not required. 

Product managers must understand how to think strategically and solve complex problems creatively, but they don’t need to reinvent the wheel or come up with something entirely new.

Instead, they should be able to build on existing ideas and incorporate customer feedback to develop useful and effective solutions.

By taking a customer-centric approach, product managers can develop products that are tailored to their users’ needs while still being creative.

Myth #4: Product managers are responsible for everything that goes wrong with a product

This product management myth is quite common but could not be further from reality.

Product managers are not responsible for every issue that arises with a product. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that it is properly marketed, and a product-market-fit.

Many other stakeholders are involved in the development, from the engineers and designers to the marketing team, each of whom is responsible for different aspects of the product.

If something goes wrong, it is not the product manager’s job to take the blame but to take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Product managers need to learn how to collaborate with other departments to ensure the success of their products.

Myth #5: Product managers are always in control

Contrary to popular belief, product managers are not always in control of their products. They are responsible for making strategic decisions about their products and for ensuring that their developed solutions hit the product-market-fit.

However, the actual implementation of these decisions is the responsibility of other teams and individuals. 

Product managers are there to provide guidance and direction, but they don’t always have the final say.

Simply put, product managers are NOT product owners. 

Ultimately, product managers should be working with other teams and individuals to develop the most effective solutions possible, and in this sense, they are not always in control.

Myth #6: Idea is more important than execution

One common product management myth is that the idea itself is the most critical aspect of a successful product. However, the reality is that execution plays a vital role in turning an idea into a successful product.

While a good product idea is essential, it is only the starting point. The execution phase involves developing the idea, refining it, conducting market research, gathering customer feedback, designing the product, and finally launching and marketing it effectively.

Many great ideas fail because they are not executed properly. Without proper execution, even the best ideas can remain stagnant or fail to reach the right target audience. In fact, that is one of the reasons for startups to fail.

Successful product managers understand the importance of execution and focus on translating ideas into actionable plans, allocating resources, managing teams, and driving the product through its development stages.

They prioritize execution to ensure the product meets customer needs, achieves business objectives, and stays ahead of the competition.

Myth #7: Product management does not deal with software development lifecycle

Another prevalent myth is that product management does not involve dealing with the software development lifecycle.

In reality, product managers play a crucial role in overseeing and coordinating the software development process. They work closely with engineering teams, UX/UI designers specialized in SaaS, and other stakeholders to define the product roadmap, prioritize features, and ensure timely delivery.

Product managers work with developers to determine the most suitable software development methodology, such as Agile or Waterfall, based on project requirements, available resources, and timeline.

They provide guidance on product requirements, technical feasibility, and manage the trade-offs between features, quality, and delivery timelines.

Throughout the software development lifecycle, product managers continuously evaluate progress, gather feedback, and make necessary adjustments to ensure the product aligns with customer needs and market dynamics.

They act as a bridge between the technical and business sides of the product, leveraging their understanding of both domains to drive successful development and release of the product.

Conclusion

Product management is a crucial role in the development and launch of successful products. It is important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to product management in order to ensure that the right person is in the right role and that expectations are realistic. 

By dispelling these myths and understanding the realities of product management, aspiring and existing product managers can gain a clearer perspective on their roles and responsibilities.

With accurate knowledge and effective execution, product managers can optimize the entire development process, maximize product success, and contribute to the growth and profitability of their organizations.

While product managers are responsible for overseeing product development and launch, they are not solely responsible for the success or failure of the product.

Product managers need to stay organized and focused but also be flexible and creative in order to make the product successful.

B2B Product management is a challenging job, but it can be immensely rewarding if done well.

Book a free consultation today and supercharge your product management team with us!

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