Product Managers, put the team first

This week on Linkedin, I saw another thread about defining the role of product management. I'm come to the conclusion that trying to answer the question, "what's the role of a product manager," is the wrong question because half of the job of a product manager is figuring out what the job is.

This is due to the fact that every product manager's role is unique because every product and company are at different points in their lifecycles, all in different markets. A product manager must recognize where these two cycles intersect to be the most effective.

However, what remains constant is the fact that a product manager's role is grounded in support. I picked this up from and it could not be more accurate.

It is important to understand that it is the entire team's responsibility to make the product and the company successful. As a product manager, we can get clarity on how best to fulfull the team's mission by focusing on what will help move the team forward. Helping the team takes a variety of forms at different times:

  • Ruthlessly prioritizing a backlog and providing a product north star
  • Writing a product requirements document
  • Creating a demo video for youtube
  • Writing documentation
  • Analyzing product use metrics
  • Making sales enablement materials
  • Modeling annual KPIs
  • Drafting an annual strategy
  • Using the product to create a fast feedback loop with the team
  • Recruiting beta testers
  • Evangelizing the product internally
  • Conducting competitive intelligence

...the list is endless, but they are all rooted in aligning and supporting the team.

As a product manager, figuring out what is most important to do next is difficult, but asking the question, "what would help the team out most," can provide clarity.