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Jun 29, 2022



Starting a business is a big undertaking; for many entrepreneurs, it can be a risky and challenging journey. According to statistics, most startups fail within the first five years of operation, and many factors can contribute to this outcome.

One of the biggest reasons for this high failure rate is the need for more focus on the customer. With a deep understanding of the needs and preferences of their target market, many startups can create products that resonate with customers and drive sustainable growth.

That’s where product management comes in.

Product management is the process of bringing a new product to market and ensuring its success. It involves a deep understanding of the business, the user experience, and technology and requires a range of skills and expertise to be successful.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of product management and explore how it helps businesses thrive in a competitive market.

Overview: Product management

Product management is overseeing a product’s development and life cycle, from ideation to retirement. It involves working with cross-functional teams, such as engineering, marketing, and sales, to ensure that the product is developed and positioned in a way that meets the target market’s needs and achieves the desired business objectives.

Product management is critical for any organization that develops and sells products. It helps align the efforts of different teams toward a common goal.

The global software products market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% from $930.93 billion in 2020 to $1493.07 billion in 2025.

As such, product managers play a key role in product management.

According to Martin Eriksson, product management is the convergence of business, user experience, and technology. Here is a brief explanation of the importance of each of these areas:

1. Business: Product management is ultimately about creating value for the business. This means the product must be profitable and align with the overall business strategy.

2. User experience: A product’s success is often determined by how well it meets the needs and expectations of the user. Therefore, product managers must understand the user experience and design the product accordingly.

3. Technology: Technology is often a key enabler of product innovation and can help to differentiate a product from its competitors. Product managers must therefore have a strong understanding of the technology landscape and how it can be leveraged to create value for the business and the user.

Why is product management important?

Product management is important for several reasons:

1. It helps an organization focus on the target market’s needs and develop products that meet them. By gathering and analyzing market and customer data, product managers can identify opportunities to create value for customers and differentiate the product in the market.

2. It helps to align the organization around a common vision and strategy for the product. The product manager serves as the customer’s voice and helps ensure that all teams work towards a shared goal.

3. It helps to coordinate the work of cross-functional teams and to ensure that all necessary resources are in place to develop and deliver the product. Product managers are the glue that holds the organization together, facilitating communication and collaboration between different teams.

4. It helps to manage the product lifecycle and to ensure that the product remains competitive in the market. Product managers are responsible for tracking product performance, gathering customer feedback, and making ongoing improvements to the product.

Product management is important in a variety of different scenarios. For example:

  • In a startup, product management can be critical for ensuring that the company’s limited resources are focused on developing products that will be successful in the market.
  • In a large organization, product management can help ensure that different departments and teams are aligned around the goals and objectives of the product and that the product is developed in a way that meets the needs of the target market.
  • In a global company, product management can help ensure that products are tailored to the needs and preferences of different global markets.

Overall, product management plays a crucial role in the development and success of a product. It helps to ensure that products are developed in a way that meets the needs of the target market and achieves the desired business objectives, and it helps to coordinate the efforts of cross-functional teams to bring a product to market.

Who plays a key role in product management?

The product manager plays a central role in the product development process. It involves working closely with cross-functional teams such as engineering, marketing, and sales to ensure that the product meets the target market’s needs and achieves the desired business objectives.

The specific responsibilities of a product manager may vary depending on the industry, the size and structure of the organization, and the stage of the product life cycle.

Some common tasks that product managers may be responsible for include:

  1. Setting the product vision and strategy
  2. Defining the product roadmap and prioritizing features and requirements
  3. Gathering and analyzing market and customer data to inform product decisions
  4. Working with cross-functional teams to develop and launch new products
  5. Managing the product budget and resources
  6. Tracking and reporting on product performance metrics
  7. Working with sales and marketing teams to develop go-to-market plans
  8. Collaborating with external partners and stakeholders to ensure the product meets their needs
  9. Continuously gathering and incorporating customer feedback to improve the product

Stages in product management

A critical aspect of product management is the product development lifecycle, which refers to the series of stages a product goes through from concept to launch.

The specific stages of the product development lifecycle can vary depending on the industry and the organization, but some common ones include the following:

1. Idea generation

This is the first stage of the product development lifecycle, where ideas for new products or features are generated. This can be done through brainstorming sessions, customer feedback, or market research.

This stage aims to identify potential product opportunities to meet the target market’s needs and achieve the desired business objectives. You must develop as many ideas as possible to sort through them later and decide which ones are worth pursuing.

2. Feasibility analysis

Once you have an idea for a new product or service, it’s important to consider whether it’s feasible before moving forward with your plan. This is the second stage in product management and involves carefully looking at all aspects of your proposed idea. It involves critically examining whether any problems prevent it from working effectively once released into the marketplace.

In this stage, the product team evaluates the potential market demand, the technical feasibility of developing the product, and the resources and budget required.

The goal of feasibility analysis is to determine which project offers the best opportunities for success based on customer needs, market conditions, and other factors such as cost or legal considerations.

3. Product planning

Once the product team has identified a viable product idea, they will create a product plan that outlines the marketing goals and objectives of the product, the target market, and the proposed features and functionality.

Product planning is about setting goals for a specific release cycle. It’s about deciding what features should be included in an upcoming release and why they are important to your customers or users. The product plan should also include a timeline for the development and launch of the product, as well as a budget and resource allocation plan.

4. Product development

This is the stage where the product is built and developed. You’ll need to work closely with developers, testers, and designers at this stage to ensure that you deliver the best possible product to market.

The development stage can involve

  • Prototyping
  • Testing (Concept testing, A/B testing, User testing, Regression testing and Beta testing)
  • Refining the product based on feedback from customers and other stakeholders

This stage aims to create a finished product that meets the specifications outlined in the product plan and is ready for launch. The product must meet the target market’s needs, be feasible to produce, and be profitable for the company.

Test marketing

Test marketing is the stage of product development in which a new product is introduced into a limited, carefully selected market in order to gather information about its performance and potential for success.

This stage is typically preceded by the development and design phases, during which the product is created and refined based on market research and beta testing.

There are several key purposes of test marketing.

  • First, it allows the company to get a sense of how the product will be received by consumers in a real-world setting to identify any potential issues or challenges.
  • Second, test marketing can help the company gather data about the product’s sales potential, including factors such as price sensitivity, distribution channels, and marketing efforts.
  • Finally, test marketing can serve as a way to build buzz and anticipation around the product, which can help drive sales and create momentum for the full launch.

6. Launch

The launch stage is when the product is introduced to the market and made available to customers. This stage involves a lot of planning and coordination, as the product team will need to ensure everything is in place for a successful launch.

This stage includes marketing and sales efforts to promote the product and make it available to customers. This stage aims to introduce the product to the market and generate sales.

The product development lifecycle continues after the launch of a product. After the product has been released, the product team will continue monitoring its performance and gathering customer feedback.

Build Strategic Approaches with Product Management

A good product manager will consider all aspects of product development, not just one or two heavy hitters, while ignoring the others. By doing so, they boost their chances of success in the market while avoiding any potential economic problems that could arise from neglecting key components of development.

Product management is essential for any company that wants to be successful. It provides a clear direction for products and builds strategic approaches that align with the company’s objectives. This guarantees that time, budget, and effort are wisely spent.

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Prakash Pilley, Client Services Director
Prakash Pilley

Client Services Director