Product Management is a concept that is not universally understood.
Mind the Product calls it the intersection between UX, Tech and Business. Wikipedia calls it "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 (April 6, 2016)." Josh Elman has one of the best definitions I have read: "The job of a Product Manager is to help your team (and company) ship the right product to your users." He also admits upfront that it's hard to properly define Product Management, because it's different in every company (and to some extent, in every team within a company).
I would personally add there's an element of reasonably fast execution that Product Managers are responsible for.
That said, there are common elements and skills that are invaluable to every PM. I run frequent workshops to teach those Product Management Fundamentals. Here's an overview of the topics I cover:
- Technical: programming, good engineering practices, development stacks and methodologies
- Analytical: metrics, A/B testing, growth, data-driven decisions
- Communication: email etiquette, product specs, filing bugs
- Product sense: design challenges, user studies, competitors, making feature decisions
- Strategy: big ideas, product launches
Getting things done
- Hiring for your team/company
- Working with engineers
- Prioritizing features
- Product distribution - advertising, app stores, mobile development
The workshops are very practical in nature - I offer concrete examples of products and situations to illustrate my points. My goal is for every single participant to walk away with at least 3 specific learnings they can apply at work right away.
The workshops are open to anybody who is currently a PM or has the goal of becoming one within a year. It's ideal for people who are at the beginning of their careers as PMs.
What this is not
An important point to make: these workshops are NOT about Project/Program Management or Marketing. Those are somewhat related functions, but they're ultimately different.
I offer 45-min talks with 30-min Q&A sessions. Possible topics include:
- Silicon Valley development culture
- How to make data-driven decisions
- Product Management: fundamental skills