There is no one answer to this question. The job of a product manager varies from product to product (or, company to company). But in most places the product manager is the guy responsible for the product. Meaning, he knows about the product inside out. He knows why a certain button is where it is and why it has certain colour. He knows the user extremely well, and has an intuitive sense of what pain the product is supposed to solve or what delight it is supposed to offer.
A product manager generally has no direct reportees in an organization. He works with several teams in a cross functional manner & delivers customer promises. In most cases a product manager works with top management, engineers, product designers and sales folks. So, influence is all he has to convince people from multiple teams to work in a certain manner.
And finally, I’ve always found this image to depict fairly well the frame of mind a product manager has. There are multiple layers that this framework hides. But for starters, I’ll use this framework. In the coming posts I’ll explain more on each of these circles in the coming posts.
More to follow.