As anyone working in product management knows, the role of the product manager is undergoing significant changes. In many ways, what is emerging is an evolving role with expanded responsibilities. But many people still don’t understand what it is a product manager does. The product manager guides a product through its entire life cycle, from conception to product retirement. Product managers are responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition of a product.
“The role of the product manager is expanding due to the growing importance of data in decision making, an increased customer and design focus, and the evolution of software-development methodologies. Product managers are the glue that bind the many functions that touch a product—engineering, design, customer success, sales, marketing, operations, finance, legal, and more. They not only own the decisions about what gets built but also influence every aspect of how it gets built and launched…Unlike product managers of the past, who were primarily focused on execution and were measured by the on-time delivery of engineering projects, the product manager of today is increasingly the mini-CEO of the product. They wear many hats, using a broad knowledge base to make trade-off decisions, and bring together cross-functional teams, ensuring alignment between diverse functions. What’s more, product management is emerging as the new training ground for future tech CEOs.”
– Product Managers for the Digital World, by Chandra Gnanasambandam, Martin Harrysson, Shivam Srivastava, and Yun Wu, May, 2017.
Given the increasing capacity and scope of the role and function of the product manager, Skillsoft realizes that organizations need a way to provide their employees the training and development required to evolve and adapt to changing market forces and trends. Skillsoft is pleased to announce a new curriculum exploring best practices in Product Management. Designed for today’s modern learner, the ten-course curriculum utilizes engaging animation and iconography. It is organized in a micro-learning format with each course comprised of short, 5-7-minute topics. A variety of additional assets that extend the learning, including full-text books, audiobooks, book summaries, and audiobook summaries complement the core instruction. All of these learning resources are available through Skillsoft’s learning experience platform, Percipio.
Here’s a snapshot of each of the ten new Product Management courses:
Product Management: An Overview
The product manager is responsible for overseeing a product through its entire lifecycle. In this course, you’ll learn the key responsibilities and attributes of a product manager. You’ll also explore the four stages of product development, and how to support a product management model in your organization.
Watch this brief clip from the course, “Product Management: An Overview,” in the topic, “Key Responsibilities of a Product Manager”
Product Management: Building a Product Strategy
Building a solid product strategy is a crucial first step in creating a product. In this course, you’ll learn the critical components of a successful product strategy, the essential questions to ask in defining that strategy, and you’ll explore how to build a data-driven product roadmap. Finally, you’ll learn the basics of product portfolio management and how it relates to product managers.
Product Management: Metrics for Product Managers
Metrics are a vital tool for building the right goals and milestones into your product strategy. This course offers the opportunity to learn how to use metrics to achieve your product strategy goals, how to build a metric-driven product strategy, and how to measure the success of meeting customer needs.
Watch this brief clip from the course, “Product Management: Metrics for Product Managers,” in the topic, “Using Metrics to Achieve Your Product Strategy Goals”
Product Management: Building a Product Roadmap & Agile Product Management
Product roadmaps help support an organization’s agility by focusing on evolving customer needs and adjusting product priorities to those changing requirements. In this course, you’ll learn the core principles of agile product management that help ensure that new products and product enhancements meet customer expectations and mitigate the risk of product underperformance.
Product Management: Competitive and Market Analysis for Product Managers
Competitive and market analysis lets product managers benchmark their efforts against those of their rivals, to see whose product and market strategies are winning the battle for customers’ hearts and minds. This course allows you to explore how to use market analysis to understand changes in the marketplace better, how to use price-benefit positional maps to position your product in the marketplace, and how to create and sustain a competitive advantage.
Product Management: Create a Go-To-Market Plan
A go-to-market plan will guide your product launch to the right customers and the right markets, with the most efficient use of time and resources. In this course, you’ll learn when to use a go-to-market plan and how to define the key elements to complete it.
Product Management: Designing and Running Experiments for Product Managers
Product managers need to design and run experiments to see which products have the best chance of satisfying customers’ needs. In this course, you’ll examine the best practices for conducting experiments, how to assess if an experiment is worth the time, effort, and expense. Finally, you’ll explore the user-experience-based design approach.
Product Management: Communication for Product Managers
For projects big and small, it’s the product manager’s responsibility to make sure everyone has a shared understanding of what’s happening. In this course, you will learn how product managers serve as a communication hub within their organizations, getting the most out of their communication channels, and fostering cross-team communications.
Product Management: Understanding and Developing Customers
Customer development is a process for learning everything you can about the customer’s behaviors, motivations, and pain points to create and optimize product development ideas. In this course, learn how to create a customer-centric business approach. You’ll also learn how to gather customer feedback effectively, how to conduct productive customer development interviews and the elements of the customer decision-making and buying process.
Product Management: Market Research Basics
Whether your business is entering a new market, looking for new customers, launching a new product, or trying to identify new opportunities to generate business with existing customers, conducting market research can provide valuable insights. In this course, you will learn the methods and uses for market research, what you can learn from primary and secondary market research and the stages of a market research project.
Explore best practices in Product Management with Skillsoft’s new 10-course curriculum in Product Management.
Nancy Santacesaria is a Project & Program Manager, Leadership, Business Skills, and Digital Transformation Content Solutions at Skillsoft.