It takes the sustained work of many people with different skill sets to make great software products. A software product manager needs to understand main 3 goals to achieve better software: the right product, done right, and managed right.
To be more specific:
When product meets clients needs, solves their problem, and they are happy with it this is what called the right product. In other words, the product is validated.
When the product fully matches specified design that matches a set of stated requirements that were created by defining the right product, it is said that the product is done right. Developers can conduct reviews and tests to ensure the requirements, design, and implementation line up and do not have defects. In other words, the product is verified.
And the key part for the manager is to adopt process and suitable practices to organize the work of everyone involved. These practices ease communication and feedback, so that everyone is clear on the next steps. This is the meaning of the product is managed right.
A software product manager is in charge of the success of a software product. But the role is much more than managing a project. It requires effective communication and motivation of development team members, but it also involves understanding the product from the client’s point of view. Great software product managers can speak to both clients and developers in their own terms.
To achieve project success which is measured by on-time and within budget delivery of the project with all features complete it’s very common to use Agile philosophy which in short can be described with:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The Agile philosophy values the items on the left more than the items on the right. This is not to suggest that you ignore processes and tools, comprehensive documentation, contract negotiation, or following a plan. It is merely that the items on the left are the more important things to focus on.
On http://agilemanifesto.org presented 12 principles that help to follow this philosophy.
To achieve project success product manager should be familiar with Software Processes and Agile Practices, Client Needs and Software Requirements, Agile Planning for Software Products and Reviews & Metrics for Software Improvements luckily there are such courses from Alberta University on Coursera as well.
This is my recap after completing University of Alberta’s Introduction to Software Product Management course.
If you find this article interesting I strongly recommend you to get this course.