The Product Manager's Survival Guide PDF Free Download

A product manager is a professional role that is responsible for the development of products for an organization, known as the practice of product management.Product managers own the business strategy behind a product (both physical and digital products), specify its functional requirements, and generally manage the launch of features. The Product Manager: Defines the product vision, strategy, and roadmap. Gathers, manages, and prioritizes market/customer requirements. Acts as the customer advocate articulating the user’s and/or buyer’s needs. Works closely with engineering, sales, marketing, and support to ensure business case and customer satisfaction goals are met.

As a Product Manager, I have a responsibility to build products that delight all stakeholders.

—Hart Shafer

The Product Manager's Survival Guide, Second Edition features brand new material, including: - A product management acumen assessment - Action planning ideas at the end of each chapter - Techniques to earn empowerment - Tools to develop product strategies and roadmaps - Methods to deploy and release products - Metrics to assess product performance. The Product Manager’s Survival Guide and the blueprint it provides will optimally direct you so that you can assimilate more quickly and become visibly productive as quickly as possible. Mind you, I don’t promise you’ll become the perfect product manager in three or four months. However, if you follow the blueprint in this book.

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Product Management is responsible for defining and supporting the building of desirable, feasible, viable, and sustainable products that meet customer needs over the product-market lifecycle.

To do this, they collaborate with a wide range of people to identify and define customer needs, understand the Solution Context, and develop the Program Vision, Roadmap, and Features required to meet these needs. Then, they support the Agile Release Trains (ARTs) in delivering value through the Program Kanban and Continuous Delivery Pipeline.

This article describes the roles that Product Management play in SAFe. The role scales in relation to the complexity of a solution: some solutions may only need a single Product Manager while others will need a team.

Effective product management is driven by a customer-centric mindset in which the customer is placed at the center of every decision. Supported by the tools and techniques of Design Thinking, this mindset focuses the entire organization on creating desirable, viable, feasible, and sustainable solutions.

Internal vs. External Customers

Product management begins with a clear definition of the customer. Customers are the ultimate buyer of every Solution. They are an integral part of the Lean-Agile development process, heavily influence both the Operational Value Streams and Development Value Streams, and have specific responsibilities in SAFe.

SAFe defines two kinds of customers: Internal and External. Each is described next.

  • Internal customers are part of the enterprise. An example would be the manager of a bank’s credit underwriting function who uses an internal credit scoring solution created by the internal IT department. Because internal solutions often support many operational value streams, there may be several internal product managers (Figure 1).
  • External customers are outside the enterprise. The relationship between the enterprise and external customers takes many forms:
    • Business-to-Business (B2B), such as an enterprise software vendor providing a payroll solution
    • Business-to-Professional (B2P), such as a software vendor who sells graphic design tools to marketing professionals
    • Business-to-Consumer (B2C), such as a software vendor that sells home design tools to homeowners

As illustrated in Figure 2, the relationships of product managers to their customers vary based on the structure of the operational and development value streams. It is common for internal and external product managers to work together in developing the total solution. As described in the customer-centricity article, market research informs the customer relationship.

Some Product Managers are responsible for solutions in which the customer is the direct buyer of the solution, as Figure 3 illustrates. In this case, the development value stream and the operational value stream are one and the same. The solution can be a final product that’s sold or deployed directly. In other cases, the solution may need to be embedded into a broader solution context, such as a system of systems.


Responsibilities of Product Management

The primary responsibilities of product management fall into four main areas (Figure 4):

Who is The Product Manager at roblox
  • Meet business goals – Products and solutions must meet the economic business goals established by the portfolio
  • Get it built – Product Managers collaborate with Agile Release Trains (ARTs) and Solution Trains to build the required functionality
  • Get it off the shelf – Internally, Product Managers collaborate with IT to ensure solutions are deployed to internal customers and users; externally, Product Managers collaborate with an even larger set of business stakeholders to deliver products to the market
  • Leverage support – Product Managers ensure their offerings are supported and enhanced to create a continuous flow of value

Each of these is described further below. Extended responsibilities associated with external product managers and Solution Trains are described later.

Meet Business Goals

An economically sustainable product creates more value than it costs. However, although costs are relatively straightforward to measure, there’s more variation in how an enterprise assesses value. Consider:

  • A for-profit enterprise might focus on revenue, market share, or profit
  • A government might evaluate how well it services citizens, such as providing clean water or functional roads
  • A nonprofit may assess how many people are served when providing disaster relief or other humanitarian services

Product management is responsible for ensuring that development value streams are creating feasible and sustainable products and solutions. This encompasses:

  • Developing a clear model of how the solution provides value to customers
  • Understanding the cost structure and in-license models of all components and suppliers
  • Creating any necessary pricing or revenue-generating elements and out-licensing models
  • Developing customer-centric ROI models that align with the value provided

Product management maintains and updates these models over the product-market lifecycle and in response to changing portfolio demands. For example, product management is responsible for managing changes to the product vision or roadmap based on the portfolio’s Strategic Themes. Product management is also responsible for maintaining alignment with the portfolio canvas, Lean Budgets, and Guardrails.

Product managers, who often play the role of an Epic Owner, will develop and manage the Lean Business Case for Epics that affect their ART.

Get it Built

The bulk of product management responsibilities support the ARTs in delivering value to customers. These include:

  • Understand customer needs – As the internal representative of the customer, product management leverages market research and Continuous Exploration to continually understand customer and market needs. Design thinking tools, ranging from personas, empathy maps, journey maps, and story maps are used to communicate these to the ARTs.
  • Ensure product completeness – Product management is responsible for ensuring the product is considered ‘whole and complete’ from a defined customer’s perspective. Products that serve multiple market segments may have different considerations of ‘whole and complete’.
  • Develop and communicate the program vision and roadmap – Product management continuously develops and communicates the vision to the Agile Teams, while defining the features of the system. Collaborating with System Architect/Engineering, they also define and maintain the Nonfunctional Requirements (NFRs) to ensure that the solution meets relevant standards and other system quality requirements. They are responsible for the roadmap, which illustrates how features are intended to be implemented over time.
  • Manage and prioritize the flow of work – Product management supports the flow of work through the program Kanban and into the program backlog, responsible for ensuring enough features are ready in the backlog at all times. Because judicious selection and sequencing of features is a key economic driver for each ART, the backlog is reprioritized with Weighted Short Job First (WSJF) before each Program Increment (PI) Planning session.
  • Participate in PI planning – During each PI planning session, Product Management presents the vision, which highlights the proposed features of the solution, along with any relevant upcoming Milestones. Typically, they also participate as the train’s Business Owners, responsible for approving PI Objectives and establishing business value.
  • Define releases and program increments – Owning the ‘what’ means that product management is primarily responsible for release definition as well, including new features, architecture, and allocations for technical debt. This is accomplished through a series of Program Increments and releases, whose definition and business objectives are also determined by product management.
  • Work with System Architect/Engineering to understand Enabler work – While Product Management is not expected to drive technological decisions, they are expected to understand the scope of upcoming enabler work. They collaborate with System and Solution Architect/Engineering to jointly sequence the Architectural Runway that will host new business functionality. This is typically done by establishing a capacity allocation, as described in the Guardrails article.
  • Participate in demos and Inspect and Adapt (I&A) – Product Management is an active participant in biweekly System Demos, including the aggregate one at the end of the PI. They also participate in assessing metrics, including the evaluation of business value achieved versus planned, and are active participants in the Inspect and Adapt workshop.

Get it off the Shelf

Product management leverages the Continuous Delivery Pipeline to deliver value far more frequently than with traditional processes. Depending on the customer, this can range from releasing new functionality multiple times per day, weekly, monthly, or any time frame that balances market demands with the goals of the enterprise

One tension that exists in releasing value more frequently is ensuring that all internal and external stakeholders are prepared to receive and utilize this value. To ensure that customers receive the full value of the release, product management must also provide:

  • Marketingand sales enablement – External product managers ensure that marketing and sales have the information they need to communicate value and execute against the sales objectives. This includes regular meetings with marketing and sales to help them understand the magnitude of the value being released and how it may impact their activities. Note that at times external product releases may be coordinated with marketing and sales milestones (such as a conference) to maximize sales.
  • Channel enablement – Complex solutions often have similarly complex distribution models. These can range from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Value-Added Resellers (VARs), and Managed Service Providers (MSPs), to other forms of distribution partners. Product Management is responsible for ensuring that the full distribution channel is enabled in every release.
  • Service Partner enablement – Service partners are a unique channel that contributes to the creation of a complete solution for a target customer. For example, service partners often install, configure, and train customers on behalf of independent software vendors (ISVs). Customer-centric practices helps product management determine the right distribution of responsibilities between service partners and the ISV.

Leverage Support

Product management ensures that products and solutions are supported through their operational lifecycle. This includes:

  • Collaborating with customer experience and support – While customer-centric enterprises seek to create positive customer experiences, the implementation of customer experience and product support practices varies considerably based on the product. A B2C offering may only provide email support, while a B2B offering may provide a wide range of dedicated support options. Product management is responsible for working with customer experience and support professionals to design the right offerings. Once designed, product management is responsible for helping customer experience and support manage these offerings, including creating features designed to improve support functions.
  • Manage supportedversions – Customers of complex solutions have a right to know how long they will be supported once deployed in production. Therefore, product management is responsible for defining support policies, including End-of-Life (EOL).
  • Manage legal and compliance – Product management is responsible for working with legal and compliance professionals to ensure the product meets all necessary requirements.

Managing the Product Lifecycle and Technology Adoption Curve

Every product progresses through predictable stages: introduction to growth, growth to maturity, and maturity to decline. This sequence is known as the product lifecycle (Figure 5):

Product management is responsible for guiding their product through each of these stages. Note that different products can be in different stages for quite different durations. Consider, for example, the credit scoring solution described earlier in Figure 1. Once introduced, the growth (adoption) of the credit scoring solution might be extremely rapid. The mature stage might last for more than a decade, with the bank continuing to enhance the solution to maintain a unique competitive advantage.

These enhancements, such as new features or capabilities, follow a similar S-shaped curve know as the technology adoption curve. This curve explains how specific features, capabilities and products are adopted in a given market. The adoption is predictable and can be described by psychographic attributes of customers (Figure 6):

  • Innovators embrace new and novel technologies. They represent the smallest portion of the total market.
  • Early Adopters are quick to understand the benefits of new technology and gain value by moving more quickly than the rest of the market.
  • Early Majority are more practically minded, often waiting until products are more proven.
  • Late Majority wait for a product to become well established, often delaying their purchase until established enterprises with whom they already have a relationship offer a version of the product.
  • Laggards represent the tail end of the adoption curve.

Note that these profiles do not apply to every product: a customer facing an urgent problem may be an early adopter of one product while acting as a laggard for less urgent problems.

In Crossing the Chasm, technology pioneer Geoffrey Moore observed that many technology products face a “chasm” between the expectations of early adopters and the rest of the market. Accordingly, product management is responsible for understanding where each product may exist on the adoption curve and for adjusting the mix of Features accordingly. For example, a product that is in the Early Adopters stage may place greater emphasis on Features that promote continued growth, while a product in the Laggards stage may place greater emphasis on Features that lower operational costs.

Product Management’s Participation in Solution Trains

For teams building large solutions that require multiple ARTs, Product Management has additional responsibilities participating with Solution Management as part of the Solution Train:

  • Collaborate with Solution Management – Solution Management focuses on capabilities, and product managers focus on features. Because refining and splitting capabilities into features, managing Nonfunctional Requirements (NFRs), and creating the Architectural Runway are collaborative activities, they must be done as a group.
  • Participate in Pre- and Post-PI Planning – Product Management also participates in the Pre-PI planning event, working with the Solution Train stakeholders to define the inputs, milestones, and high-level objectives for the upcoming PI planning session. In the Post-PI planning session, Product Management helps summarize findings into an agreed-to set of solution PI objectives.
  • Participate in the Solution Demo – Product Management participates in the solution demo, often demonstrating the capabilities that their ART has contributed and reviewing the contributions of the other ARTs, always with a systems view and always with an eye toward fitness of purpose.

Learn More

Survival[1] Ries, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Crown Business, 2011.[2] Leffingwell, Dean. Agile Software Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise. Addison-Wesley, 2011.

Last update: 14 May 2021

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  1. The original product managers, and indeed the majority of product managers in FMCG today, were very much a part of the Marketing function. They focused on the process of understanding the customers’ needs and finding a way to fulfill those needs using the classic marketing mix – the right Product, in the right Place, at the right Price.
  2. A product manager is the person who identifies the customer need and the larger business objectives that a product or feature will fulfill, articulates what success looks like for a product, and rallies a team to turn that vision into a reality.

A product manager is a professional role that is responsible for the development of products for an organization, known as the practice of product management. Product managers own the business strategy behind a product (both physical and digital products), specify its functional requirements, and generally manage the launch of features. They coordinate work done by many other functions (like software engineers, data scientists, and product designers) and are ultimately responsible for the business success of the product.[1][2] Product managers traditionally resided in the marketing organizations of technology companies, but have since additionally become staples of engineering and even product-specific teams.[3]

Product Manager Job Duties: Determines customers’ needs and desires by specifying the research needed to obtain market information. Recommends the nature and scope of present and future product lines by reviewing product specifications and requirements; appraising new product ideas and/or product or packaging changes. Sep 26, 2018 A product manager is a more managerial position. They work with cross-functional teams, analyze markets and bridge gaps in the organization between different groups. The next step up is the group product manager, who leads the product team and is usually responsible for a specific group of products. A product manager is a professional role that is responsible for the development of products for an organization, known as the practice of product management. Product managers own the business strategy behind a product (both physical and digital products), specify its functional requirements, and generally manage the launch of features.


A product manager considers numerous factors such as intended customer or user of a product, the products offered by the competition, and how well the product fits with the company's business model. The scope of a product manager varies greatly, some may manage one or more product lines and others (especially in large companies) may manage small components or features of a product.

Product Manager Jobs

In the financial services industry (banking, insurance etc.), product managers manage products (for example, credit card portfolios), their profit and loss, and also determine the business development strategy.

Who Is The Product Manager At Roblox

The term is often confused with other similar roles, such as:

The Product Manager' S Survival Guide Pdf Free Download Pc

  • Project manager: may perform all activities related to schedule and resource management
  • Program Manager, sometimes known as Technical Program Manager (TPM): may perform activities related to schedule, resource, and cross-functional execution
  • Product owner: a popular role in Agile development methodology, may perform all activities related to a self-encapsulated feature or feature set plan, development and releases
  • Product marketing manager: responsible for the outbound marketing activities of the product, not development and cross-functional execution

Product management in software development[edit]

The role of the product manager was originally created to manage the complexity of the product lines of a business, as well as to ensure that those products were profitable. Product managers can come from many different backgrounds, because their primary skills involve working well with customers and understanding the problems the product is intended to solve.[4]

A product manager is responsible for orchestrating the various activities associated with ensuring that a product is delivered that meets users' needs. A software product manager's role varies as the software moves through its lifecycle; earlier in the development process the product manager meets the intended audience of the product to engage in requirements elicitation,[5] whereas later in the lifecycle the product manager's primary focus may be in acceptance testing of the product. Throughout all the stages of the product development process, the product manager represents the needs of end-users, evaluates market trends and competition, and uses this information to determine what features to build. For example, a product manager may decide a feature is needed because users are asking for it, or because the feature is needed to stay competitive. In order to facilitate this decision-making process the product manager may set out a vision for the product or a general framework for making product decisions. The product manager also ensures an atmosphere of cohesiveness and focused collaboration between all the members of the team, all in the interest of driving the product forward.[6] Product managers are often thought of as sitting at the intersection of business, design, and technology.

The Product Manager's Survival Guide PDF Free Download

Within an agile software development environment, similar responsibilities are taken on by a product owner, a project role that can be performed by a product manager which is the corresponding role in an organization. While the product manager has a strategic and long-term perspective with a strong focus on the market success of a product, a product owner aims to maximize the business value of the product or increment created by an agile project which can include benefits within an organization and does not explicitly relate to a product's marketability.[7] Therefore, a product owner focuses mainly on the development of a product while a product manager has a more holistic perspective. Another difference is the time-focus of both roles: a project is time-bound which limits the responsibility of a product owner role in a project to the time frame of a project. A product manager role, in contrast, requires a long-term perspective and often does not imply any expiration at all. The role of a product owner in a project can be performed by a person with a product manager role in the organization which can help ensure a successful implementation of strategic considerations during the operational development of a product.

The day-to-day responsibilities of a product owner/product manager within an agile project include creating and prioritizing the product backlog, which is a list of things to be done by the development team, in order to maximize the business value created by the project.[8] The product backlog is often made up of user stories, 'a placeholder for a conversation between the product manager... and the development team.' These are brief narrative descriptions of what a feature should do, including a checklist of items that are required to be in place in order for the feature to be considered done, called the acceptance criteria. The details of how the feature is developed are worked out by developers and designers. At the end of the development sprint, the product manager is responsible for verifying that the acceptance criteria have been met; only then is the work on the feature officially done.[9]

Product manager career progression[edit]

Product managers often start their careers as engineers or specialists in other functions and eventually transition to product management. Increasingly, though, large technology companies are hiring and training young graduates directly through programs like the Google Associate Product Manager program or the Facebook Rotational Product Manager program.

What Is The Role Of The Product Manager

The Role Of The Product Manager

Product managers undergo a structured interview process, often a mix of case-based product strategy interviews, analytical interviews and more traditional behavioral interviews.[10]

Product Manager Role

In most organizations, product managers have no direct reports: they 'lead through influence.'[11] As individuals grow in seniority, they eventually take on managing other PMs, under titles like 'Product Director', 'Director, Product Management' or 'Group Product Manager'.


Product Manager Wiki

Notable individuals[edit]

Because of the broad responsibilities, product management is often seen as a training ground to C-level leadership roles in technology companies.[12] Notable individuals who have held the role of product manager include Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google), Marissa Mayer (former CEO of Yahoo!), Premal Shah (president of, Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) and Kevin Systrom (founder of Instagram).

See also[edit]


The Product Manager's Survival Guide PDF Free Download

  1. ^Bavaro, Jackie; McDowell, Gayle Laakmann (2021). Cracking the PM career. Palo Alto, CA. ISBN0984782893. OCLC1239322919. foreword by Marissa Mayer
  2. ^McDowell, Gayle Laakmann; Bavaro, Jackie (2013). Cracking the PM interview : how to land a product manager job in technology. Palo Alto, CA. ISBN978-0-9847828-1-9. OCLC866799668.
  3. ^Cagan, Marty. Inspired: how to create tech products customers love (Second ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey. ISBN978-1-119-38750-3. OCLC1008765305.
  4. ^Greg Geracie (July 2010). Take Charge Product Management. Greg Geracie. pp. 16–17. ISBN978-0-615-37927-2.
  5. ^Zieliński, Krzysztof; Szmuc, Tomasz (2005). Software Engineering: Evolution and Emerging Technologies (2nd printing. ed.). Amsterdam: IOS Press. pp. 215. ISBN1-58603-559-2.
  6. ^Greg Cohen (2010). Agile Excellence for Product Managers: A Guide to Creating Winning Products with Agile Development Teams. Happy About. ISBN978-1-60773-074-3.
  7. ^'Product manager vs product owner - what is the difference?'. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  8. ^'What is a Product Owner?'. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  9. ^Greg Cohen (2010). Agile Excellence for Product Managers: A Guide to Creating Winning Products with Agile Development Teams. Happy About. p. 57. ISBN978-1-60773-074-3.
  10. ^'What you need to know before your Facebook PM interview'. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  11. ^'Influence Without Authority'. General Assembly. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  12. ^Haden, Jeff (2017-04-17). 'Want to Be a Great CEO? Be a Great Product Manager First'. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
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