In the realm of project management and development, everyone has a distinct function to play. Companies can’t function well without a technical product manager; therefore, it’s crucial that they know what they’re getting into. The role of technical product managers is often misunderstood. It’s often believed that technical product managers must possess specialized knowledge and skill sets. Also, people think that a technical product manager may be anybody with a technical background working in product management.

The fact is, however, that technical product management is a cross between engineering and marketing, and research. And if you need more detail on Technical Product Manager, you’re at the right place. Because in this article, we’ve discussed what a technical product manager is, its roles, skills, and challenges. Let’s get started!

What is a Technical Product Manager?

One who is accountable for the product’s success is the technical product manager. A technical product manager is someone who understands the whole product life cycle yet comes from an engineering or product development background. This allows them to build a product roadmap with features that are realistically achievable. They’ll investigate the market, pay attention to what customers want, and stay true to the company’s objectives.

They do this by coordinating across departments with those responsible for its development, promotion, sale, and maintenance. Technical product managers, in contrast to their non-technical counterparts, have in-depth knowledge of engineering and design. To develop product roadmaps and features, technical product managers must be well-versed in not just digital goods but also marketing, pricing, and the industry’s main rivals. In addition to technical knowledge, the position requires experience teaching both employees and customers. This is why many individuals have difficulty making the switch from engineering or marketing to product management.

A technical product manager ensures that the company’s product development procedures are consistent with its overall strategy and objectives. You’ll be responsible for everything from product research and customer requirements to beta testing and user research, as well as discovery and creativity in this position.

A Technical Product Manager might serve as the group’s primary technical resource. Therefore, the TPM is not accountable for a specific product or division of a product but rather represents the product team in highly technical elements of product management.

What is a Technical Product Manager?

What is a Technical Product Manager

Core Responsibilities of a Technical Product Manager

Wondering about the goals and responsibilities of a product manager? This section has the answers! Although technical product managers’ role overlaps with product managers, they understand the development and product life cycle due to their technical knowledge. To have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, follow this:

Develop Product Vision

The product vision is the foundation for the product roadmap. Product owners collaborate with technical product managers to bring the product vision to life. The technical product manager then creates a plan that can be implemented. They check the product backlog at this phase to make sure there are no problems or inconsistencies.

It’s also a good idea to write down perspective adjustments. This may include providing recommendations to various teams on the modification of features to save future expenses and workload. Correct product development and design can only come from actively working and controlling the product vision.

Design the Project’s Road Map

Developing a strategy for the future of the product is a key responsibility of a technical product manager. The product vision is the starting point for the product roadmap, which is the strategy for creating the product. It details the work that each team and person will do, when it will be done, and how it will contribute to the company’s goals.

When this is done, the product manager should distribute it to the rest of the development staff. The technical product manager would provide the roadmap to the scrum master in a scrum development environment. After identifying possible roadblocks, the scrum master would advise on how to circumvent them best.

Do a Complete Market Research

An integral part of a technical product manager’s role is doing market research. Technical goods managers look for market niches to come up with new offerings. Client requirements may be better met by using user story mapping. Consumers’ wants and needs may diverge from those revealed by market studies. The aim of the product cannot be compromised while trying to please everyone. Thus, technical product managers must find a middle ground.

Actively Communicate with the Product Team

Throughout development, it is crucial for technical product managers to maintain open lines of communication and align with the product team. They need to keep everyone up to speed, ask pertinent questions about the product’s direction, and check that everyone is on the same page concerning deadlines and priorities. The key to a successful and effective development process is open lines of communication between all of these participants.

Assess and Mitigate Risks

There are risks involved at every point in the product management process, and they might cause serious problems for the product. These may take the form of stumbling hurdles, pushed-back deadlines, unpaid bills, troubled production, or disgruntled workers. Managers of technical products must be prepared for these kinds of problems. These problems shouldn’t cause a halt in operations or the job being done.

Therefore, technical product managers create backup strategies for typical threats. These strategies are tailored and adapted to each product and business. Technical product managers must be aware of and prepare for any dangers. While they continue working on the product’s development, they must think of practical answers and ways to deal with any problems.

Essential Skills and Qualifications for a Successful Technical Product Manager

Want to know the skills and qualifications for a successful technical product manager? Find out below:

Knowledge of Agile Methodology

Almost all modern SaaS product management trends, including the practices of the most effective product managers, are grounded in the Agile framework. All new goods in this ecosystem are developed by cross-functional groups that have varying focuses but may yet operate in concert to achieve a shared objective.

The agile methodology emphasizes progress in the following areas: learning, planning, individual and group growth, teamwork, consistency in development, and efficiency in delivering results. In contrast to the more conventional waterfall method, some businesses that use an agile methodology employ a development framework that includes both creation and testing at the same time.

SQL Knowledge

SQL has uses in both data analysis and program creation. Being proficient in SQL is crucial as it enables you to understand intricate queries and create effective RDBMS architecture. Due to the Technical PM’s potential involvement in the Database design process, many roles need advanced SQL skills. Mastering databases like MySQL, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL is essential.

Communication and People Skills

Like other product managers, the TPM must feel at ease liaising with a wide variety of internal stakeholders, from C-suite executives to Sales, design, development, and quality assurance. That calls for a flexible approach to interacting with a wide range of individuals. You won’t approach your roadmap as you would in a stand-up discussion with the R&D team while talking to the CEO and COO.

The developers are the most crucial people to communicate with. In this context, this implies being able to communicate with them on their level, demonstrating your knowledge without seeming to usurp their role or tread on their toes. The TPM’s role does not include creating anything or thinking of code solutions.

Data Analysis and Extraction

The product manager relies heavily on data to make educated choices about the product’s future direction, including its strategy, development, positioning, and marketing. Product managers need to be able to collect and evaluate data to make informed decisions and develop superior goods and services.

To better understand what your customers want, you need analytical abilities in addition to data mining and market research. Knowledge of probability, linear regression, and integral calculus, among other statistical and mathematical topics, is essential for the field of data analytics.

Prototype Designing

The function of technical product managers is crucial throughout the prototyping phase of software product development, which serves as the main design verification step. Building and testing the user experience design, showcasing its functionality, and putting it through its paces in realistic circumstances are all part of the prototype process. Prototyping guidelines and scenarios are both products of the technical PM’s imagination. Using the user personas and the product features, they generate ideas for all the many ways the product may be used.

A/B Testing

Split testing is another name for A/B testing. A/B testing is a kind of market research in which two or more variants of a website, product, or service are compared to see which one performs better. Similarly, A/B testing requires dividing your audience in half. The product, website, or service feature would be offered in two distinct forms to each of these groups.

The product manager then analyzes the information received to determine which feature is most beneficial to the target audience. As a product manager, understanding how to do such testing may be invaluable, particularly in cases when more investigation is required before a conclusion can be drawn.

Common Challenges Faced by Tech PMs & How to Overcome Them

Although technical PMs are more technologically sound than traditional PMs, they also face challenges on a large scale. You can find some of the common challenges of tech PMs here:

Lack of Communication

Successful project management relies heavily on clear and constant lines of communication between all parties involved. To keep all interested parties informed and engaged, timely and open channels of communication are essential. Technical project managers often use a wide variety of commercially available collaboration and project management tools to keep everyone in the loop. Project collaboration tools increase management efficiency by promoting open communication and team responsibility. Moreover, misunderstandings can be avoided to a large extent by holding brief, weekly stand-up meetings.

Scope Creeping

The scope of a project will inevitably expand with time. The benefits are few and few between, while the drawbacks are far more common. Project teams are increasingly reporting problems with scope creep (52% in 2017). One of the most difficult aspects of project management is dealing with clients who aren’t clear on what they want and who have generalized expectations.

To get around this problem, technical product managers should define and keep a detailed list of deliverables right from the start of the project. They should be proactive in informing stakeholders of any changes to the project’s scope and should collaborate with those stakeholders to revise the project’s schedule and budget.

Technological Dependency and Complexity

The many interconnections between different technologies of IT are another source of difficulty for teams. There will be numerous software upgrades, versions, and releases, and there will always be defects and interoperability concerns with IT projects. Even more interesting is the possibility of discovering hidden interconnections among devices, programs, networks, and information.

Tech project managers may overcome this obstacle by mastering the technology at play in each of their projects. They need to collaborate closely with the technical team to learn about the project’s technical needs and make sure those needs are being satisfied.

Budgeting Issues

Many tech PMs see financial concerns as a major roadblock to efficient project management. Budget is the number one issue that manufacturing managers confront when it comes to project management, according to 2017 research. A manager’s ability to keep a project’s costs in check allows them to successfully navigate the many pitfalls that might slow down or derail a project.

To keep costs in check, it is crucial to use a reliable project scheduler, a thorough budgeting method, and reasonable assumptions. The available funds must be considered while determining the scope of the project.

Final Thought

A technical product manager improves a product’s technical aspects, allowing it to function better than the competition and gain new features. Bringing a product up to speed technically so that it can compete in the market is a lengthy and winding route. Therefore, a technical product manager is essential to product-based companies. Besides that, we hope you’ve got everything you need as Technical Product Manager after reading this article. For any question or query related to technical product management, you can use the comments section.


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