A couple weeks ago Adam Bullied put together an initial draft of The Product Management Manifesto. It contains two major pieces: a philosophy (definition?) and a set of fundamental activities.
His basic definition / philosophy of product management is
Product management is the function of serving as a proxy to a defined set of markets (or market segments), in order to be able to ensure appropriate product creation, and ongoing product health and quality for those markets throughout a product’s entire lifecycle, until end of life.
I read the definition a couple times before it started to make sense. I like the "ongoing product health and quality" line. My read of this is that Product Managers shepherd a product through its creation and its entire life, all with the customers in mind. Product Managers don't typically come up with a product and throw it into the market without understanding of what the market needs. (This immediately makes me wonder: how do those "unknown needs" products get launched - most likely without the more formal processes of product management.)
After this basic definition, Adam lists a bunch of "fundamentals" that start to flesh out the definition and activities of Product Management:
- Understand the Problem
- Know Who It's For
- Ascertain Appropriateness or Health
- Develop a Clear Picture of the Future
- Execute in Concert
- Shepherd and Adapt Based on Feedback
If you are interested in Product Management, have a look at the original and provide your own commentary (as a comment or on your own space).