In order for a product to be successful, a company must design, build, test and market the product effectively and a Product Manager leads or facilitates various activities to achieve that. Thus on a daily basis the Product Manager must deal with the the triangle of forces that is People, Process and Technology.
A Product Manager needs to work with customers, development, design, operations, customer support, sales and marketing, company executives and industry analysts on a regular basis to define product requirements, prioritize them, ensure product quality, listen for feedback and communicate current product information and future vision. Each group requires a different communication style and a Product Manager must master the art of effective communication with each group. Often a Product Manager needs to negotiate product priorities with customers and sales or process with engineering, operations and support. Strong Negotiation skills can be of great benefit in resolving any differences that arise.
A Product Manager needs to have a process that allows information to flow from the market to the company and back to the market. Having a well defined process and leveraging effective tools allow a Product Manager to first transform market and customer data into a prioritized backlog for engineering and secondly transform the key results delivered by engineering into marketing and sales messages that can be communicated back to the market and customers. Tools chosen must not define the process, but rather the process must define the tools that are selected.
It goes without saying that a Product Manager deeply understands his or her product and the technology it leverages. However, in addition the product manager must be aware of various technological trends that the product may be able to leverage to solve existing problems faster or solve new problems. Understanding technological trends and exploiting key trends in a product can help the company stay ahead of customer needs as well as competition.