Introduction

Product management roles are continuously evolving. Traditionally there used to be a product manager who had marketing, sales, economic, or communication background.  These days’ companies hire a technical product manager who is a product manager from computer science, engineering, or development background. These profiles have become prevalent in recent times. You will be surprised to know that the average technical product manager salary in India is 2,125K per year.

A technical product manager does not perform developmental tasks like coding and software architecting. Instead, a technical manager understands the firm’s technology at the root level and interacts with the development team to produce the final product.

Let us now understand what is a technical product manager in detail, its job description, roles, responsibilities, and how he gets involved in producing a valuable product. 

  1. Technical Product Manager Definition
  2. Roles of a Technical Product Manager
  3. Technical Product Manager Job Description
  4. Responsibilities of a Technical Product Manager

1. Technical Product Manager Definition

A typical Product manager has a little technical proficiency for understanding client requirements, design the product lifecycle, and produce the product. While, a technical PM is more involved in the technical parts of the product development lifecycle and has a close relationship with infrastructure, engineering, development, and networking teams. So, the main difference between technical product manager vs product manager is their background.

Generally, you would find a technical PM only if there is a large product management team and there needs to be a deep technical understanding to design the product. These act as a bridge between the business side and the development side of the company. The advantage of having a technical product manager on board is that they can promptly decide whether a particular demand by the client, can be served or not.

Now the question arises how to become a technical product manager? The following points hold the pre-requisites to become a TPM:

  • You should possess a degree in computer science, engineering, IT, or a similar field. Rarely, some people having the experience to deal with technical projects but do not have a degree, are hired.
  • You should possess strong business acumen and excellent communication skills.
  • Must coordinate well with clients.
  • Should be a good decision-maker.

Above are the traits of an excellent technical product manager. And you might expect technical product manager interview questions to revolve around these managerial skills too, apart from technical expertise.

2. Roles of a Technical Product Manager

The role of a technical product manager has three aspects attached to it. These are: 

  • The first and foremost role of a technical PM is designing the product strategy. This involves a vision and how the company will reach its goal.
  • The second technical product manager role is product marketing. It means the manager understands the product value for its customers and pitches it well.
  • The third and final role is technical product management. This part involves working with the development team to produce the final product.

3. Technical Product Manager Job Description

The main focus of a technical product manager job is the technology involved in product development. The technical management job description says these managers take business requirements from the client and translate them into technical requirements necessary for the final product. They identify user needs, design strategies to meet user demands, work closely with concerned departments to make use of the latest technology, and monitor progress on a timely basis. 

A technical PM might also conduct surveys to have a deeper customer understanding. It ensures the organization’s success rate and long term growth. Once a clear understanding of the customer requirement is achieved, the technical PM may or may not design the path from product creation. They usually work with either the development manager or the team to come up with a timeline of the product creation cycle. The development team is free to share the dependencies and difficulties involved in the product creation lifecycle to a TPM.

A technical product manager keeps on researching newer technologies in the market and find out solutions to integrate into their products. Their up-to-date technical knowledge lets the organization take educated decisions. Let us now discuss the technical product manager responsibilities to understand the picture clearly.

It is necessary to understand that a technical product manager job description might differ on the following pointers:

  • The product development team size.
  • The type of industry that the organization operates.
  • The capability and competency of the technical/engineering team.

4. Responsibilities of a Technical Product Manager

The responsibilities of a technical PM aren’t much different from a typical PM. However, some particular responsibilities are expected out of a technical PM. We will be curating a total list of responsibilities that lies on the shoulders of a technical PM. These are:

  • Clearly understand the customer needs and communicate them to the development team.
  • Should be able to work closely with all internal teams like development, engineering, architecture, Q&A, and operations. The technical PM should ensure that the requirements are clearly understood by all the teams and that the implementation roadmap matches the requirements.
  • Research about the latest technology trend and put them to practice. The manager should be visionary and should be able to assess emerging products and potential threats to the organization. 
  • Produce innovative ideas and help in implementing them.
  • He/She should be answerable about the product and its capabilities.
  • Should be able to judge and solve technical risks.
  • Analyze and understand algorithms, data pipelines, and automated systems.
  • The technical manager should act as the evangelist to the product and serve as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) to the developer community.
  •  Coordinate product testing.
  • Dictate success criteria for testing and product acceptance.
  • Use database queries to analyze performance.
  • Help in the creation and maintenance of bona fide product documentation.
  • Coordinate with marketing, engineering, and sales team during the time of product release.
  • Use a smart software development approach like Agile.
  • Ensure timely delivery of the product.
  • Manage risks and costs.

A typical technical product manager resume should showcase the above qualities in a candidate.

Conclusion

Technical Product managers can be a massive asset to the success of an organization. Their technical expertise, along with managerial and business skills can win new opportunities for a firm.

Technical Product Managers are of immense help to the development team. It is because TPMs can visualize technical possibilities and whether a particular customer need, can be fulfilled or not. They can understand and create better delivery deadlines. They can better understand the genuine delays in delivery and defend in front of the client. The development team has a better understanding of a technical manager and feels at home. 

But as they say, everything comes with a disadvantage. So there are a few disadvantages of hiring a TPM. A Technical product manager while focusing closely on technical details might neglect other responsibilities. He/She might get over-involved with the engineering/development team.

Interested to learn all about Product Management from the best minds in the industry? Check out our Product Management Course. This 6-month-long program takes place online through live instructor-led sessions. It is the only program in India that offers the ‘Bring Your Own Product (BYOP)’ feature so that learners can build their product idea into a full-blown product, and go through an entire Product Development lifecycle. Not only this, but this is the only program in India with a curriculum that conforms to the 5i Framework. Post completion, learners receive a joint certification from the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, and Jigsaw Academy. 

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