Group Product Manager Role
A group product manager (GPM) is a product leader who manages multiple product managers and teams within an organization. In doing so, the group product manager acts as a coach that provides support to individual product managers as they help their respective teams build successful products.
GPMs focus on the bigger picture of product management. This leadership role combines managing and developing people and being an individual contributor. As such, group product managers oversee the development of products from inception to prototype testing and the eventual launch of the final product to the market.
The role of a group product manager is a step up from being a product manager and is attainable once one has proven themself capable of assuming such a senior role within an Agile company.
Types of Group Product Managers
There are two main types of group product managers.
- Some GPMs prefer being individual contributors who take a more hands-on approach to development through conducting research and strategizing project execution.
- Other group product managers gravitate toward a more supervisory role where they manage teams.
Regardless of their preference, it is the job of a group product manager to ensure the competitiveness and profitability of the group’s products through effective leadership and a deep understanding of what product management entails.
Group Product Manager Responsibilities
The role of the group product manager is diverse. Most GPMS manage several products at different stages of their development. The following are the two main responsibilities associated with the job:
- Leadership and Team Management
- Product Development
Leadership and Team Management
As product leaders, group product managers act as chief advisors to the product teams. They mentor and coach product managers to help them better manage their teams and boost their output as a unit.
- Leading and managing product teams to develop or review products to ensure that they interact seamlessly on the roadmap.
- Helping achieve revenue growth for the company across a group of products
- Supervising and mentoring junior team members and addressing their concerns in a prompt manner
- Hiring and training new members of the product team and providing them with coherent objectives and status updates on a regular basis
- Ensuring that product managers have clear goals and an understanding of the company and product vision
In some cases, group product managers take a more hands-on approach to product management. In doing so, they get involved at a granular level of product development, working alongside the team to help make the product portfolio or suite a success.
- Creating product requirement documents that outline the requirements that align with the business goals of the organization
- Collaborating with product leaders and internal teams to develop and update products that compete with market trends, keep the customers’ best interest at the forefront and improve profitability
- Presenting ideas and product features to stakeholders, upper management, and other product managers
- Conducting focus groups and user surveys to understand customer needs, soliciting product enhancements, solutions and identifying opportunities for growth and improvement
- Identifying and mitigating potential risks that arise from new product launches
- Monitoring product launches from beginning to end, ensuring that they meet the quality and performance standards of the company
Group Product Manager Qualifications
A group product manager must have a significant amount of experience within the realm of product management. They must also have proven experience managing people across large teams. The main qualifications for this role are as follows:
- Proven experience managing two or more products at the same time
- Experience managing experienced product teams or product managers
- Excellent people-management skills
- Strong communication and leadership skills
- Mandatory to have a Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or similar fields
Best Tips for New Group Product Managers
The role of the group product manager is so diverse that there is no straightforward blueprint to succeed at the job. However, here are a few points to consider when approaching this career path:
The capacity to understand the motives and emotions of others is key to being a group product manager. This role not only involves building strong relationships with cross-functional product teams but also representing the customers. In the end, however, ensure that the decisions you make align with the product roadmap.
As a group product manager, knowing how to best use available resources to achieve a larger goal is tantamount to knowing that it is not possible to satisfy the needs of everyone. Assess the product tasks, features, or requirements and how they impact the customer to decide which ones are a priority.
Group product managers perform several tasks within their scope of work. The best GPMs use software tools that help keep track of their duties and enhance the product management experience to achieve deliverables.
Successful group product managers undertake a combination of responsibilities ranging from marketing, business analysis, and product and project management. Having the qualifications and additional soft skills to fulfill this job works to the advantage of any candidate.
There are, however, other aspects that enhance the product management experience, such as empathy, prioritization, and organization. A group product manager uses all of the above when leading a product team while also ensuring that they stay true to the product vision.