What Does A Product Manager Do Every Day?

Every day is different! One of the most challenging aspects of product management is that your day typically consists of many different types of interactions with many different types of people and groups. You have to be very good at context switching, which is a difficult cognitive skill!

You might have a bug triage meeting one hour, and then a conversation with executives about strategy, followed by a one-on-one design discussion with an engineer, then a presentation to a sales team, and then a customer call. One after the other. Any given day can be like that – or any combination of about 15 other types of engagement – including sitting down and working on fleshing out a user story, or documenting a bug, or preparing for a demo next week.

This constant context switching is one of the big differences between product management and engineering.

Engineers typically like to spend a lot of time working on a particular thing, getting into flow, being very focused, and while that’s fun for product managers, it’s just not really part of our job description.

You know, if you can spend an hour on a particular topic as a product manager, that’s actually kind of unusual. In particular on your own solo work, right? Typically you might have meetings that are an hour where you have to even then switch a lot in terms of the topics that are going on. You have to make decisions you have to do all this conversing in different languages.

About the Author nils

Your host and author, Nils Davis, is a long-time product manager, consultant, trainer, and coach. He is the author of The Secret Product Manager Handbook, many blog posts, a series of video trainings on product management, and the occasional grilled pizza.

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