It has never been more popular to be a product manager, but the responsibilities of a product manager can vary greatly between organizations and even within an organization.
As a product manager at GitLab, you are primarily responsible for:
In addition, as a PM, you also play a critical role in the regular development and operating candence of GitLab. There are a few specific required tasks that the PMs are directly responsible for in Core PM Tasks.
PMs should spend a significant amount of time understanding the problems our users face. Deeply understanding the problem is the foundation for all other activities PMs take on; understanding the problem enables the PM to define the vision and prioritize effectively.
In order for a PM to deeply understand the problems our users are facing and determine which are the important problems to solve, they can do the following:
Producing a lovable product requires more than a deep understanding of the problem. At GitLab, we build lovable products by adhering to our values. PMs are expected to be the ambassador of the GitLab values by:
It is not sufficient to just know the problems. It is also insufficient to have a solution to the problem that our customers love. PMs also need to ensure that the solution is viable for GitLab.
In an ongoing effort to help product managers be more efficient and maximize time spent on high value activities in alignment with core PM responsibilities, below is a list to clarify what actions are required for product managers. Over time, our goal is to eliminate and automate any actions product managers currently have to do (due to tactical needs) that do not directly link to the core PM responsibilities defined above.
|Maintain and update Direction pages||Direction pages communicate our vision and plan externally and internally.|
|Review PIs and update PI pages||Product Indicators are how we know whether or not we are making the right investments or measuring the right thing. PMs should be intimately knowlegeable with the PIs in their domain.|
|Release planning for every milestone||PMs are the DRIs for planning and prioritizing the work for their respective development group. Some of the output for release planning can be planning issues and kick-off videos.|
|Create release post content||The release post is the way to broadcast what features have been released. PMs are responsible to ensure release post item MRs are created, reviews are complete and posted.|
|Drive alignment with stable counterparts via OKRs||PMs play a role in facilitating alignment by ensuring individual functional groups' objectives are appropriately prioritized within their development group.|
|Connect user and customer insights with product prioritization||Customer interviewing, collecting insights about customer adoption, pain points, and reprioritizing "What's Next". PMs are responsible for continuously refining the most important feature, bugs, and tech debt to ensure relevance to the market, install base, and expansion.|
|[Triage new issues]((https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/product/product-processes/#prioritization) (features, bugs, security vulnerabilities, etc)||PMs are responsible for prioritizing the most important issues to work on.|
|Determine pricing tier for features||The CEO is responsible for pricing, but PMs are responsible for determining which plan features belong to.|
To deeply understand the problems to solve, to build a lovable product, and to ensure the product is viable is not easy. It requires the Product Manager to be tenacious, influential, technically savvy, entrepreneurial, strategic, and many more adjectives. To support Product Managers, many processes and activities have been created. However, those activities are not always necessary if they do not contribute to the core PM responsibilities or are not part of the core PM tasks.
Product Managers are not responsible for: