Day in the Life of...Product Manager
Interested in what someone else does during their 9-5? Looking for a new job but want to know the specifics of what they actually do? Sometimes a description online just does not suffice. In this series, we take a deeper dive into our peers' day-to-day tasks - morning routines, lunch hour, end of day assignments - to better inform you in your career decisions. Today, check out the day in the life of a production manager in Nashville, TN!
Job Title: Product Manager
Industry: Healthcare IT
Yearly Salary: $70,000
College Major: Economics
Summary of your job: As a member of the product management team, I am a link between the business and development team. My role on the development team is focused on ensuring that the work created is bringing guaranteed and measurable value to the customers. I do this by converting business needs into guidelines for programming software. This allows me to contribute to the leadership and support of successful product implementation, delivery, and enhancement.
What is your morning routine…: I wake up around 6:00 AM and without fail, head straight to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee. As it brews, I select a podcast or audio book (currently listening to Educated by Tara Westover) to listen to as I get ready and commute to work. I am typically out the door around 7:00 AM.
What are you doing at 9AM? Since most of the members on my development team are located on the east coast, meetings usually begin around 7:30 and are in full swing by 9AM. The morning meetings primarily focus on responsibilities pertaining to my role on the product development team such as user story refinement, prioritization, and acceptance.
What are you doing at 11AM? Generally around 11 AM there is a shift in direction as meetings are now with product management leadership. These meetings involve product analysis at a higher level: brainstorming, strategy, and road map review. We discuss what we should do, how we can do it, and when we can get it done. If time permits, I address tasks on my to-do list from the day before.
What do you do for lunch? I try to pack lunch and eat throughout a mid-day meeting (un-muting myself between bites to share any input)
What are you doing at 2PM? Around 2 PM, I am completing takeaways from my morning meetings, creating plans for any newly assigned projects, and conducting any required product research and analysis. 1:1s with team members and meetings for independent projects are weaved throughout my afternoons.
What are you doing at 5PM? At 5 PM, I am finishing outstanding support work for the development team or my independent projects. I always conclude the day by creating a to- do list and assessing my progress toward my weekly goals to ensure I stay on target.
Do you usually work late? I prefer to leave the office around 5:30 to attend an afternoon workout class or go for a run around my neighborhood. If I have work that needs to be completed, then I will sign back in around 7:30. I am more productive and effective after taking a mental break to decompress, work out, and eat dinner.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry? Product management requires really high levels of communication, collaboration, and engagement from all stakeholders. Although the product management team determines the product road map, it is based on the input, work, and alignment of many individuals such as business representatives, software development engineers, and senior leaders. Furthermore, when there are updates or unexpected roadblocks that require change, a cohesive team can most effectively mitigate issues, pivot, and drive forward to deliver the best results.
What is your favorite thing about the work you do? I love being part of a product team because I get to collaborate with and learn from individuals with a variety of diverse backgrounds, strengths, skill sets, and knowledge that have embraced the principles of accountability and transparency to reach a common goal.
A piece of advice for people entering this field: After you gain all the pertinent information you need to make a decision, be confident in your choice. Wavering in a decision and displaying hesitancy can send a wave of doubt throughout the team. If you don’t end up selecting the right path, the team can always change direction & every mistake will serve as a learning experience.
What did you think? Let’s chat. Comment below!
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