Product Manager Roles and Responsibilities in the Development Life Cycle


Quick Summary
One-page table created by a company as part of their project life cycle, documenting the Marketing Project Manager role in a way that lends itself to quick reference during a project and detailed understanding of their responsibilities to drive, contribute to, and review key project deliverables within the "big picture" of the life cycle.


This template requires a Premium Subscription
Please log in. Don't have a log-in? Sign up now. Already a Member? Log in to upgrade immediately and get the file! A Premium subscription is only $14.95/month or $149/year and gets you over 200 templates, guidelines, and checklists.
15-day free trial period for new Premium subscribers! Learn more
Log in to download this file

Username:  
Password:  

What this is

Table that was created as part of a company's product development life cycle for the Marketing organization's Product Managers to reference and see at-a-glance what project activities they are to participate in, and how. This particular organization created a comprehensive product development lifecycle that encompassed hardware, software, and mechanical design, all the related building of hardware and manufacturing prep, marketing and sales activities, creation of user documentation, multiple levels of component, system, and customer testing activities, and so forth. This table shows how the Product Managers are to participate in this complex, highly cross-functional life cycle.


Why it's useful

Such a table can be very useful to express on one page to team members their role in the development process, as well as their role in project management and quality-related activities, since many of the deliverables listed for their participation are aimed at those aspects of the project.

Such a table is especially useful if you are introducing a new life cycle process in your organization, or new product managers need to learn how projects work and their role. A typical issue with Marketing/Product Management participation is to ensure they are available not only for the "front end" of the project, but also throughout, with responsibility for key customer-related deliverables, as well as important contributions to make in reviews--to ensure customer requirements are being met by the product being created.

Both were the case with the company who created this table as part of their life cycle documentation. They were growing rapidly and taking on a number of simultaneous projects, and bringing on a number of new product managers. Their life cycle needed to encompass all the cross-functional activities, and their product managers were not all used to having such a comprehensive role throughout a development cycle. They realized that they should document different team members' roles in a way that would lend itself to quick reference and understanding of those roles within the "big picture" of the life cycle. This table is one approach they used to accomplish that goal.


How to use it

This section describes the make-up of the table, definition of the "ways of participating," and how to tailor the table for your organization.

How to adapt it for your use

  1. Change the phase columns to match your life cycle process. Note that this company's process had 7 phases due to the complexity of their hardware and software development and the need for interim checkpoints; other life cycles often have 4 or 5 phases.
  2. If needed, change the rows to reflect how you want to express the different levels of involvement.
  3. Change the cells to express what the Product Manager should do during each phase, in each role (the rows - driver, contributor, or audience/beneficiary).
    • If you have a defined life cycle process as this company did, you can include your own categories and numbers of specific deliverables; or names and numbers of specific deliverables.
    • If you don't have "numbered" documents but do have defined deliverables that are typically used on each project, you can use those names in the cells.
    • If you don't have a defined process or "standard" deliverables, you can use this table format as a "worksheet" for collaboratively defining key activities and the software engineering role in those activities.
  4. Review the table with Product Managers, other team members and functional managers as necessary to ensure accuracy and to get buy-in on the contents.
  5. Print out copies for Product Managers to keep/post for easy reference. (NOTE: the chart page is formatted for 11x17 paper given the density of information. If your version of the table has much less information, you can change the page set-up to standard size paper.
  6. Refer to the table as you go through your project to double-check that product management is participating appropriately on the project. It can also be used as ongoing "tool" to educate or remind Product Managers about their roles.
  7. Consider creating a similar table for other roles on your project.

This template requires a Premium Subscription
Please log in. Don't have a log-in? Sign up now. Already a Member? Log in to upgrade immediately and get the file! A Premium subscription is only $14.95/month or $149/year and gets you over 200 templates, guidelines, and checklists.
15-day free trial period for new Premium subscribers! Learn more
Log in to download this file

Username:  
Password:  





©Copyright 2000-2017 Emprend, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
About us   Site Map   View current sponsorship opportunities (PDF)
Contact us for more information or e-mail info@projectconnections.com
Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Get Our Newsletter
Get our latest content delivered to your inbox, every other week. New case studies, articles, templates, online courses, and more. Check out our Newsletter Archive for past issues.

Follow Us!
Linked In Facebook Twitter RSS Feeds

Got a Question?
Drop us an email or call us toll free:
888-722-5235
Learn more about ProjectConnections, our contributors, and our membership levels and product options.