From a copyrighted story at SoftwareCEO written by Bob Weinstein Software product management: If you can't define it, you're doing a bad job at it
Product managers' rule #1: The best product managers follow the Pragmatic Marketing maxim: Your opinion, while interesting, is irrelevant. Always use market facts to decide the best course of action.
Product managers' rule #2: Product management is a not a "natural" fit for everyone. A good product manager has a technical background with business savvy. Software engineers and programmers, for example, can make a smooth transition to product management because they're starting off with a strong technical background. But technical smarts alone won't cut it.
Product managers' rule #3: In "Crossing the Chasm," Geoff Moore says that product management is a senior, business-oriented role and typically fails because we staff it with junior, technically-oriented people.
Product managers' rule #4: Credibility comes from being able to manage the business of the product. Otherwise, product management gets relegated to a technical support role.
Product managers' rule #5: Product management is about delivering what the market needs. Good product managers spend more time in front of customers and potential customers; they spend less time on sales calls and in their corporate offices.
Product managers' rule #6: Product management is not necessarily about delivering what the customer asks for. The best products solve the customer's problems and no more. A product manager has to observe and understand what the customer needs in order to solve the problem, rather than building the features the customer requests. "The old guys at Home Depot do this well," says Johnson. "They don't ask you what you want to buy; they ask you to describe your project so that they can tell what you need to buy."
Product managers' rule #7: Mature companies value product management and enjoy shorter time to market. According to a survey Pragmatic Marketing conducted with softwareminds, companies that consider product-management business critical cut their time to market in half. This results from more focus on the product and less last-minute reaction to sales demands du jour.
Product managers' rule #8: Product management usually fails when organized in the development or engineering team. Technical managers do not consider product management a value-add to their teams and relegate them to project management and scheduling.
Product managers' rule #9: Similarly, product management fails in sales departments. Naturally, sales management considers product management a sales resource and allocates 110 percent of its time for supporting salespeople.
Product managers' rule #10: It seems counterintuitive, but product managers who spend a lot of time supporting salespeople find that they are not valued by their companies. Invariably, the product managers who have been laid off are the ones who are closer to sales.