What is a Group Product Manager? Everything you should know about the role.

Group Product Manager

The Group product manager (GPM) is a relatively new position in the product management world. It is gaining traction as companies realize the importance of cross-functional collaboration to create products that customers love.

The GPM is responsible for aligning the product team around a single product vision and ensuring that the team work towards a common objective.

This position requires understanding the product, the business, and the engineering functions that need to come together to bring that product to market.

Let’s break down this crucial position and understand what a group product manager is, including their role, responsibilities, and salary.

What Is a Group Product Manager?

The group product manager (GPM) is a role that has grown in popularity in recent years.

As the name suggests, the group product manager is responsible for managing a product or products as a group, rather than individually. You will find this position in larger companies, where there are multiple products in different stages of development.

A group product manager is a product leader who guides the team responsible for a group of products. This group product manager role demands skills in product development and team management. Notably, successful GPMs exhibit the ability to coach and motivate their team members while also staying engaged in hands-on work.

The group product manager is responsible for setting the vision and strategy for the product(s) and creating and managing roadmaps. They also work with other teams within the company to ensure that the products align with its overall strategy.

That looks like a versatile job, doesn’t it? 

Let’s look at the required skills that make you a good group product manager.

Group Product Manager vs. Product Manager

What a product manager does and what they are in charge of can depend on what type of company or industry it is. For example, industries like construction, manufacturing, and auto industries are different.

Suppose you’re a deep-water fishing boat owner managing your ship and crew from Boston headed out to catch New England sardines. In that case, you’re technically the person handling your particular product. 

On the other hand, suppose you’ve got one hundred surfboards built in China in a factory with shipments coming through Detroit. Your business partner evaluates trestles in North Carolina as possible future roofing materials distributors. In that case, the chances are you don’t have much more than an idea with no real end customer right now.

That is why, the term “idea” often gets thrown around when talking about startups. You’re trying to determine what the end customer looks like and which value proposition will get them to purchase from you. 

Maybe it’s a product that solves a problem for them. Perhaps it’s your website design or a consulting or web development service. Your aim is to take this idea and turn it into a product through a strategic roadmap.

Now all of that comes under the hat of the product manager.

A group product manager has more responsibility than a product manager.

Group product managers usually have a team of people who report back to them.

If a product manager handles one product, say the Apple iPhone 13, a group product manager takes the ‘iPhone’ category under Apple’s various products.

Which one is right for you? Be sure to decide if you want to lead this group or be a part of it.

Group Product Manager vs. Senior Product Manager

In the tech and product industry, the terms group product manager and senior product manager are often used interchangeably.

Usually, it depends on the company you’re part of.

The primary responsibility that distinguishes a senior product manager is working on a portfolio of products- multiple products (or product teams) at once.

Senior product managers are to product teams as editors are to writing teams.

They also oversee product launches, manage cross-functional teams (including engineers), and work closely with senior executives on strategic initiatives. 

In addition, senior product managers are also responsible for coaching and mentoring other team members. They evangelize the product within their company and write proposals or white papers about their product.

This may seem like a lot of the responsibilities of a group product manager. However, one factor that could distinguish the two is that senior product managers work with multiple group product managers.

To simplify, let’s continue our Apple example. 

If a group product manager works in the iPhone category, a senior product manager works with the iPhone and iPad.

Sometimes, the senior product manager may be the authority that the group product manager reports. In other cases, both the titles have essentially the same responsibilities and depend on the company.

Well, that should clear it up! Hopefully, you have a better idea about the role of a group product manager.

But before you leave, here’s a bonus- a list of tools that most group product managers use and should familiarize themselves with.

What Are Group Product Manager Skills?

Group product managers are an essential part of many technology companies. They are responsible for working with teams of product managers to create products that customers love. But what skills do they need to be successful?

Here are some essential group product manager skills:

  • A GPM is typically an experienced product manager with a proven track record. They have a strong desire to manage products and people.
  • They also need to be able to effectively communicate with other members of their team and with customers and stakeholders.
  • Finally, group product managers need to understand both the business and the technology industry.
  • Because group product managers work with teams, they need to be more ‘leaders’ and team players than ‘bosses.’
  • Product analytics is another skill that comes in handy to have an edge in the role of a group product manager.
  • Finally, group product managers need to understand both the business and the technology industry.

If you’ve got these critical group product manager skills covered, you’re probably a good fit. But, before you take that call, let’s understand the roles and responsibilities of a group product manager.

What Is a Group Product Manager Role?

The group product manager’s role is to take care of the product vision and strategy across a product line or family of products.

They work with teams of individual product managers to ensure that each product aligns with the overall strategy and roadmap.

The group product manager role is becoming more popular as companies align their products around a central strategy. This position requires a lot of cross-functional coordination.

This position is responsible for the product roadmap and ensuring that the products in their domain are successful. They work with stakeholders across the company to ensure that the products they are responsible for are valuable to the company and its customers.

The group product manager plays a vital role in companies trying to move towards a more agile way of working. They keep the team focused on the most important things and help remove roadblocks.

What Are Group Product Manager Responsibilities?

Group product managers are responsible for the success of the products in their product portfolio. They work with teams of engineers, designers, and marketers to define and execute a product strategy that meets the needs of their customers and stakeholders.

Some of the critical responsibilities of a group product manager include:

  • Defining and articulating the vision for their product portfolio.
  • Planning and executing a product roadmap that meets customer needs and business objectives.
  • Managing a team of engineers, product designers, and product marketers.
  • Ensuring that the team is on track to meet deadlines and manage sprint backlogs.
  • Communicating with stakeholders throughout the company.
  • Ensure that the particular line of products aligns with a standard vision and process that leads to quality product delivery.
  • Mentoring junior product managers.
  • Lastly, the group product manager needs to be able to track and measure the right product metrics for success.

Phew! That’s a lot of work, isn’t it? 

Well, with great responsibility also comes great power (in the form of bucks!)

Let’s see what the average group product manager salary looks like.

What Is Group Product Manager Salary?

According to Comparably, the average group product manager salary in the U.S. is approximately $182,242 per year. However, the salary ranges from anywhere around $60,000 to $343,000.

Speaking of locations, San Fransico shows a 14% higher trend in group product manager salary figures than most other places. 

Yes, Silicon Valley demands the role! Seattle is the next best bet with a 13% higher group product manager salary.

The average group product manager salary is $129,548. Group product managers are in charge of a product or a group of products. They work with teams to develop and launch products that meet customer needs and achieve business goals.

Group product managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, engineering, or any other field. They have several years of experience in product management, marketing, and engineering. Some companies may also require group product managers to have expertise using certain product management tools like Chisel

Thus, the salary may vary based on your education or experience. These numbers are not set in stone but rather indicative.

Well, suppose you’ve reached this far. In that case, there are two scenarios. One, you have a clear picture of the role of a group product manager. Two, you’re now confused about how it differs from a product manager or even a senior product manager.

Let’s not leave room for any doubt.

Group Product Manager Tools

As you already know, group product managers are responsible for managing the product development process. They are in charge of coordinating the work of different departments and ensuring that they deliver the product on time.

Group product managers use the following tools:

  • Product roadmaps: This tool helps to plan and prioritize future products. It also helps identify potential risks or opportunities.
  • Product backlog: This tool lists all features you need to develop for a given project.

Suppose you’re looking to ace the game of product management and create quality products more efficiently. In that case, we suggest you ditch these multiple tools. Find one tool that serves all these goals with an integrated kanban board.

Try Chisel’s free version today and tell us if it isn’t a game-changer!

To Conclude

Well, all said and done, the role of a group product manager is a crucial one in any organization. Moreover, it is gaining increasing demand in the current competitive times.

While a group product manager is a position that takes effort, experience, and time to reach, there is never a better time to begin than now!

If you’re driven by passion, ideas, and the ability to solve analytical problems, maybe the role of product management is the right fit for you. You can read all about it on our blog where we also brief you about some amazing product management softwares. 

This article has helped you understand the role of a group product manager in detail. Do come back for more!

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