I am often asked what a typical day looks like. It is hard to describe in general, because one of the things about being a product manager is that I get tossed tasks, and crises all the time. So, what does a day in the life look like?
7:30AM – Arrive. Check email, find an urgent request to do a competitive analysis of one of our products with a down market competitor (clearly inferior, and a less complete solution to boot). Deliver that to the requesting sales engineer by 8:30.
~ 9:00AM – Dive into strategic planning homework.
~9:10AM – R&D director walks into cube. There is an issue with a component of our main under development project. We discuss for some time (seems like hours). Turns out to not be a big deal, but I am glad to be made aware.
~ 10:00AM Back to the strategy work. Research US R&D funding forecasts, and what the effect of the Budget Sequestration will have on funding (and hence the pool of money for many of our customers to buy our products). Fortunately there are lots of good, poignant analyses to wade through. Soon I have 60+ pages to read.
Noon – Lunch time. Had to run home to turn out the hounds (My wife is out of town).
1:00PM – meeting with marketing to discuss the new product introduction schedule. Surprise, it lasted a full hour plus (scheduled for 30 minutes)
2:00PM – meet with our ERP engineers to discuss the additions and deletions to the ERP system (part numbers, prices, ECO’s etc).
3:00PM – 5:00PM meet with R&D to discuss our bets for the future. Spirited discussion.
Run home and walk the dogs. Feed them.
5:00 – 6:30 – Backlog planning with our overseas development team. Glad I made this one (I do make most of the calls) as some key decision points were at hand.
6:30 – ??? Catch up on email, my news reading, and finally fade into bed at 9:00
Today will be entirely different. Lather, rinse, repeat.