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"Product thinking is a way of life." Product manager in IT: what you need to know at the start

A product manager is a specialist who manages the flows and processes in creating a product. He sets goals and criteria for business success, helps motivate the team, and is responsible for the end result.

The product manager constantly balances between technology, user interests and business objectives. Users don't always like changes. It is also impossible to focus only on business requirements: this can worsen the user experience. Plus, new technologies impose their own requirements on the product. 

To learn more about the profession, we talked with Evgeny Abramovich, product manager of the Kolesa Group. He told how he came to the profession and shared the subtleties of product management in IT. He also gave useful recommendations for anyone interested in this profession.

I am a civil engineer by education. He graduated from Gumilev ENU and worked as a chief project engineer at a construction site. I have always looked with interest towards online business - there is a completely different scale of ideas. A friend advised me to take a closer look at product management, because I like to optimize everything and set up any processes.

I started reading a lot about IT management and studying open sources. I was lucky: in parallel, I was enrolled in the free online course Kolesa Upgrade on product management. I applied, passed, studied after work every day. As a result, he proved himself by getting into the top 10 graduates of the Kolesa Upgrade.

The first successes gave me confidence, so I immediately responded to the vacancy of junior product manager at the Kolesa Group. At the interview, it became clear that there was still a lack of "combat" experience. But they told me about the upcoming launch of the paid internship at the Kolesa Academy for novice product managers. I had time to hand over all the projects at work and close the knowledge gaps. I studied hard, passed the selection process, became an intern, started working on the real tasks of the Kolesa Group products and received my first salary in IT.

As a result, the Kolesa Academy received an offer to the staff. With the support of the mentor, he closed the probation period ahead of schedule. That's how I got into the team where I now work as a product manager in a product .

My dream has come true — to combine my project management experience and digital business opportunities

Our job is to manage the flows and processes to create value for the user. I will tell you about the example of the section "Motor vehicles" in the product .

Before any changes, we always start from the product strategy. One of the goals is to become market leaders in the purchase and sale of motorcycles.

1. We launch the first flow of the project — generating ideas and identifying problems. Next, we create hypotheses and test them through brainstorms, data analytics, qualitative and quantitative research. It is very important that after all this work with hypotheses, you make a prioritized list of what you will work with next.

2. The next stage is the solution creation flow. We take a list of problems and ideas from the first stream and begin to create hypotheses for their solution and implementation. Namely: we create prototypes, conduct CX and UX research, study the market and competitive analysis. As a result, we have to make a small list of solutions that cover the needs of the most important problems that the first thread revealed to us. Everything must be interconnected.

Bottom line: the product manager manages all flows and processes in order to select 5 solutions for implementation from, say, 100 initial ideas. This approach is called Double Diamond.

In each of the streams, professionals from different fields work on the processes. And our task is to send their expertise in the right direction in a timely manner. This is the only way all specialists will work together, and the user will get the best solution in the product. And the business will get new tools for scaling and growth. 

Problem: When evaluating consumer loyalty (NPS), the top 3 complaints included the item "Problems with search". It was necessary to improve the user experience, make it more convenient and faster.

The goal: To increase the speed of the user's "reaching" the ad by more than 3% 


1. Conducted qualitative research with "detractors" — those who signaled the problem. In in-depth interviews, they were asked to reveal the difficulties with the search in order to form the most relevant hypotheses for improving flow. 

We found out that most often, by rating "Bad search", we meant a large number of screens before issuing the necessary ads. In order for a person to receive an ad for a car according to its parameters, it was necessary to go through at least 6 screens: home → Cars → Passenger cars → Search filter → Ads according to the specified parameters → The desired ad.  

2. In the Discovery process with the team, after qualitative and quantitative research, we moved on to the brainstorm and solution generation stage. We hypothesized and came up with a simple and elegant solution — to optimize the screens to the main car search filter, while updating the Main page of the application.

In the "Cars" section, one extra screen was removed, in which the categories "Motor vehicles" and "Water transport" were stored. They did not allow for proper filtering right away. We put these categories on the main page, thereby building a logical architecture of the product in the directions of transport.

Now, when you click on the "Cars" section, you immediately have access to filters by car.

It was: 



1) +5.2% to the speed of the user's "reaching" the announcement.

2) The section "Water transport" increased by 37% in the number of ads.

3) A record number of ads in the "Motor vehicles" section.

The product manager at the Kolesa Group starts from June's position. The junior product manager is focused on working within his development team. He learns the basics of product management, works on the tasks he has been assigned, and gains experience in a specific area.

Middles are more autonomous and effectively build processes in their team. The middle product manager begins to interact with other departments — marketing, accounting and service. Expands its competencies and integrates the work of the development team with other functions of the company.

The signors have significant experience and a deep understanding of the processes not only in their team, but also throughout the company. He takes on more complex and strategic tasks, manages large projects and possibly several teams. The senior product manager plays a key role in shaping the product strategy and makes important decisions that affect the future of the product and the company.

We did not immediately come to this system, but we have already seen its advantages. Alexander Nagorny, Product Director (CPO) of the Kolesa Group, explained exactly how the grade is evaluated in this article.

Product thinking is a way of life. If a person always comes up with how to fix a problem or optimize a process, he can master the profession of a product manager. This is not taught in universities yet, but there are several sites where you will find useful courses:

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