Product Development Manager Job Description
A product development manager plans and develops new goods for use by the public or special interest groups. The job description of a product development manager will include research and development along with marketing and testing.
Product development managers are involved in creating fresh merchandise that will fill a particular need within a company, or be sold to make a profit.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Product Development Manager
- Creates a prototype of a new product in order to iron out flaws in the final design
- Determines the process for creating a new item
- Gathers the raw materials necessary to build or create the product being developed
- Performs research in order to determine the best way to produce a particular item
- Prepares reports on the various procedures that have been tried in order to eliminate methods that are unsuccessful
- Oversees product development amongst a team of individuals
- Presents new ideas to corporate executives in order to gain permission to develop product lines
- Prepares a cost analysis on the development of a new product
- Creates marketing campaigns designed to inform people about new product availability
- Researches patents, copyrights and trademarks in order to make sure there are no infringement issues involved
- Ensures that every phase of a particular project proceeds as scheduled
- Makes adjustments to a development plan whenever the current idea is not working well
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Has good problem solving abilities
- Is able to troubleshoot issues and determine the cause of a plan’s success or failure
- Stays current with the latest trends in merchandise
- Possesses strong marketing skills
- Has excellent leadership abilities
- Keeps up to date with changes in the market and technology that would affect new product development
- Is able to meet deadlines
Education and Experience
Those who wish to pursue careers as product development managers will need at least a Bachelor’s degree in a discipline relating to the type of product they plan to develop. They should also have at least five years of work experience in a given field. It can be helpful if at least two years of that experience was spent in the research and development department of a company under the direction of an experienced product development manager.
A product development manager can work in a variety of settings depending on the type of products being developed. Some will work in manufacturing environments, while others may perform much of their duties outdoors. These workers will sit for long periods of time followed by extended periods of standing and walking. They typically work in excess of 40 hours per week, and may end up doing some of their tasks at home at night and on the weekends.
The average salary of a product manager is around $75,000 annually. Those on the lower end of the pay scale can make approximately $62,000 per year, which those at the top of the pay scale might earn around $81,000. The pay will vary based upon the size of the company and amount of technical expertise required in order to develop certain types of products.