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Product Management Essentials

Develop your skills to successfully take products through the product development process, from design to launch and beyond.

Product Management Essentials

Learn to effectively manage each stage of the product lifecycle

Over the last decade, product management has continued to become an important and influential business discipline, with product manager roles now a common occurrence in any organisation with a digital presence.

This four-week course will help develop your product management knowledge and skills. You’ll be guided through the product management timeline with tips and techniques for each step of the process, from strategies and design to launch and growth.

Explore the basics of product management and strategy

Whilst product management is a discipline that continues to evolve, it can be summarised as ‘maximising the success of a product throughout the entirety of its lifecycle thereby supporting an organisation to achieve its goals’.

On this course, you’ll develop your basic product management knowledge and skills to create actual business value. These skills will help you enter into almost any industry and organisation to further your career.

Build your skills in product design and development

With the speed of digital innovation, the influence of digital products on the wider economy, and the growing expectations of customers, product design and development skills are in constant high demand.

You’ll look at product design strategies and how you can incorporate product management techniques into the design and development process.

Discover the tools to execute a successful product launch

The final part of this course will guide you through launching a product and the skills needed to execute a successful launch.

However, as most product managers know, the launch isn’t the end of the product lifecycle, so you’ll also look at how to measure success, the metrics to use, and how to utilise this information to improve a product with the aim of generating value for an organisation.


  • Week 1

    An introduction to product management and product strategy

    • What is product management?

      Product management is all about finding valuable solutions for people’s problems. In this activity, you will learn about where product management came from, and what it entails.

    • Introduction to products

      In this activity, we will learn about what exactly a product is, what life cycle stages it goes through, and the stakeholders involved with a product.

    • Getting your product out there

      In this activity, we focus on understanding the market, how strategic business goals should align with your product, and how to use growth strategies to get your product out there.

  • Week 2

    Introduction to product design

    • Understanding product design to build successful products

      This activity will cover the elements of designing and developing a product, and you will learn about what a successful product looks like and what goes into it.

    • Effective product design for valuable products

      In this activity, we will dive into the role of UX in product design, learn what a design challenge is, and explore how to adopt a design thinking process.

    • Conceptualising effective products with value

      In this activity, you’ll learn about conceptualising product value, creating a value proposition, using a prototype to test your product, and, hopefully, following in Steve Jobs’ footsteps.

  • Week 3

    Product launch

    • Introduction to a product launch

      This week, we will consider how we can optimise launch-to-market strategies, choose the most suitable marketing funnels, and reduce launch-to-market risks.

    • What is product marketing?

      In this activity, you will learn about what product marketing is, its value, and how to ensure effective product marketing to contribute towards your product launch.

    • Launching your product to the market

      In this activity, you will learn about what a product launch is, the different types of product launches you can use, and how to write an effective launch plan.

  • Week 4

    Product improvement and growth

    • Introduction to product improvement

      In this activity, you will be introduced to product improvement and why a product manager needs to keep your product improving.

    • Types of metrics to measure performance

      Goals are essential when defining and monitoring the success of a product. In this activity, we will unpack what a success metric is and the various types that you can use to measure your product performance.

    • Customer feedback mechanisms for product improvement

      In this activity, we will learn what customer feedback mechanisms you can employ. This refers to external stakeholders only, as opposed to the previous activity, which required a focus on both internal and external stakeholders.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Classify product management and its various components as a critical business concept
  • Discuss the elements and value of product design and development
  • Identify product launch strategies and various marketing funnels to achieve launch goals
  • Explain and utilise success metrics for implementing valuable product performance.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in improving their practical product management skills.

Whether you already work as a Product Manager or you’re new to product management, this course will help build your skills for each stage of the product development process.

Who developed the course?


FutureLearn is jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group and has been providing online courses for learners around the world over the last eight years.

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Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.



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  • Access to this course for 6 weeks



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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
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$189.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
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Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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