How Much Time is Spent for Product Managers to do Their Tasks?

Take a look at what Product Managers do on a daily basis.

How Much Time is Spent for Product Managers to do Their Tasks?
Photo by Luke Chesser / Unsplash

The Daily Life of Product Managers

Since I began my first job as a product manager, I have always been curious about what product managers usually do every day. Do they check their emails? conduct meetings? have a cup of coffee during lunch break?

To find the answers, I have decided that I need to ask around to my fellow Product Managers and conduct a little survey.

You can see what I ask on the survey here. The content of the survey sums up the activity that product managers usually do in their daily life. I started to distribute my survey through social media from December 5 – 9 2020 and this is the overall result:

Product Managers spent a lot of time in managing backlog

Of the 22 participants from this survey, 40.9% of them usually take 1 to 2 hours of their time to refine and prioritize the product backlog. The main reason for this could be indicated by the period of sprints that they conducted. Approximately 59.1% of the participants conducted biweekly sprint planning. With that being said, they need to prepare their backlog prior to the sprint planning.

Backlog refinement also plays an important part to iterate and evaluate existing features or products for future developments.

Research is important for Product Managers

It goes without saying that user and competitor research plays an important part for any product manager. One of the key qualities that product managers have is the ability to make a data-driven decision and it is achievable through proper research and experimentation.

From the survey, most product managers spend around 80 and 63 minutes conducting user research and competitor research respectively on average.

Maintaining effective communications with other teams

The first part of the survey tackles one of the main functions of product managers, which is connecting and communicating. The result of the survey shows that the average time spent to conduct meetings with the engineering team is around 63 minutes.

As an addition to what I have gathered from the survey, 45% of the participants usually conduct a 30-minute meeting with the engineering team on a daily basis, this speaks volume that most product managers and the engineering team prefer effectivity then to explain all the details during the meeting. From my experience, I would prefer setting up a new meeting that specifically discusses a certain agenda from my daily stand-ups.

At the beginning of their day, product managers usually check their emails as well, to make sure there are not any leftover tasks or urgent emails left unanswered. On average, product managers usually spend 45 minutes checking their email. In fact, 54.5% of the participants only allocate 30 minutes per day to check their emails.

The Verdict

The result from the survey suggests that the average time to complete each task is 68 minutes. From here we can conclude that product managers have the ability to allocate their time to finish tasks with higher urgency.

Becoming a product manager means you need to be able to handle multiple tasks. But the most important thing to remember is that your goal remains the same, create a solution that is impactful for your users.

Methodology: Data from the infographic was obtained from the survey I have distributed through social media that have been answered by 20+ product managers in Indonesia