On Being a Great Product Manager

On Being a Great Product Manager

The role of a product manager (PM) involves taking on the responsibility among other things to see to the success of a product.

Pɨuṩ Mṳhumuzå's photo
Pɨuṩ Mṳhumuzå
·Jul 4, 2022·

4 min read

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Table of contents

Introduction

To be a Product Manager requires one to be well informed with the latest Tech trends as well as Product Management/Development. This role also necessitates continuous training as well as disciplined attention to detail as you learn on the job.

It’s important to know that where you work, how they work, and who you work with/for will also determine your long-term success. The best Product Managers(PMs) have mastered the role’s core competencies, have a high EQ, and work for the right company.

What is a Product?!

A product is made or developed to be sold and used, which can be software, an app, a subsection of an app or anything else a company can consider a product to be delivered to a customer. Because some products are big and complex, you will often find a product having one or more Product Managers all working under the same company to see to the success of the product.

Characteristics of a Product

  • A product can be commercialised and marketed.
  • It can be improved.
  • Meets a demand or need.
  • Serves a purpose.
  • Drives revenue or customer engagement.

Who is a product manager and what is their role?

The role of a Product Manager (PM) involves taking on the responsibility among other things to see to the success of a product. It’s important to note that Product Managers don’t always have direct authority over most of the things needed to make their products successful — from user and data research through design and development to marketing, sales, and support. Most of their decisions require a final say or approval from another decision-making entity.

The roles of Product Managers vary widely depending on a number of factors, the organisation or product.

Some of the roles of a product manager are; -

  • Being able to understand key business needs through customer insights in order to prioritize what is important and what is not in the development or management of a product.
  • Taking ownership of the product roadmap.
  • Coordinating operations and other product management or development activities to ensure continuous delivery.
  • Leading product teams or any other teams working on a product.
  • Overseeing the development and launching of new product features as well as enhancements.
  • Evaluating market trends, leads, analytics and competitions.
  • Carrying out or delegating research endeavours during product development and management.
  • Facilitating effective communication and collaboration during product development and management. All in all, a Product Manager is ultimately responsible for the product's success.

What should you consider if you’re thinking of pursuing a Product Management role?

Aspiring Product Managers should consider improving their professional growth in areas of; — core competencies, emotional intelligence (EQ), and company fit to be successful at this role.

Beyond shipping new product features on a regular basis and harmonising the design and engineering teams, good Product Managers also create products with strong user adoption that have exponential revenue growth capable of disrupting an industry.

The Core Competencies of a Product Manager

In order to be successful, as a Product Manager, you need certain core competencies which can be acquired with professional training or developed with on-job experience or good mentoring.

Some of these competencies include:

  • Conducting customer interviews and user testing.
  • Running design sprints.
  • Carrying out feature prioritization and road map planning.
  • Managing resource allocation.
  • Performing market assessments.
  • Translating business-to-technical requirements, and vice versa.
  • Pricing and revenue modelling.
  • Defining and tracking success metrics.

These core competencies are the baseline for any Product Manager. And the best PMs hone these skills over years of defining, shipping, and iterating on products.

As a Product Manager, remember to create/put together a great portfolio to show off your talents to potential employers, collaborators and business partners.

Your portfolio should communicate;-

  • What contributions have you made,
  • The obstacles you faced,
  • The solutions you innovated to overcome those obstacles.

among other things.

Think of ways to highlight your strengths to an employer or prospective client. Take them through your flow process and demonstrate how you approach your work.

Conclusion

Product Managers excel at reflecting on where each of these competencies contributes to the success or failure of their products and continuously adjust their approach based on customer feedback.

From the soft skills of negotiating the dynamics of a team to the hard skills of analytics and prototyping Product Managers are expected to have a wide range of interchangeable skills to better manage the lifespan of a product, which begins before development and continues even after launch.

 
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