The role of a product manager is crucial to the success of any business.
Product management has become a well-defined discipline in the last few decades. It is considered to be one of the most critical roles within an organization, but at the same time, it is one of the less understood roles in business. The role of a product manager can vary significantly from company to company or even from industry to industry.
A great product manager is a visionary who can guide the development of a product from its inception to release. They must possess an intimate understanding of their market and have a firm grasp of what satisfies users.
In addition, a great product manager is able to communicate effectively with all members of the team, be it developers, marketing staff, or executives.
8 Qualities of a Good Product Manager
Product Managers are the unsung heroes of the business world. While everyone knows who CEOs, CTOs, and other high-level executives are, no one really knows who product managers are. A good product manager is key to building a successful business.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to being a product manager, there are certain qualities that define what it means to be a good product manager.
1- Good Grasp of the Business
A solid understanding of business is important for a project manager. This allows him to evaluate market opportunities and make informed decisions about the success of a business venture.
A qualified PM must be able to define OKRs (objectives and key results) and match them to the KPIs-business objectives.
2- Technical Skills
The type of product determines the technicality of a project manager. The more complex the product, the more technical a PM should be.
For example, if the project involves multiple types of products, each requiring different technology to manufacture or market, then it would be beneficial for that project to have a highly technical PM. The more technical the product manager is, the more likely they are able to analyze the data needed to make crucial trade-offs.
If a company is building a SaaS product, a PM’s focus may be on the market and customer life cycles rather than the technical aspects of the product.
Product managers with little to no technical background may be at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing with the development team.
3- Customer Feedback and User testing
All customers are not motivated by the same things. What motivates one group of people to act in one way may not motivate another group to act in the same way.
PMs must have the insights and intuition to understand customer needs for a product in a given area. PMs should know what motivates customers and why they act in certain ways. They also need to conduct interviews with the customers to understand their wants and needs.
What do customers expect? What issues have they been having?
Customer reviews are an excellent way for customers to share what they think about a product, and they can have a significant impact on sales. Customers who write reviews typically have very strong opinions about the product.
4- Data Analysis
Data Analysis is also a core qualification of a product manager. They have to have a basic understanding of data and how to use it. That way, they know how to use the data and where to use it.
A product manager has to have the ability to find insights from data. They need to be able to turn data into clear, concise, and easy-to-understand reports for stakeholders.
Being able to analyze the data is vital for PMs. You must be able to make informed decisions by analyzing user behavior.
You can use Google Analytics or any other tool that helps to review and track the user data.
5- Communication Skills
The duties and responsibilities of a PM involve not only managing the project but also interacting with various stakeholders, including employees, users, and upper management.
This requires a number of soft skills, which are as important as technical skills for being a successful product manager.
Communication is a very important skill to have when working as a product manager because you are in charge of communicating with all different kinds of people.
This skill is essential for building relationships with key stakeholders, including fellow PMs, engineers, designers, and marketing teams. Therefore, you need to improve your ability to deliver clear messages effectively across different channels such as meetings, emails, and social media posts.
The most successful product managers can explain their products, features, and benefits in a way that is easy for others to understand. Good communication skills are vital to the success of any product manager.
6- Marketing Skills
Product managers also must have marketing skills to find a way to market the product in order to sell it. People often create products but fail to properly market them and evaluate their success.
Experts in product marketing say that a good product manager must be able to identify market trends and respond quickly to changing demands. Marketing is critical to the success of a product, and it’s impossible to evaluate the success of a product without first assessing its marketing.
A product manager is the “voice” of the company’s product. The role requires an individual who can look at products from a customer’s point of view, understand what customers expect, and guide development.
7- Prioritization Skills
Product managers are responsible for the overall success of a product, which means they have to be able to use their best judgment and business sense.
A good PM needs to prioritize which activities are more important than others. This is essential for ensuring that all team members are working on the most important tasks at any given point in time.
8- Strategic Skills
As a project manager, it is important to stay on top of industry trends and shifts in the marketplace. One of the most effective ways to ensure that your company makes smart business decisions is to stay on top of the latest developments in the industry.
Business guru Peter Drucker once wrote, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”
Most effective leaders are those who can combine vision and action with a sense of humor. A PM must be that leader.
Benefits of Having a Great Product Manager on Your Team
- A product manager is essentially the quarterback of your company’s product line. They are responsible for making sure that all aspects of the product – development, marketing, sales, customer service — are performing at their best.
- A product manager can help you define that value by ensuring that features are aligned with user needs, tracking metrics to determine if your current marketing initiatives are working, and helping you prioritize feature development.
- A great PM can be the difference between a company with mediocre sales and one that is on the rise. He or she has an intrinsic ability to look at a problem in various ways, approaching it from different perspectives.
This makes for a more streamlined process of building a successful product.
They are able to keep track of all facets of production, cutting down any unnecessary steps that other team members may have missed.
- Working closely with the company’s developers, designers, salespeople and stakeholders in general, they are responsible for ensuring that when the finished product hits the shelves it is fully functional, high quality and meets consumer demands.
How to improve yourself as a PM to enable team and product success
You’re a great Project Manager, but you’re not doing enough. The first thing you need to do as a PM is to realize that there’s always more to learn and improve upon. You don’t know everything (if anything). The best PMs are those who keep asking questions and aren’t afraid to go out of their comfort zone.
Good product managers are able to balance the needs of multiple stakeholders and work through complex problems. They’re often responsible for managing the vision, strategy, and roadmap of a product while also ensuring that their team is productive and meets deadlines.
What type of people you attract into your life will contribute to your personal and professional growth. You can’t be an effective product manager if you don’t know how to manage yourself. The way you manage yourself directly impacts the way others perceive you.
Unless you’re a consumer goods company, you probably don’t want to be just another widget in the sea of other widgets. You want your product to stand out from the pack by being different from everything else. Therefore, you must do lots of research. Research your competitors, research similar products and solutions.
Product culture is a set of habits that allow a product team to efficiently develop and deliver an effective product. It’s about making data-driven decisions based on real customer behavior.
Data-driven decision-making is a cornerstone of the new product management philosophy. Product Management is a challenging job that requires you to balance the interests of the company, customers, and your team. In many cases, you need to justify your decisions with data instead of your or others’ opinion.
Is Product Manager a Good Role?
As a PM, you’ll take the lead in product development and have a big say in its future. You’ll be responsible for achieving your company’s goals by getting products from concept to market or store.
There are plenty of challenges for all the excitement that comes with having a hand in creating new items. As a product manager, you will have to wear many different hats and work closely with other departments to ensure success.
As a product manager, you are responsible for the success of your product and the success of the company. It’s important to be mindful of what you do and say when interacting with your team because each word can have an impact on their morale and performance.
Glassdoor ranked the jobs of Product Manager as number 3 in the US based on salary, job satisfaction, and potential for growth with a median-based salary of $121,107.
What Education Do You Need to Be a Product Manager?
Product management is a career that requires you to be well-rounded. That means having the ability to work in various environments, with different kinds of people, and on different types of projects.
While career paths can vary based on industry and background, most product managers will need to take classes, receive training or get an advanced degree.
In order to apply for a product manager position, the required education level is a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field.
Whether you are a cook, or a CEO, as a professional, you need to become a better version of yourself every day. The more you improve yourself, the more benefits will follow.
Remember, The best way to understand the product manager role is to study how it’s defined in different companies. In a small startup, a single person may be responsible for managing the vision for a product. The role of a PM may differ on a bigger scale company. It may be defined by the size, type, and even culture of the company.
As you read throughout the article, product managers need to deal with various kinds of problems and situations through their roles.
Therefore, a standard job description for a product manager does not exist.
There is no one “right” or “wrong” way to define a product manager’s role. You just need to have the basic skills that every great PM must have in order to be a successful manager and find your way around.