Top 15 Product Manager Skills to be best on the Job
The job of a product manager requires a great deal of skills, qualities, and some level of education to be the best at it.
Would you like to be highly effective performing the duties of a product manager? If that is what you want, then this post is for you.
Before we look at the qualities you need to develop to be a good product manager, let’s look at what a product manager does:
Who is a product manager?
The product manager maps out strategy and feature definition of a product. They select, investigate, and maneuver the development of products while performing the role of product management.
Product managers perform various duties such as managing products, planning and assisting in developing, marketing, and distributing products.
They function in different environments, helping both clients and companies to manage their products.
To be best on the job, here are 15 skills and qualities you need to develop:
1. Organizational Skills: Product managers need to stay organized in order for them to keep up to date the right information about features and details of products, and maintain a high-level discussion of product with a company’s analyst or the CEO. This will help them not to lose important documents and information.
2. Prioritization: After a product manager has finished organizing everything, the next thing is to prioritize. The prioritization takes effect on their daily tasks, and they must choose a prioritization system that most suits them. For personal tasks, using low, medium, and high priority system may be necessary, but for prioritizing features, different criteria such as urgency, importance, and cost can be useful. This is in accordance with the Pareto principle (80-20 rule).
3. Knowledge of Your Company’s Technology System: The major part of your job as a product manager comprises discussion with engineers and assessment of options to solve problems. It is quite good to get knowledge of both relational and non-relational databases to help you with knowledge of Java shop, Microsoft C# shop, and others.
4. Research Skills: Product managers need to possess very strong research skills, which may include ability to synthesize data, interview and research customers, and gather necessary information from the right sources. The research skills will enable product managers to understand their customers well, and take their needs to other team members often in the form of storyboards, field research, personas, customer journey maps, or usability testing.
5. Empathy: Understanding the emotions and motives of those who come around you is really important to be good in this profession. This will help you to know the minds of all the stakeholders who come your way, set standards for your product, and enable you to make the right contact for your product. Your empathy skills will help you to understand exactly what your customers are saying about your product and their needs, so that you can successfully guide your team through developing the right product features.
6. Communication Skills: Your communication skills as a product manager should take the written, verbal and non verbal forms, and this will help you when training people on your product, negotiating decisions, and interacting with team members. Using communication 101 will enable you to be clear, concise, and also to learn from others, and not just sharing only.
7. Data Collection, Extraction, and Analysis Skills: Product managers should be able to understand what their users are doing to make the best product decisions. Comprehension of how data is collected enables you to determine its integrity. Knowledge of SQL and Python is very essential – while SQL is required for trying product questions, Python helps to create automated query scripts.
8. Basic Knowledge of the Web: Knowledge of gateways, APIs, FTP, SaaS solutions, TCP/IP, B2B, and Basic Routing are very important in the product management profession. Product managers should also understand the necessary hardware and software that are related to the job, so that they can defend themselves when asked a question about this part of their job.
9. Strong Interpersonal Skills: Product managers need to possess these skills to enable them to listen and talk appropriately at meetings. It helps to maintain a very good business relationship, and creates a lasting business bond in the related field.
10. Analytical Skills: Product managers should learn to make decisions based on data, and not depend on personal tendency. The analytical skills include finding the right data and analyzing it to make profitable product decisions. This helps the product manager with the right pricing answers, product roadmap, and business strategy.
11. Negotiation Skills: The ability to aim for a win-win result usually comes out of good negotiation skills. With these skills you can discuss sales and strategies needed for boosting product features and values. You need to learn this skill-set so that you can be an expert negotiator in your field.
12. Business Acumen: It is only a product manager with full understanding of business that can achieve the goal of increasing a company’s value through marketability and profitability of products. This skill helps product managers with the right business strategy and insight, and ability to increase the company’s gain through product success.
13. People Skills: The success of every product manager depends on the ability to interact well with other people. The common cause of failure in every business is inability to convince others to take certain actions, which are capable of creating profitable outcome. Most employers look for those with the people skills, and so you need the skills whenever you are attending your next interview.
14. Leadership Skills: As a product manager, you need leadership skills to be able to lead and inspire the team towards creating successful products. Leadership skills enable you to understand the goals of your team, take them along, and remove any obstacles they may be facing. And with these skills, they are most likely to call you up whenever they need assistance.
15. The Right Attitude: Your attitude in the product management profession determines whether you will succeed or not. It is what makes possible improvement in performances, and even helps you to see problems as opportunities. With the right attitude, you are likely to develop the right knowledge and skills that your job entails.
The job of a product manager is challenging, however, with the right skills and qualities you can become one of the best and sought after in the industry.
If you are an employer needing a good product manager to hire, looking for the above skills in the applicants can help you make the best choice.
Did you find the above product manager skills useful in being more effective on the job? Also, do you have other skills you consider important to the success of a product manager? Please leave a comment in the box below.