The product manager skills you need to have
22 April 2020
A good product manager thoroughly understands the product and is aware of all the competition. The product manager is market-orientated and knows what the customers want. What are the key skills for a product manager?
A product manager is likened to a jack of all trades. They must have excellent technical and communication skills as well as passion to progress and improve constantly, and a proactive attitude. Above all, a product manager needs to be positive and confident.
Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at TMS.
The Role of a Product Manager
A product manager plays a crucial role in a company. They are prime movers in production and astute market researchers who know how to put their product at the forefront. They are also responsible for the organization, coordinating development teams, management, and stakeholders.
On a higher level, product managers have an even more tactical role, including managing the strategic and tactical product lifecycle, as well as creating a roadmap and coming up with ideas. To accomplish this, they work with various teams that help them with the process. They also contribute to positioning, messaging, and pricing strategy.
Thus the product manager is central to the operation, which is why product manager skills are so diverse and whoever is applying for the role needs to fulfill them. They solve day-to-day issues and devise long-term plans.
Also, they must possess the necessary valuable technical and interpersonal skills.
5 Crucial Soft Product Manager Skills
Good communication skills are essential for a product manager, whether in face-to-face conversations, Slack meetings and conversations, meetings, presentations, training, and of course, writing skills for product documentation.
Your team’s members need to be kept up to date with the project, so the ability to communicate ideas concisely and is essential. The team members need to be able to approach the project manager at any juncture so using plain language is preferable for clear communication and comprehensible explanations.
Having the requisite knowledge is crucial, but being able to communicate and share that knowledge is of even greater importance.
It’s important to understand that the goals of your team and the company come before your personal goals, therefore you might need to sacrifice some of your time for the greater good.
Selflessness also means being capable of praising good work when it’s done, and applying constructive criticism when it’s due. Always take responsibility for your faults, and avoid blaming others. Humility is an excellent attribute to avoid being overbearing and dominating.
Market analysis and strategic thinking to make your product fit are very important roles. Start with asking the right questions, for example, how will our customers use this product and what and who will it benefit?
Conducting a strategy to make a successful project is vital to ensure the product meets the timeline and should be of primary concern.
Data and analysis is becoming increasingly important. Good strategic thinking, as well as instinct honed by experience, enables you to interpret data successfully and gives the wisdom to use the data correctly for the benefit of the project.
Empathy is needed to understand your customers and address their individual needs.
Having empathy for your teammates is also important. Motivation is one of the most important ways to increase success and your teammates need to trust and believe in you to stay motivated. Your empathy will help them see that you are firstly a good human being, and secondly a good product manager.
Organizing your team needs cooperation from everyone, and this also requires empathy and understanding.
5 Hard Manager Skills
Basic Business Competencies
A good product manager does not need a Ph.D. in Business Practice, however, a basic and accurate level of knowledge is a prerequisite.
Knowing the differences between revenues and profits, for example, is a basic skill. Budgeting, cash flow, reading P&L statements are all requisite business skills. It is also useful to have an accurate knowledge of your company’s current business status.
For example, you should know what to say when a stakeholder asks you about revenues for your products, or forecasts for the future.
Sound technical knowledge and its implications for what you are producing are vital for a product manager, especially to predict the future of the product, and how to organize your processes. Software engineering and data analysis are also useful.
Knowing the implications of a change in the process is vital. For example, when a developer tells you that something can’t be done due to how the API works, it’s expected that you’ll immediately understand the implications.
Product Management Knowledge
Having excellent product management knowledge is a given, including best practice in trade, processes, methodologies, and frameworks of product creation.
There are product management strategies already coded by smart product managers, and this is readily available to help you.
Basic knowledge of how to make prototypes can be invaluable for product managers. They can help you display ideas clearly and visually, to help stakeholders clearly understand your visions. While this prototype is by no means the end product, it’s a good way of conveying your ideas more clearly.
Additionally, a product manager should have a basic level of knowledge of visual design, which enables making visually appealing presentations easier. Not only is this desirable when speaking to stakeholders, but also to your teammates. Basic knowledge of Photoshop and Sketch is useful.
Every Product Manager is Unique
Product manager skills, both soft and hard, are specific, varied and unique for each project. .Some projects require more technical skillset, while others are more social and require a range of soft skills. A combination is desirable, and experience coupled with astuteness will enable you to compete in this field with everything you need.
If you enjoyed reading this article on product manager skills, you should check out this one about product manager salary.
We also wrote about a few related subjects like product launch checklist, product owner vs product manager, best product management books, product manager interview questions, product manager skills, chief product officer and product manager vs project manager.