5 Nontrivial Tips to Master the PM Role

Being a product manager means keeping the whole team in good shape and making sure that all production processes run easily and without problems.

The author of the article on Thenextweb.com compares product managers wwith professional jugglers. They constantly find themselves juggling multiple balls and doing their best to keep them up in the air. If a PM drops a ball, the rest of the juggling act is on hold until he/she is able to get the ball back in action.

The author suggests some nontrivial tips for mastering the complexities of being a product manager and keeping all the balls in the air. Here they are:

Create value

There are multiple paths that lead to product management that means today’s product managers come from an extremely diverse set of skills, backgrounds, and experiences.

One of the main goals is to create value to a group of people (typically users or customers). The role of product managers is to define the three W’s: What, Why and When.

What about How? Product managers lead and guide other cross-functional teams who define it:

  • An engineer decides how features are built.
  • A designer defines how features are used.
  • A marketer crafts how features are positioned.
  • A project manager coordinates how long it takes, and so on.

To create value and reach a common end state, PMs must set the product strategy and vision, create the product roadmap and define the product features.

Identify where you are in the product life cycle

Before defining the appropriate strategy, identify where you are in the product lifecycle.

It’s always important to innovate. Managing products requires different strategies given the inherent differences in development, release cycles, and distribution. But regardless of your product, identifying where you are in the product lifecycle is critical to creating strategies for success.

Start with a good story

Take a step back before developing a strategy for a new product. It’s important to ensure that this strategy gets to the root of your overall product story. The questions will be helpful to work with a new story:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What problem are you helping them solve?
  • What do these customers value most?
  • What are the economic factors you must face in order to deliver value?

Use frameworks

A framework is a great way to show your teams how to logically break things apart. These outlines help to create a pattern and ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page. And if everyone is on the same page, processes are simplified and deadlines are more likely to be met.

Choosing the framework depends on what you want to solve for. There are many of them (Lean Startup, Design thinking, MVP,  SWOT Analysis, etc.)

Determine strengths by identifying passions

How can you ensure you’re managing every team member in a way that will help them grow? the way to know it is to take a step back and look at each person’s passions that are helpful in determining a product manager’s strengths. these strengths are user experience, business strategy, marketing, project management, or innovation. Understanding what every team member is passionate about will help you identify opportunities for growth for sure.

Best Resources for Product Mangers to Improve Their Skills

Product managers and their teams should always get something new: knowledge, experience, professional skills. There are various free online and offline sources to increase professional skills nowadays.

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