What should be done to be a good product manager? Is it easy to become a real professional, performing this job?
The role and responsibilities of a product manager vary greatly across different industries and companies. However, there are basic rules, steps, and tips for product managers, that may help them to improve their skills and abilities.
We’ve found the article, posted on Medium that combines the obvious things helpful for the future PM stars. Its author put together the qualities that he admires and considers good in the product manager’s role. Here’re the free extracts from this nice post:
What are the qualities that make a good product manager?
Typically, product managers have many responsibilities including:
- deciding what to build and when to build them
- collecting ideas from all sorts of sources
- prioritizing features and ideas
- leading people to create desired product outcomes
- finding solutions to product-related problems
- communicating between multiple company’s areas
- facilitating designers and engineers to do their jobs the best they can
- arranging researches about customers, markets, competitors or industry in general
- interacting with customers to understand their needs and problems, etc.
If combine this into one definition it’d look like this:
A good product manager decides what a company needs to build next that creates the desired outcome and moves the company’s products closer to its vision.
Good product managers collect ideas, listen to problems and needs, define what the good ideas and bad ideas are. They decide which one of those ideas are better to build next and when is the best time to build them.
Advanced product managers also take the vision of the founders or the executives.
Key qualities of good product managers
Returning to the qualities of ideal product managers, six of them seem obvious no matter what the responsibilities of PMs are or in which industry or company they work.
A good product manager leads without authority.
He/she doesn’t have the ultimate authority over the things that might affect product success while being responsible for its ultimate success. However, how can they lead without authority?
They use their influence to lead people to let them make the right decisions that will drive success and focus on what really matters.
They create their influence by:
- Leadership skills
- Their expertise
- Listening a lot
The influence helps to gain respect within the company and give other people confidence that their decisions are the right ones.
Good product managers should be fact-based decision makers.
Their job revolves around deciding what to build next by focusing on what really matters for the business and customers. Good decisions mean winning the market and creating value.
Successful PMs make their decisions by always looking at data and information that are readily available and accurate, without any biases.
Perfect product managers are great communicators and collaborators. They continuously interact with and talks to a number of people from multiple areas of the company to get the maximum collaboration.
Telling narratives professionally is also about good product managers. They let people in the company know why particular product decisions are taken and their scope. They explain why they are doing what they are doing and how the product decisions that take today will lead to a great outcome in the future.
Good product managers can articulate how customers can get a value from the product, why engineers do what they do, and how the product will create value for the business.
Good product managers determine success and goals for every initiative. These professionals make sure that they define success before they start any initiative.
They let their team members understand what the objectives are and what metric goals they are planning to hit.
It’s also crucial for good product managers to find real problems and core pain points behind what people ask. Finding solutions is a big part of a product manager’s job.
They always go several steps further questioning the real reasons behind what people ask them to do.
These qualities can lead you to the way for success in product management and make you an iconic in this field.
Let’s think that missing one or few of these qualities will not make a product manager necessarily bad. However, having these qualities will always lead to a good product manager in any company.