Home > What It Takes to Become a Great Product Manager

What It Takes to Become a Great Product Manager

A great product manager optimizes all parts of design, development, sales, and marketing to make sure any product helps the brand achieve its goals. They connect departments in a way that creates a powerful and result that sells and, most specifically, serves the needs of the end-user. This job position involves a lot of unique skills, day-to-day activities, and longer-term goals. While different companies and individual products require different approaches, a great product manager needs these qualities no matter what.

Excellent and Diverse Communication Skills

Since a product manager must interact with different departments, project teams, and individuals, they need the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of people. First, good speaking and writing skills are a must. Second, they must have the ability to encourage understanding, inspire when necessary, and integrate different groups or people to push toward a common goal. They may interact with everyone from a clerk in the design department to a third-party stakeholder on the same day.

A high degree of emotional intelligence and other soft skills also benefit those in project management roles. The ability to empathize with everyone, especially the customer, makes it possible to deliver results that please everyone.

Agile Mindset and an Entrepreneurial Spirit

Great product managers are built on a firm foundation of commercial viability, company goals, and customer satisfaction. However, they must also have an enterprising spirit that allows them to see opportunities for new revenues or market reach. This affects not only an individual's work with a particular brand, but also the overall career path they take toward individual success. The ability to remain agile in the face of setbacks or unexpected events also propels these managers toward greatness. A combination of innovation, proven validity, and flexibility pave the way.

Technical and Analytical Abilities

A large part of communication involves understanding the jargon of each involved group. A product manager who understands design, development, sales, marketing, and consumer language has a much higher degree of success when integrating the diverse parts. This allows them to ask questions that lead to the most helpful answers so they can use the information and data they collect to make improve progress.

Besides analyzing the process of product creation and sales directly, people in this position also need to look at data throughout the quality assurance process and after the item goes to market. All these things involve an intimate working knowledge of the programs used to manage teams and collect and work with data.

Both Short and Long-term Goal Focus

From an outside perspective, product design and development may seem simple. A great product manager needs to understand the minute parts of the entire process from multiple perspectives in order to create both short and long-term goals. While they may not have final say on deadlines for a design team, for example, they must act as a competent go-between for everyone involved. Therefore, things like progress, deadlines, and multi-directional strategic thinking are necessary to be a great product manager.

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