Top Skills of a Successful Product Manager
By Arijit Banerjee
Product Managers have a huge responsibility of making sure that a company is able to develop and produce high-quality and in-demand products as per the user expectations. It is easier to think that the skills of product manager are obvious to guess. Well, that may be true in some cases but not so much in others. Product Management is vast field.
It is obvious that a successful and a great product manager must possess the unique ability to manage multiple things effectively. But what exactly are the top skills that a product manager needs to achieve his goals on a routine basis? A product manager has to wear multiple hats. Hence, coming up with a list of exact skills that they may be needed routinely is not an easy task. But following are the top skills one must have as a product manager to run the business without any hurdles:
Mature Decision Making
A product manager must be mature enough to know when and what shots to call. Taking a premature decision can derail the entire product development process, proving to be costly to the company.
A product manager’s basic goal is to maximize a company’s business by adding value in terms of developing great products. So, it is imperative that a product manager should be well-versed with analysis and the proper understanding of the business. A thorough analysis will enable a product manager to find the opportunities to build business-relevant products to drive the business further.
A product manager should be excellent at developing the product strategy. It is because without a solid strategy, the entire process of product development is directionless and cannot gain momentum. It is always an intelligent product strategy (that takes into account various factors) that is at the core of a successful product launch.
It is extremely important for any business to be able to scan the market to see what the competitors are doing and how. So, the product managers have to be great researchers so that they can figure out the loopholes in their employer’s business strategies. That is necessary to stay in the competition. Further, by researching the market, a product manager can gain an edge over the competitors and can come up with products that no one in the market have ever developed before.
Product management is again a crucial skill, which every product manager must possess. Taking on multiple tasks during a day, a product manager has to manage multiple processes and tasks. So, in the lack of proper project management skills, it is impossible to be successful at product management.
This is another great skill that can make or break a product manager. A product manager has to effectively communicate with a variety of audiences – be it stakeholders, customers, senior management or the tech team. If a product manager fails to explain his plan effectively, many things can go wrong and create hurdles in the product development process.
Product development is a dynamic process. Many a times, conflicts arise because of the varied perspectives of various individuals or teams involved in the process. Running into conflicts between the visual design and the development teams is pretty common in the industry. A product manager should be able to effectively de-escalate the situation. If a product manager fails to do so, an unnecessary delay in the development process can cost a lot of money to the business.
A Product Manager must develop skills to succeed in the Product Management domain. Here is an infographic for the visual representation of the top skills of a product manager:
About the Author:
Director of Academics
Manipal Global Academy of Information Technology (MGAIT)
Bhaskaran holds an MBA degree in Production Management from Bangalore University. He also holds a B.Tech degree in Electronics and Communication from NIT Warangal.
Bhaskaran is a Senior Strategy Consultant helping companies to innovate and deliver their products and services, in a manner that ensures sustainable business, for both themselves and their customers. He is a trusted advisor in helping craft and live a strategy. Bhaskaran works with companies to help improve performance parameters such as top line, bottom line, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, product and market mix. He is also an accredited CEO Coach through Coaching Foundation of India. With over 30 years of business experience, of which 10+ years were in the role of senior management in Royal Philips Electronics.