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Know how it makes and what it takes to be a good Product Manager

You are currently viewing Know how it makes and what it takes to be a good Product Manager

Last Updated on: September 9, 2022

What drives you?. Have you been intrinsically curiosity-driven all your life? Maybe you are empathetic and possess problem-solving abilities. You want to be your own boss? Then, my dear friend, you can be a great product manager. There is a stack of possibilities, at a job point of view, if you are looking up to in your career perspective for managerial roles where you can optimise and utilise your behavioural skills to fit into the role.

You need not be technical, to begin with, or you need not belong to a Computer science background to start with. There are mid ladders to help you bridge this opportunity gap, where you can get a certification in scrum product management, and there you go!

What is Product Management?

Product management refers to managing every stage of a product’s lifecycle and includes development, positioning, pricing, launching, and marketing. A product manager identifies and understands the customer’s requirements and works to develop a product keeping in mind the organisation’s goals and strategies. Keeping track of changing customer requirements and introducing products to match them is the simplest way to understand what product management is.

What Does a Product Manager Do?

A product manager is responsible for a product throughout its lifecycle, which includes identification of customers’ requirements, helping the business build the right product to match those requirements, and helping the business sell it to achieve the desired goals. Product managers provide full support for developing, marketing, and selling a product to match the company’s strategy and goals. They are also called the CEO of a product.

So, what do product managers do? Product managers are required to balance the needs of the business and its customers by setting product goals, defining success, motivating teams, and taking responsibility for the outcome. What product managers do may differ from one business to another, depending on the size of the company, the type of products, and the end users of those products.  In the case of large organisations, product managers are embedded within teams of specialists, wherein researchers and marketers gather input, and developers and designers manage the day-to-day execution, including drawing designs, testing prototypes and identifying bugs. However, in the case of smaller organisations, product managers spend more time doing the hands-on work to define the vision and implement it. 

How Much Does the Product Manager Make?

A product manager plays an important role in all the stages of a product – from its conception or idea generation to its introduction, maturity stage, and even the end stage. The salary depends on what product managers do as well as their qualifications, the number of years of experience, type and level of skills, and the size of the organisation, the number of products being handled and many more factors. Some essential skills that every product manager needs are:

  • Strategic Thinking – A product manager needs to have the ability to think strategically and understand the market and its requirements. This skill is important to develop the right vision and chalk out the right product strategy, which is an important aspect of what product managers do. 
  • Good Oratory Skills – Since a product manager needs to interact with a lot of team members and ensure that they work in coordination with each other to achieve the desired goals, excellent oratory skills are a must. This will help motivate the team and guide them through the various phases of a product’s lifecycle. Constant interaction with the customers and internal and external stakeholders requires that a product manager should be able to communicate well.
  • Negotiation Skills – Again, since product managers need to work with both internal and external parties in the area of technology, marketing, sales, and product development, they need to have good negotiation skills.
  • Analytical Skills – Product managers are required to analyse market trends and identify customer requirements to set a product vision. This requires sound analytical skills to identify and recommend new products or modifications of existing ones.
  • Empathy – A product manager needs to be sensitive towards and understand the opinions of all the stakeholders in the product development and introduction process.
  • Long-sightedness – A product manager needs to think and plan from a long-term perspective. This requires studying, analysing, and forecasting the benefits of a product over the long term.

The educational qualifications, type of skills, and years of experience are important factors determining a product manager’s salary in India. The average annual salary of a product manager is Rs.16 lakhs but ranges between Rs.6 lakhs to Rs.35 lakhs, depending on the job profile, the employer, the industry, and the type of products and other factors.

Who can become a product manager?

product management

As I said, you need not belong to a technical background, to begin with. You can be

  • An engineer 
  • An R&D deploy
  • A marketing professional
  • sales executive
  • Market developer
  • Product supporter
  • MBA graduate

Yes, you can be all of the above before you think to be on step of product management. Product management is something that has to do more with internal behaviour rather than ambient externalises. Apart from all that, let me explain to you the prerequisites, which will help you understand if you can really fit into the role.

If you are someone who has a philanthropist attitude and have entrepreneurial dreams to lead any organization or you are enthusiastic enough to work on your product, then it may be easier for you to slide into product ownership and managerial roles. 

If you have a vision about your product with or without the knowledge of its technicalities and you want to communicate the usability of your product with people around, you can become a product owner.

product management skills

In a closed set of elements, A product manager comes in the middle of the Venn diagram. 

A={UX/UI design} ,B={ technical knowledge}, C={Business ideas}

From minimal to maximal, a product manager deals with all the dimensions of marketing strategies. From strategies, context, management, stakes, goals, the manager looks into every perspective of the product entity.

Do you have the requisite skills to become a Product Manager?

What it takes to be a product manager is like a gourmet recipe where the traits and skills make the place of ingredients that have to be in nearly a definite proportion in order to deliver the right taste.

In a cumulative managerial design, you will fit into the product management roles with an amalgam of communication skills, objective prioritisation skills, managerial skills, organisation management skills, technical skills, designing skills, and others.

I believe you like to be in command, and if you are someone who is mentally majestic and essentially possesses responsibility features, the organisation can look up to you for a product management role.

Let’s figure out some of the more qualities a product manager would need in an apprentice.

  • A wide eye viewer who makes the right decision at the right time.
  • A diligent person who is autonomous and works with responsibility.
  • A fiducial person who knows how to delegate and build trust.
  • Someone who is enthusiastically appealing to lead and work in a group simultaneously.
  • Someone with cumulative strategy and context together.
  • A person who can manage the market, customers, and competition together.

Roles and responsibilities of a Product Manager.

If you’re still wondering what do product managers do, here are some important responsibilities, irrespective of the size of the organisation:

  • Understanding user needs
  • Monitoring the market and conducting a competitive analysis
  • Defining the product vision
  • Aligning different stakeholders around the vision
  • Prioritising the product’s features and capabilities
  • Empowering team members to take independent decisions to achieve the vision.
  • Creating extraordinary customer value.
  • Delivering adequate and decent profitability to the business.
  • Evaluating and generating long term customer competitive advantage.

What exactly does a product manager do?

product management hierarchy

1.Appropriate feasibility analysis:

Is the product making am into has got value?. Does it have modest usability? Can it fulfil customer demand? How far it can be durable. Can it survive the competition in the market? Is my investment over return worth it?. All these questions ought to come in your mind finding the feasibility justification for the product. A product manager builds a blueprint of the project and suggests a suitable road map to be followed to achieve and solve the above queries.

2.Evaluating the finance metrics:

Evaluation of the finance is like a report card to decide the worthiness of your efforts has paid well or not. If yes, how to continue it, If no, how to improve it. Reviewing the financial aspects of the product is valuable. Determining liquidity on balance, EVA (economic value added) of product, interest value, Net cash flow, Gross profit margin, contribution margin has to be in a close matrix of management roles.

3.Good research designs:

You don’t have to be a designer to be a product manager, but you should have a good sense of “what good design is” in the first place. Sensing a good design is not technical but intuitive. To get ahead with breakthrough design, it has to be innovative, functional. A good design defines usability, a good design drives good business by making its aesthetic worth appealing and satisfactory. A good design user-oriented and unobstructed.

4.Forecasting sales channel:

Sales channels need a tighter forecast to fit in. Strategy and experience is a relative managers tool to look into the future of a product and its possibility. The more experienced, the more accurate it will be.

5.Business development and enhanced user experience:

Product managers build business road-maps, fix pricing, looking into sales and support, and peeking into potential payoffs for products or services. Understanding customer’s problems needs a great deal of skills. Customer feedback leads to him to read product statistics, and it helps the team to get into the assessment, as in where the improvement measures have to be taken to make service more reachable in the market.

Top Habits That Will Make You a Good Project Manager

A product manager’s job is to identify the problems faced by the user of the organisation’s products and develop better options or resolve the problems. This requires product managers to focus on both the product and its purpose, or the value that it will deliver. Of you wish to know how to become a product manager, here are some habits that are essential in your journey:

Prioritise the Roadmap According to Value and Not Features

The product manager’s main task is to understand the problems of the users and launch products that solve them. This is possible when the product manager focuses on the problem that needs to be solved and not the product that is going to be developed. They should develop a roadmap that communicates the value a product is expected to deliver.

Focus on Outcomes and not Outputs

Effective product managers explore the problems faced by users or customers, spend time analysing the problems and work to find solutions. They follow a customer-centric approach to what is product management.

Develop Leadership Skills

To become a product manager, you need to know how to guide people to work without having the authority to order them around. This is possible by developing leadership skills for motivating people to work and deliver in a specific manner for achieving a common goal.

Communicating with All

A product manager needs to interact with different people, departments, and stakeholders during the product lifecycle. These people may have different temperaments and personalities, which requires product managers to deal with them differently. Smooth communication with team members and stakeholders is possible when a product manager develops good communication and understanding skills.

Focus on Product Discovery

Product discovery is an important aspect of what product managers do. Product managers need to view product discovery as a continuous process. The ones who shift their focus to product building and shipping leave out many opportunities, especially in terms of checking whether they are on track. A product manager should continually look back to check whether a product is in-line with what was required.

Search for the Big Idea by Stepping Away from Their Desks

Game-changing ideas are often found by stepping out of your comfort zone. A product manager who thinks beyond the market research, usage data, development schedules, and budgets is the one who gets little ideas like UI fixes, tweaking the process, or introducing a general improvement to the product for better user response.

Willingness to Always Learn

The willingness to learn something new allows product managers to overcome problems quickly. The ability to identify a weakness and learn ways to turn it into a strength can propel your journey in how to become a successful project manager.

Why should you become a product manager?

Product management is a great opportunity to fill yourself with leadership qualities, which will help you to get into a significant and more prominent role in your organisation. It will up-skill your resume and help you for coveted career transitions where you never know, and you may land into as a Vice president or C-level influential positions in the future. A scrum or Agile project management course is definitely worth looking out for before you dream of being on the thrones of any reputed organisation.

4.Forecasting sales channel:

Sales channels need a tighter forecast to fit in. Strategy and experience is a relative mangers tool to look into the future of a product and its possibility. The more experienced, the more accurate it will be.

5.Business development and enhanced user experience:

Product managers build business road-maps, fix pricing, looking into sales and support, and peeking into potential payoffs for products or services. Understanding customer’s problems need a great deal of skills. Customer feedback leads to him to read product statistics, and it helps the team to get into the assessment, as in where the improvement measures have to be taken to make service more reachable in the market.

Why should you become a product manager?

Product management is a great opportunity to fill yourself with leadership qualities, which will help you to get into a significant and more prominent role in your organisation. It will up-skill your resume and help you for coveted career transitions where you never know, and you may land into as a Vice president or C-level influential positions in the future. A scrum or Agile project management course is definitely worth looking out for before you dream of being on the thrones of any reputed organisation.

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Monica is a senior marketing executive. Her skillsets consist of digital marketing and strategy, SEO, marketing analysis and more. She also has her expertise in writing various copies, including web, newsletters, e-books, social media, etc. But, it does not stop here. Her love for writing goes as far as doing poetry connecting science and life.

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Monica Swain

Monica is a senior marketing executive. Her skillsets consist of digital marketing and strategy, SEO, marketing analysis and more. She also has her expertise in writing various copies, including web, newsletters, e-books, social media, etc. But, it does not stop here. Her love for writing goes as far as doing poetry connecting science and life.
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