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Product management is becoming an increasingly important function in today’s business environment. At its core, the role is largely about building and successfully implementing the vision for the success of a product.
Although the responsibilities and principles of the product management discipline may vary within different organizations, the role typically encompasses three important business functions- business, customer, and technology.
If you wish to make a career in the field of product management, enrolling in a product management certification program can allow you to successfully navigate the various interpersonal hurdles that come with the role. However, it’s a complex job that requires multiple skill sets and mastery across various domains apart from certification.
Here we’re discussing 10 of these skills that you require to master when pursuing a career in product management-
1. Strategic Planning
Strategic thinking is a key skill to develop if you wish to make a career in product management. It helps you define your company’s vision and then strategically work towards that vision with measurable, realistic, and achievable goals.
To be a strategic planner, some of the key skills that you require include excellent forecasting skills, logical thinking, and critical, rational, and deductive reasoning skills.
Apart from this, you also need to have the ability to ask the right questions at the right time and the knack for setting realistic goals, stick to them or change them as and when needed.
2. Robust Communication Skills
Product managers in any project spend most of their time communicating with various stakeholders in one form or another. Starting from brainstorming the feasibility of the idea, conducting regular product meetings, to communicating with clients on specific goals and expectations, they need to interact regularly in a way that effectively conveys their priorities and objectives clearly and concisely.
Besides, product managers also need to frequently communicate with their internal teams on the project’s progress and provide direction that ensures smooth development of the product.
To effectively navigate this, excellent communication skills are a must-have in product managers, or they won’t be able to perform many of their duties in a convincing manner.
3. Technical Expertise
Successful product managers who constantly work with virtual products such as software and apps need to possess decent technical knowledge along with collaboration skills.
They must be able to proactively work with the technical staff and engineers on their team to be able to successfully identify performance bugs and ensure that the product is up to the mark in terms of various aspects such as design, user experience, and function.
4. Excellent Design and User Experience Knowledge
One of the key requirements for Saas companies to succeed is an exceptional customer experience. Therefore, having a decent understanding of UX design is another important skill to have for product managers in the SaaS domain.
A product manager with a robust knowledge of UX and design can quickly set himself on the path of great success.
5. Excellent Interpersonal Skills
Right from customers, team members to multiple stakeholders, product managers need to constantly try to get others on board with their product vision. This requires them to possess strong communication skills and excellent interpersonal skills.
This is important to be able to effectively influence and lead the people they work with on a day to day basis, among the key interpersonal skills for product managers to have include emotional intelligence, the ability to listen actively, collaboration, and negotiating skills.
6. Ability to Prioritize
To make a successful career as a product manager, you need to have the ability to objectively enforce prioritization to get the tasks completed on time and meet the required goals and deadlines.
Having good prioritization skills also ensures that you get all your team members to work together as a unit on what’s crucial at the time and keep the whole project moving along smoothly and within the timeline requirements.
7. Research Skills
Good product managers must have the ability to do thorough research on various aspects of product development. This is required to understand their customers and market at a deeper level. They need to know how to unpack all the information that comes their way during the product development lifecycle.
Some of the specific research related things that the product managers need to master include
- How to conduct detailed market research
- Ways and techniques to use the tools to compile and analyze data
- How to interpret all of the data generated by these tools
8. Marketing Skills
Marketing is one of the top skills that product managers need to ace to see success in the role. It is largely about developing a strong understanding of how to promote, deliver, and service the products and customers. Apart from supervising the advertising and sales function, they are also required to learn various skills about getting a product to market and delighting the customers.
9. Attention To Detail
A good product manager needs to possess the art of interpreting and visualizing the data like an expert. Having great attention to detail can help them assemble their observations and assess them without prejudices.
This allows them to figure out the most effective way to address the issues that arise during the course of the product development lifecycle.
10. Task Delegation Skills
Task delegation skills are of paramount importance for product managers to successfully oversee a product development team. A good product manager must have the skills to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each team member based on their abilities.
Among the other things that they need to master, they also have to successfully portray expectations for tasks, they have to regularly check in with the team on what is working and what isn’t, and they have to resist micromanagement of team members.
To make a successful career in product management, you need to master each of the above 10 skill categories with an immense amount of focus and expertise right from the beginning of the product’s lifecycle.
One of the good ways to do this is to enroll for the best product management certification and learn how to build a product roadmap through user research, prototyping, and detailed product analysis from the best industry experts.