With a large number of new age companies in the Product and Internet space, the role of a Product Manager has seen an increasing demand. There are numerous good blog posts on What Product Managers do. There are a number of skills that Product Managers need to have, but instead of getting overwhelmed by a long list of skills a better starting point would be look at most important core skills. In this article I would be sharing 3 most important skills successful Product Managers need to possess or develop.
#1 Dealing with People
Yes, Product Managers like many other managers deal with a lot of people. These can be internal or company employees, team members or developers they work with, clients or vendors – depending on the type of product portfolio they are looking at. Every stakeholder has important needs from the Product and has influence on the organization, dealing with everyone’s priorities and creating unified product priorities is more than analysis – its handling people. A highly empathetic person can also look through the user’s lens and provide valuable insights on UX improvements for the product.
So far the best resource I have found for this skill is an evergreen book – How to Win friends and Influence people
#2 Drive for Initiatives
You are expected to take end to end responsibility of the Product. You need to advocate the well being of the product in every discussion and take initiatives and drive them to successful completion. This is often referred to as an entrepreneurial spirit, simply means to keep your sleeves rolled up to get things done. You simply need to be the person who is ‘most bothered’ about the product and its success.
#3 Aptitude for numerical analysis
Yes, you need to be analytical and you need to analyze data, do some research and do back of the envelope calculations or provide guesstimates for market potential of product initiatives, weigh costs against benefits, etc. This can include analyzing usage patterns, feedback surveys, etc, as well. Though you can learn different techniques of doing these activities, but the basic skill of being good at numerical analysis is going to be vital.
These three skills make the core of a Product Manager, as someone who is a jack of all and dealing with experts to get things done, these are three skills with which he adds actual value. In case you have demonstrated these skills and you are going for a Product Management interview, make sure you put across these skills in front of the recruiter (genuinely) and see how it goes.
I hope you agree with me here, looking forward to feedbacks/comments/criticism etc.