Product managers are responsible for the management of new or existing products within an organization or business. The aim of a product manager is to oversee the supply of products that are useful and profitable for the business. In most cases, a product manager is in charge of a team of people who are involved in the design and development of a particular product.
Need to learn how to be an effective product manager? This online Product Management course could be just what you need.
Product Manager Key Skills
Product management requires a strong knowledge of business, as you need to understand how the product that you are responsible for fits into the overall direction and vision of the company or organization. You will need to ensure that the product creates a good return on investment, while at the same time optimizing its quality.
Being able to see the big picture is crucial. You must ensure that the product fits with the overall business strategy of the organization. This free course in Business Strategy can help you see how large-scale strategies are developed and applied in business.
You will also need an understanding of the technology involved in creating the product. You cannot effectively oversee the product development process unless you understand what is technologically possible and what is not. A manager is unlikely to ever be as familiar with every detail as the developers who are working closely with the product every single day, but having at least a general understanding is essential to being able to guide the design process.
Product managers need to be focused on the user experience that will be delivered by the product. This means that they must be involved in testing the product, as well as in collecting feedback from early users and testers. A product manager cannot be too focused on the technical nuts and bolts of the product; he or she must be able to consider its applications in the real world.
Above all, product managers must possess strong communication skills. It is their job to pull together people working in different parts of the organization and make them work in harmony to achieve a common goal. For example, you would need to communicate the key features of the product to the marketing department so that they can develop an effective marketing strategy. At the same time, you need to listen to clients or market research from customers to determine what features are demanded. Written communication skills are also important, and this is where many business professionals fall short. You can avoid being let down by your written communication skills by taking this course: Write Less, Say More.
Becoming a Project Manager
Project managers often start out as developers before working their way up to a management position. Along the way, you need to pick up some management skills, which you can do by studying management theory online.
Do you have any tips for landing a job as a project manager? Or advice on how to thrive in this demanding role? Share your experience in the comments below.