Whether you’re working for a major organisation, startup or agency, Product Managers are constantly upgrading their skillset in order to stay competitive in their company or when job searching.
Whilst soft skills such as problem solving are important for a Product Manager to succeed, being technically savvy with an ability to conduct market research and produce an accurate design are equally as important.
The best product managers are able to merge both sets of skills and produce the best outcome. Being able to negotiate successfully is key when working with clients, and your technical skills are vital when it comes to developing products.
Now, let’s look at the most in demand skills product managers should be including on their CV.
Whilst product managers do not necessarily have to be coding and programming experts, an understanding of development processes will be useful. Communication and collaboration with the technical team to understand the context you’re working with, whilst establishing a roadmap will be a great help.
In order for a product to be successful, there must be a market for it. Product Managers are expected to be able to conduct market research to see how the product in question will be best served within the market. This is where the soft skill of being able to effectively communicate with customers, assessing their needs and gaining feedback, come into question. The best product managers can then find solutions to their needs and queries.
One of the most effective ways product managers can gain feedback from customers is by conducting surveys and or interviews with a user research team. By assessing SEO tools which are being used to measure product content initiatives, this will help when deciding what direction to go in.
Product managers must be critical thinkers and able to analyse information. Information that is gathered can then be provided to the teams they’re working with to provide actionable insights.
The overall aim of a product manager is to ensure the product they are delivering delivers value to the brand and customer. A product manager’s ability to think strategically is not called into question occasionally, it is a skill they’ll need daily. Without being a critical thinker, being able to weigh up decisions and make smart decisions will be difficult.
This is a skill current and new product managers can develop in time, by putting themselves in situations where they demonstrate active listening and problem solving.
It’s very easy for product production to hit a stumbling block if specific technical requirements have failed to be established. Being able to create technical product specifications and detailed requirements is pivotal for not only coming up with new product ideas, but guiding directors and engineers.
It will be worth scoping previous documentations to assess product briefs and see what worked well for other teams.
As products are often solutions to problems for consumers and businesses alike, the best product managers are able to create products that can achieve this goal. As product managers are likely to be brainstorming ideas, being able to problem-solve is a key mindset. Understanding the customer is the first step to achieving this. Their problems will be the driving force behind a product managers decision making.
Communication and time management go hand-in-hand when it comes to the success of launching a product. As well as strong written skills, a product manager’s ability to communicate strongly verbally, will ensure successful collaboration with their own team, but also with external stakeholders.
They key factor with project success often comes down to time management. A strong product manager will be able to split their time effectively when it comes to overseeing projects, as well as delegating amongst their team and demonstrating their ability to prioritise tasks.
Whilst understanding the latest web development technologies are a very important part of a product manager’s skillset, the importance of communication, time management and problem solving in such a position cannot be overlooked. Your ability to think critically and find solutions in a fixed time period will set you apart from your peers and lead to more opportunities.
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