Project management is a big cycle. To play a crucial role (such as that of a product manager) in this cycle, you must have what it takes to do an exceptional job and always want to surpass your highest score.
Nowadays, most people assume they are a good fit for the role just because they are problem solvers or have different business ideas in their heads. While these are essential qualities, more work is needed.
If you are new to the field or aspire to become a product manager in the nearest future, this guide contains all the insights you need to be an all-around product manager. These insights will also help you scale through interviews regardless of experience.
What Does It Take to Be a Product Manager?
Before fully launching into what it takes to be a successful product manager, let’s see what a project manager is. A product manager is someone who leads product development from scratch to success.
To do this, he or she must define consumer needs, communicate with shareholders on the significance of a product, and constantly share insights with team members.
If you are considering this role, there 3 major (personal) factors you must evaluate to be successful:
- Core competencies
- Emotional intelligence
- Company fit
Core Competencies of a Product Manager
The core competencies of a product manager center on the 3 pillars of product management. This includes product discovery, planning, and development.
To successfully navigate this stage, a product manager must be great at:
- Executing customer interviews and user testing
- Running design sprints
- Translating technical information into business insights and vice versa
- Determining pricing and revenue models
- Defining and tracking success metrics
- Emphasize prioritization and road map planning
- Oversee resource allocation
- Performing market assessments
It is possible to develop some of these traits in the classroom, however, most are developed with experience and working with good mentors.
You must also be able to decipher where any of these competencies are lacking or seriously contributing to a product’s success.
Emotional Intelligence of a Product Management
In terms of emotional intelligence, a good product manager must be solid in 4 aspects:
1. Relationship management
The ability to relate or form an honest bond with both internal and external stakeholders is very crucial to the success of any product or brand.
A project manager with this trait can easily inspire everyone within his or her team and help them attain their full potential.
Relationship management is also essential in conflict resolution and successful negotiation.
Project managers must also be self-aware to avoid projecting personal preferences into how users relate to a product. Lacking this trait means there is a high chance you will neglect the result of customer interviews in favor of your preference.
This will only lead to poor results and derail more important priorities or problems a product can solve.
If your engineers are more self-aware, they may also begin to lose confidence in you and eventually express disinterest or work elsewhere.
The role of a product manager is very stressful. You have to manage conflicts, respond to demands from engineers and CEOs, meet revenue targets, and manage deadlines at the same time.
To pull through, you must adhere to self-management policies. The most important ones are knowing how to manage your time, pushing hard on urgent priorities, and taking a break without coming off as stressed or tired.
4. Social awareness
Social awareness and relationship management are somewhat similar. The only difference is that this trait is more concerned with uniting yourself with how the company operates across every department.
In other words, you must understand how your consumers think and oversee how every department gets what they want in time.
Project managers also use their social awareness to secure capital and top engineers to boost success.
This factor is so crucial that it can make the best project manager as ineffective or useless as possible. As an enthusiast or professional, you must understand not all project management roles will match your profile.
When considering a role, you must also learn about the company’s size, culture, type of product, and stage it is in. In addition, you must ask yourself if you have the technical skill to work in such an industry.
Being exceptionally competent or emotionally intelligent is never enough. You need to unpack the hiring company, know exactly what they need, and decide if you are the right candidate.
Why Should You Be a Product Manager?
Despite being a demanding role, there are good sides to being a product manager. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider the role:
1. Constant demand
One of the major reasons why there is a high demand for product managers is because growth strategy keeps changing daily.
Brands without a product manager to monitor these trends and make adjustments where necessary can easily be out of business or start recording huge losses in no time.
With product managers, you can try out different product-based marketing models. No company within the SaaS industry can do without a product manager.
2. Job satisfaction
The role of a product manager affords a level of freedom to create an agenda, manage expectations and influence your team members. As long as you are self-aware, this should not be a problem.
The success of a product is what brings a smile to the face of a product manager. They must improve upon that success, manage schedules, and lead a healthy life and work environment.
3. Career growth opportunities
Product management is a cycle anyone can learn. As a product manager, the field equips you with leadership skills, analytical skills, technical skills, UI/UX, and other tech-related skills.
This means you can function within any section of a product cycle and perform excellently. With time, you will discover the areas that interest you more and focus on them.
What is the Average Salary of a Product Manager?
Since the role is in high demand, it is safe to say product managers earn good money. If you are new to the field (0-1 year experience), you can earn as much as $79,106 annually.
However, for managers with more experience, it can rise to about $98,138 annually.
What are the Top Qualities of a Good Product Manager?
The top 3 qualities that make anyone a good product manager include:
What excites you about being a product manager?
The most exciting part of being a product manager is the ability to build something that works with your team.
This means you have succeeded in putting a smile on the faces of consumers, team members, and shareholders.
What is the most important role of a product manager?
The most important role of a product manager is to convince shareholders and everyone in the management cycle to be keen on his or her vision.
To do this, he or she must have profound communication skills.
What is the first thing a product manager should do?
The first duty of a product manager is to interview consumers to identify their challenges or pain points.
From there, you can divide these challenges into primary and secondary and address them accordingly.
There are a lot of factors to consider when answering the question “why do you want to become a product manager”.
Fortunately, this guide has done justice to what the role demands and why you should consider it. With this knowledge, you can also start your product management journey and ace most interview questions.
I hope you found this guide helpful. To learn more about how busy employees like product managers manage their schedule, please see what are time management skills.
Thanks for reading.