The job of a product manager is pretty straightforward – make every project succeed. Of course, this sounds simple and easy. But in reality, this person is also the one that gets most of the blame whenever something doesn’t work out. To make things even more complex, product managers are often not directly in charge of teams.
However, they have to take care of all critical elements that determine the team’s success. If you are currently struggling to make progress as a manager, don’t worry. Doing everything well requires a lot of training, effort, and experience. The following selection of tips can help you grow and become even better at what you do.
Train Your ‘People’ Skills
You may wonder what the term ‘people’ skills implies. It is generally used to denote a set of skills that enable one person to get along with others. However, having ‘people’ skills also indicates you are a great communicator and able to see things from different perspectives.
As a product manager, you most certainly have to handle customer interviews. More importantly, you need to know exactly what to do during this process. Therefore, to master this segment of the job, you should learn how to put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
Empathy is of great importance in such situations. The ability to see things from your customer’s perspective allows you to pinpoint their issues. Once you have identified the problems, you will be able to figure out how your products can solve them.
By developing strong emotional intelligence, you can easily overcome any obstacle and create a great product with the required product/market fit. You should understand what your customers desire and need, while also being the one to decide what is best for your product.
Clearly Define Success
Set the end goal at the very beginning. Define success and ensure that every single member is working towards the same goal. Failing to clearly define objectives often results in teammates not working towards the same goal.
Also, be aware that defining success also means that you need to create metrics and improvement plans. Outlining metrics and improvement plans is vital, since they give the team a clear picture of what they need to do to succeed. To make this process easier for you and help yourself figure out things on the go, try to answer the following questions:
- What are your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the product post-launch? What will make your release a success? Which features do you have to include?
- What are your sprint goals? Would it be wiser to set high-level goals?
- Have you set the definition of ‘done?’ Doing so helps set expectations within the team.
You are already aware that product management is a complex role. It is a balance of soft skills and hard skills to manage requirements and make great products aligned with the company’s goals. As a product manager, you need to understand the market and audience. Most of all, you need to evaluate the demand for software, hardware, and services.
These are the main responsibilities of product managers. However, the list doesn’t end there. In order to be faster, more effective and reliable, you need a bit of help. This assistance comes in the form of technology. Use its power to automate simple tasks, communicate with your team members, and gather data.
Analytics In Product Management
Since product management is more data-driven nowadays, it is wise to invest in software that will provide you with accurate analytics. These analytics are useful when it comes to the understanding of user and customer behavior. Additionally, they can come in handy when storing information for product data management.
Fortunately, there is a convenient software that can integrate both SQL and NoSQL data from any existing database management system. Take MongoDB data analytics, for example. With the help of this software, you could easily store information for product data management as well as eCommerce websites and solutions.
It is essential to know how to prioritize to get the job done. When you do this correctly, you build effective roadmaps and get every team member aligned with the objectives. Therefore, you should invest in good product management tools and say goodbye to clunky spreadsheets and gut decisions. Also, make sure to score your projects and features to identify what to focus on next.
Utilizing prioritization tools unquestionably saves time which is precious in this field of work. On top of that, integrating with software and tools you already use can boost productivity even further. Having your content synced across all your tools speeds up your workflow and that is surely something you would want.
By using software like Jira or Basecamp, you can assign tasks and reach your team members in a matter of seconds. Such software is well-known and widely used. No company out there functions without these acclaimed tools.
Therefore, if you aren’t already using something of the kind, you should definitely consider it. To make things even easier, these platforms can also integrate with other programs for analytics and data. Send data, assign tasks, contact your members – you can do all of this with collaboration software.
If you want a program that is used solely for communication, you can download apps like Slack or Skype. This allows you to have two separate channels for communication and collaboration. On the other hand, if you’d like to have a 2-in-1 experience, you should check out unified communications, the method which incorporates more than one communication tools into a single system.
Think Outside The Box
It is common knowledge that the most popular business leaders are the ones that think out of the box. But, you should be aware that this rule applies to the product managers too. Having an innovative mindset combined with the enthusiasm for building great products gives you the foundation to become better than the rest.
These traits should be incorporated with other necessary work if you want to stand out from other product managers. Think big, try to be creative and innovative. However, do not lose sight of reality. To succeed, you need to aim high while also being aware of your resources and your constraints.
A great product manager is not scared of re-evaluating every once in a while. Whenever you feel that something may not be working as it should be, take a second to stop and think. Ask yourself whether you have lost sight of the end goal. Consult your team members if you have to.
Before you start questioning everything, put yourself in your customer’s perspective first. Why should your customers use your product? Then, think about the problems your product is solving for your customers.
How is your product different from the rest of the kind? Once you start re-evaluating things, you will be able to see potential flaws and issues. You may even discover unseen problems that could potentially stop you from getting your project done.
Bonus Tip – Keeping Up With Market Trends
Last but not least, it is advisable to always keep an eye on the market trends. Experienced product managers know that learning about the ins and outs of their markets is a vital part of finding product/market fit.
Therefore, make sure you stay informed about the latest trends and patterns on the market and also keep an eye on the competition. News, videos, presentations, and other resources relevant to your market can potentially be of great importance. Establish yourself as a leader, and not just the manager, by sharing knowledge and information with the rest of the team.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.