Let’s see what qualities will help you become best of the best in the profession.
Ask the question “Why?” — Be curious1. Why do I think it’s worth developing this feature?
2. Why do I think that I am implementing this skill well?
The more information you have (by constantly stopping and asking yourself the question: “Why?”), the more complete the picture will be.
The ability of a product manager to take a look at himself and his product from the side contributes to the development of both the manager and the product.
Be precise: in goals, tasks, communicationsBehind the product manager there is a team, the coordination and effective work of which requires extreme clarity, coherence, and structure from the product manager. The team must have an understanding of the strategy and follow the plan.
Ask for forgiveness, not permissionTry taking on more responsibility and be prepared to make mistakes. Of course your actions depend on the industry as well as which risks you can afford to take without causing detriment to users and the company.
Seek out someone to learn fromA relatively new profession and its representatives — these factors provide many chances to boost your skills. In order to do this, you should look for a mentor from whom you can learn, and in some cases, even persuade him to actively teach you. In order to possess the necessary competencies and always be in trend, it is necessary to regularly undergo training with leaders and product managers from various levels.
→ How to look for a mentor
1. Find inspirational products and get in touch with their creators.
2. See who gives speeches or talks and understand whether the topics of the speakers are relevant to you and what possible benefits they can bring you.
3. Ask for contact recommendations from more experienced colleagues.
4. Make a general list of 50 product managers that you consider experts, and contact all of them. The important thing is not to be shy (most likely only 5 or 10 people from the list will answer you). → Even if only one person responds, and agrees, you win.
There are two approaches to a mentorship
1. Call the mentor as such, periodically arrange meetings and get input on your projects — to accomplish this, you need to find someone akin to a kindred spirit.
2. Offer something from the get-go, for example, money or some kind of profitable interest in your project.
Build trust: in the product, within the teamThere is required on three levels:
1. Trust from users: people are emotional. It is important to understand the triggers that can inspire confidence in your product in order to be able to control them → which is to be able to strengthen or weaken their influence.
2. Trust within the team. It will allow you to work faster and more efficiently, as well as avoid problems in cases such as moved deadlines.
3. Trust between the product manager and company management. It has an impact on growth and the range of tasks.
Prioritize and prioritizeThe desire to prioritize and always finding out the point without digging too deep into the weeds is an important quality in a product manager.
Focus on the dataRequest information and process it. Personal experience is important, but for making decisions and prioritizing it is more valuable to rely on hard data — the decisions made by the product manager are expensive, so it’s more important to rely on quantifiable justification rather than on professional intuition.
Create “boxes”The ability to create an entity that solves problems and works on a task-independent of the product manager. For example, you have created a new department in your team and immersed yourself in it as much as possible.
Next, you need to create a “box” by putting together a capable team, appointing a person that is responsible for the “box” and creating control and escalation processes. You create this “box” to then move on to another area in the team that requires your attention, without being distracted by the already created one.
Such an approach will allow you to create a strong team, which will help you avoid finding yourself in a “collapsing house of cards” situation, where “fires” started in different parts and at the same time, distracting you from primary tasks.
ListenIn order to gain valuable information about a product, try to get the user to talk by giving him attention.
Listening is also a tool for solving problems in a team as well as with leadership. For example, in cases when product manager refrains from interfering and allows people to sort out their issues among themselves.
Evaluate anything and everythingThe primary task of the product manager includes making many decisions and predicting their consequences so that even an approximately correct assessment helps to speed up work and helps to prioritize.
Say NOIt is important to be able to filter out unnecessary ideas: don’t spread yourself thin, don’t create unnecessary features, help the product develop faster while focusing on the selected vector.
Don’t get stuck on features, learn to distance yourself from them
It is important to get rid of featurism − it is only useful at the start of your career. Engage in improving the product as a whole by focusing on vital problems such as dropping sales or strengthening/weakening existing metrics.
Make concessions and consider alternativesThe work of a product manager is highly dependent on communication, so it’s important to be flexible.
Seek out people who can help youDelegation prevents overload and burnout, therefore it is important that there are volunteers in the team who are ready to take on some of the product manager’s tasks.
Feel free to just ask your current team: “Guys, is someone among you ready to take on this set of tasks?” — it works like magic and there are almost always people who want to develop in the same direction that you would be glad to delegate.
Win-win: the manager is productive <->the team develops and boosts their competencies.
Seek out feedbackTry to get the maximum amount of feedback from the users regarding the product through all possible and impossible means − this includes reviews, polls, and other communication channels.
Do what the company needs at that very momentGo beyond what is expected of you if the company has a problem in another department. Learn how to set aside your personal product track record when your skills and time can be more effectively applied in solving other more pressing tasks, such as those in the marketing or sales departments.
Solve tasks, by breaking them up into smaller onesEat the elephant one piece at a time: breaking a task up helps to better understand its requirements, as well as to better evaluate it and help speed up its resolution, not only for the product manager but also for the developers.