46 skills and characteristics that make up the portrait of an ideal product manager

    Product Manager very often acts as the first representative of a product or service to the outside world. Successful PM requires experience, enthusiasm and, of course, professional management skills, communication and other abilities. A set of these qualities helps a specialist to correctly present a product and bring it to the market.

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    The product manager must take care of the success of the product or service from the concept development stage to the final release and market positioning. It is in the interests of the manager to always know how to correctly use the product strategy and focus on global trends in the field of management.

    Young specialists at the very beginning of their career as a product manager may feel pressure from the management or HR managers, who logically want to open their potential and “pull out” all the professional skills and abilities of a new talent. Often they have their own virtual list of expectations, the purpose of which is to determine the professional and personal qualities of future product managers. Applicants are faced with such a list during interviews.

    The list of expectations can be simple, and sometimes carefully thought out and long enough. In general, product owners, CEO and HR always have a portrait of an ideal product manager, which consists of certain expectations. What skills, abilities and qualities should a modern product manager have?

    Skills of a successful product manager


    For many large corporations, the role of product manager is fairly new. In startups, such a position can be found more often. Time has quickly shown the benefits of this role for companies of various sizes and industries.

    The duties and responsibilities of PMs in companies may vary, because a lot depends on the specifics of the product, audience, market, team and other factors. Technical PM differs from a business-oriented product manager ; the roles of managers in an IT company or in retail will also vary. However, the key skills for the product manager remain similar.

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    You can find many classifications of the necessary skills and qualities PM or offer your own option. We propose to consider 6 main categories: key professional skills and product manager skills, personal qualities, interpersonal characteristics, analytical skills, cross-functional skills, as well as much-needed skills today to effectively use professional tools and services for product management .

    Professional skills product manager


    • Creation and implementation of product strategies. Everyone knows that without a quality strategy, the further fate of the product does not seem successful.
    • Prioritization of tasks, projects, and all important issues related to a product or service.
    • Drawing up a development plan and a product roadmap
    • Development and definition of new features
    • Release management
    • Market launch and version optimization
    • Work with professional documentation
    • Evaluation of promotional offers and product features
    • Management of risks

    Personal qualities and skills PM


    • Deadline coordination and punctuality, time management
    • Ability to work with details
    • Task coordination
    • Creativity
    • Ability to resolve urgent issues
    • Critical thinking
    • The ability to motivate other team members
    • Ability to work in multitasking
    • Organization skills
    • Customer focus

    Interpersonal Characteristics of a Product Manager


    • Leadership skills
    • Teamwork skill, ability to be a team player
    • The ability to effectively conduct meetings, negotiations and presentations
    • Ability to influence others
    • Interviewing Skills
    • Ability to work with multi-functional teams
    • Partner Relationship Management
    • Verbal Communication Skills
    • Writing Skills

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    Product Manager Analytical Abilities


    • The ability to analyze the target audience
    • Defining goals and requirements
    • The financial analysis
    • Sales forecasting
    • Product Performance Measurement
    • Product Evaluation
    • Work with various metrics
    • Making report
    • Market research and competitor understanding
    • Customer Reviews Management

    Cross-functional and other skills for product manager


    • Pricing system development
    • Project management skills
    • Marketing and advertising communications
    • Budget management
    • Ability to work with applications
    • Design basics
    • Work with social networks

    Work with professional services and product management tools


    The ability to use modern tools and services for product management not only simplifies the life of managers, but also opens up great opportunities. Such tools help to apply all their knowledge and skills with the help of intelligent technologies and, thereby, optimize and structure their work and the work of the whole team.

    The modern product manager is not limited to the basic set of services for efficient work, but uses special management platforms.

    Separate PM functionality requires separate service or tool options. For example, managing a product backlog is an important part of the work of a product manager.

    Product backlog- This is a kind of repository of ideas, initiatives, requests from customers and important product requirements. Working with a backlog helps you prioritize and organize all your ideas for further iteration planning.

    The platform Hygger.io management BACKLOG offers convenient options Value and Efforts for each idea.

    • Value shows what value a particular function can bring to a business or product.
    • Efforts helps you evaluate the resources you need to complete a task.

    Backlog Priority Chart , a graph for optimizing product priorities, helps to visualize the backlog easily . With its help it is easy to determine the most important and least significant tasks at the moment.

    The chart consists of four segments, each of which represents a specific block of priorities:

    • Time Sinks - for tasks that you should not work on now.
    • Maybes - for tasks that are not of great value now, but they are easy to implement. You can return to them a little later.
    • Big Bets - for tasks that can bring great value, but are difficult to implement.
    • Quick Wins - for tasks that are valuable and fairly easy to implement.

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    Another example of an essential tool in the arsenal of a modern product manager is Product Roadmap ( roadmap or product development plan ).

    Product managers can share this visualized plan with other team members and product stakeholders. This includes global and small initiatives, product requirements, and planned ideas.

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    These are just two examples of strategic tools for product management. The manager’s work is also assisted by time tracking, task delegation functions, communication with the team, preparation of reports and work schedules, systematization of tasks and many other functions that the product management platforms offer.

    What PM tools do you use? And how do they help apply the skills, abilities and qualities of a product manager?

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