Everything You Need to Know About a Product Manager

Software engineers are the key to building a product’s foundations. Marketing experts need to gain and nurture leads. User Interface and User Experience teams need to know and define the product from top to bottom. And Sales have to close as many deals as possible. But these departments won’t work properly if an organization doesn’t have a product leader?

A product manager is termed as a CEO of the product, whereas Product management is fundamentally about thinking on your feet, staying one step ahead of your competitors, and being able to project yourself into the minds of your colleagues and your customers. Product Manager within the industry’s role is a driving force of innovation. The job might also be called as Project Manager, Project Leader, Product Leader, or Technical Product Manager; however, the ability requirements remain consistent.

The product manager knows about the current market; they aren’t a part of their product group; they manage the product group. If the product fails, it is the responsibility of the PM, as the PM is the strategist behind the product. They also act as a liaison between UI/UX, technology and business, a coach; they know where and how to match things to get a product enhancement. Being a product manager is necessarily wearing different hats.

Skills and Qualification required to be a PM

To be qualified for the position of PM, a candidate must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in marketing, engineering or business. For an aspiring product manager, the degree in marketing or business-related fields can be of great advantage.

Product managers will need to be technically proficient to understand the possibilities and the context of the product space. For instance, working on e-commerce necessitates understanding payment technology to produce excellent choices. Today many product managers need to understand data thinking and use tools such as Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Tableau, Optimizely, etc. that require a base level of technical thinking or training.
PM may understand the do’s and don’t of a company, however, the top PMs can empathize with clients while understanding the body language and feelings and may be able to figure out the points which the client will address, in order to bring the necessary changes in the product.

A PM with a high EQ also manages strong connections in their organization and have a better understanding of how to navigate both internal and external problems. Not only that a PM should be self-aware and have a social awareness of the market but be emotionally intelligent or should be a fit for the company while understanding the business and be sure of the target market and the target audience. A PM should also have a passion for technology and must have the ability to communicate clearly within and outside the organization. However, out of all, the PM should have leadership skills to make the teamwork together for the best results.

Being a product manager takes a lot of responsibility, as he is the ambassador of the product. The main things he needs to focus on is Strategy, Execution, and User Understanding.
The role of the PM in a startup is a lot more likely to be liable for”all of the items,” whereas, in a mature business, their function will be distinctly defined.

In a startup, these PMs flourish in scrappy surroundings and are familiar with ambiguity and regular modifications to management as the organization works towards the product-market match and learns to function in scale. They are responsible for advertising, pricing, and earnings of the goods beyond detection, definition, and the transport system. PMs are most likely to be involved with business strategy, get exposure to senior leadership, and the board, can take more risks, and create a more significant impact. Budgets are generally tight, and PMs might not have the requisite expertise to be successful at a few of the things.

In a mature organization PM has a team that manages different tasks such as pricing, exporting, etc. and might have a more narrow range. Here PMs are very likely to be a part of a bigger group of product managers. They are more inclined to have training and mentors, in addition to development standards and best practices. Affiliation with an engineering team can help them in product development and management.

In the past, product managers had limited resources to help them do this great work. They relied on spreadsheets, presentation decks, and general project management software to create roadmaps, capture ideas, prioritize features, define requirements, and more. However, these tools were not created with product managers in mind, but with the advancement in technology, many new tools came into play to make the work of product managers easier. Some of the tools that can be used by product managers today for different tasks are:

TasksTools
Product strategy and road mappingAha!
AnalyticsAmplitude, google analytics, Heapanalytics
Customer feedbackGoogle forms, qualtrics
Design and wireframingInvision, sketch, UXpin
User onboarding:Intercom, Hopscotch
Collaboration and productivityslack, zoom
Project and task management Asana, jira, trello

How to acquire relevant skills?

Do you think there are enough skills you already possess to be a PM? Yes? Well, then, you are all set to apply for a job as a product manager, but all you need is to understand the industry and other essential parameters of being a product manager. But if the answer was a No, then there are specific ways to demonstrate the skills. Some of them are:

Side projects 

One of the best ways to demonstrate your interest in product management is to work on a side project that gives you the experience of a product. This can be either taking freelancing projects or working on small products. Another way would be to join a Startup Weekend in your local area (which is functional in 5 cities in India). Startup Weekend is an opportunity where teams (technical and non-technical) get together and focus thought empowerment, on client growth, and constructing ideas. Once this is done, then they pitch it to a panel of experts on the last day. It is a fantastic experience to work with individuals of various backgrounds and come up with product management abilities.

Think like a PM 

Develop abilities and attempt to get onto jobs where you’re currently taking a direct role in handling a team or some product features. Ideally, you should attempt and get onto jobs where you have to cross-function between teams, so you can find multiple tasks to handle. PMs understand to comprehend terms and convert them in the audience’s language. For companies, the best thing to experience is demonstrating that you’ve got skills. Taking certain measures will permit you to structure your expertise and boost your odds of landing a PM project to think.

Reach out to Your Network 

Try to reach out to your friends working as product managers. This can give you an insight into their functions. Tech is an area based on different parameters, therefore taking the time to attend events, meetups, seminars, etc. can give you access to a network of people who might refer you to different positions and companies.

Join online communities

Online communities can help you in gaining skills and knowledge for the role of a PM. These include some major social platform groups. You can become a member of Facebook groups, Youtube groups, LinkedIn groups, Reddit groups, etc. Joining the Product Managers’ Community can help you to contribute, ask questions, and get referred by a member there.

These can be some of the helpful ways to boost your knowledge for the role of a product manager

Also, there are various free online courses made for freshers and professionals; in order to gain the required knowledge about Product Manager.

Popular online sites and courses

Sites:

Coursera
Price: Rs 2000 onwards for a single course, Rs 3000 onwards for multiple courses, 
Duration: 1-20 hours

Udemy:
This course is for people looking to make a move to product design and management.
Price: Rs 1000 onwards
Duration: 1-20 hours

Skillshare:
This course points you in the right direction in terms of the skills you need to work on to get into the field of product management.
Price: 30-day free trial; $15 monthly
Duration: 2 mins to 7 hours

Lynda
This platform provides more than 31 courses and is taught through LinkedIn learning.
Price: 30 days free trial; Rs 3000 monthly
Duration: Most courses are over an hour

Courses:

Digital Product Management: Modern Fundamentals 
Available at: Coursera 
Cost: Audit for free, a verified certificate for Rs 6000

Software Product Management Specialization 
Available at:  Coursera 
Cost: Rs 3000 onwards a month

Product Design 
Available at:  Udacity
 Cost: Free

Design Patterns 
Available at: Coursera + University of Alberta 
Cost: Free

Now that we know what all courses and books can help you excel as a product manager, then you must get started and look for opportunities as a product manager. That’s when Vasitum– Your AI-powered career platform comes into play to fetch you your dream job. 

To find the best role for yourself, all you need is a quick 3-minute registration, and you are all set to start applying for jobs. It is seen that 60% of users on this platform get placed within 30 days!