Being a product manager is no easy job. You have to collaborate with a lot of teams in order to successfully develop and launch your product. In the process, you have to learn the different skills and cultures of each team so you are able to effectively connect with them and communicate what needs to be done. While product management is primarily about creating a great product, there are a million other things involved in this line of work.
Here are some of the best practices every great product manager applies in his or her profession:
Know the Scope and Limits of Your Involvement
Although a product manager is expected to be involved in every process related to their product, they should give each team space to do their own line of work. Great product management draws the line between overseeing each process and interfering with them. For instance, product development is a step that involves the participation of the product manager, but it will be much appreciated by the engineering team if the minute details are entrusted to them.
Be a Good Listener
On a regular basis, product managers speak with their customers, about three to five product users. This practice is a good way for them to learn what the users like about their product, what they want to be changed or added, how they find other products compared to theirs, and how they use their product. During these conversations with the customers, being a good listener is necessary to really learn from what the customers are sharing with them. Paying attention to their insights and suggestions are going to be helpful in planning for the next product enhancement, providing effective solutions to current and possible future problems.
Aside from asking the users and the teams what solutions are needed, another important question that needs to be asked is “why”. Asking this question helps to truly understand the reasons why certain features or enhancements are being suggested and this is a good way to ascertain whether these are really needed for the product or not.
A product manager is constantly faced with issues that would require their decision. It is therefore necessary for them to be able to be able to not just make sound decisions, but also to be firm and able to defend their decisions. If you attend a product management training course, you will learn that it is always best to base decisions on data. And in situations where data is not available, they should be able to discern what the best course of action is under the circumstances.
It is not an excuse that you are too busy to reply to certain emails. It is important in your position to show people that you are not ignoring them as this can give them an impression that you are incapable of managing or multi-tasking. In your line of work, it is very important to take care of your reputation as one who is capable and in control, so make sure that you respond to everyone, prioritizing the most important ones and even delegating certain issues to other members of your team if necessary.
With so much workload, it is best for you to learn to effectively communicate in a concise and clear manner. During meetings and even in written communications, you might want to incorporate the use of charts, graphs, and other media to successfully deliver your message in a more succinct manner without losing purpose and meaning. Effective delivery of what needs to be communicated leaves no room for miscommunication and leads to a more productive day.
Michelle Rubio has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on product management training such as those offered by ProductSchool.com.