The product manager is often called the CEO of the product, and rightfully so. But, unlike a CEO, a product manager doesn’t have full authority to decide all the aspects of the product, thanks to a wonderful team for design & development, marketing, sales, and support. The PM works closely with all these roles to make the end product perfect and usable. That being said, the PM needs to have some core competencies to become successful in their field. Not only do they need to be a team player and leader, they also need to be comfortable with last-minute changes and flexible on details. We have come up with some successful project management tips that pave the way for success as a PM. A product manager has a lot on his plate, including juggling researching, planning, forecasting, prioritizing, and several other tasks. Put your best foot forward with these powerful tips for project management success and land amongst the best product managers.
1- Build a Cross-Functional Product Team
As a PM, you need to have a certain vision for your product and that can be brought to life only by a team that understands the needs of the product. Without a dedicated team, a product cannot be successful. When you have a cross-functional and capable team, you can solve complex problems and handle unforeseen circumstances. It is also important to keep your team small enough to work fast and efficiently. An ideal team is collaborative and shares your vision and passion for the product. Form a team that not just listens to you, but pitches in and shares their opinions regarding the development, marketing, and design of the product. It is one of the most useful strategies for success in product management.
2- Give Your Team a Clear Goal
The only way to get the best out of a talented and cross-functional team is to give them a goal that drives them forward. Giving them a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) to achieve will make them more focused and work towards completing their specific tasks. Although your team members may be the experts in their field, they need a firm leader to guide them in meeting deadlines, getting rid of technical issues, and making the product holistically sound for the end-user.
3- Learn What You Don’t Know
The best thing you can do as a PM is to realize what you don’t know and how wrong you can be when it comes to a field you are new to. Some examples of topics a PM may not hold expertise in are business plans and ROI analyses. When you initially chalk up a business plan for a product, you have very rough estimates about the money that will come in and little to no idea about the cost. This is why you need a capable team to help you fill in the spaces where your role might take a back seat. But to lead them, you need to ask yourself and your team some very important questions, such as, ‘Is your product something that users really need?’ and ‘Is it worth working on?’. This is the process of customer discovery, which is absolutely essential to becoming a successful product manager. After this comes product discovery, which entails understanding your capability as a team along with customer needs.
4- Talk To Your Customers
Your biggest resource will be first-hand information from your users. People using your product for real-world problems will give you a much better insight into the design and efficiency of your product than you or your team would think. It might seem unproductive at first, but you will find that many users are happy to share their thoughts if your product has made their lives easier or if it leads to new features or bug fixes that could make the product work better. Surveys and user testing are a great way to interact with prospects and customers and learn how your users are engaging with the product in their everyday lives. Rather than imagining the capabilities of your product theoretically, ask your customers and learn about the real-world challenges faced by your product.
5- Research Lots Of Products Similar To Yours
Often, you might get stuck in the same place while developing a product and not know how to move forward or get over a hurdle. Trying out different products and analyzing how different product teams work together can bring you massive success as a product manager. It will also help you approach your own problems confidently and beat the competition. While researching products, it is important to not only think of our direct competitors but also products in other industries. Keep testing new products and learn about how other teams work together to build a single, functioning, and user-friendly product in the end. Viewing websites can teach you a lot about workflows, copy, design, marketing, and more. Find out what you do and don’t like and apply it to your own work processes to attain success as a Product Manager.
Achieving success as a product manager involves a lot of strategies, out of which we have listed a few, which are the most important. You can check out some interesting courses on Product Management that could give you more insight. Seekho has developed an extensive course on Product Management with the help of successful Product Managers, with one on one mentoring that will help guide you towards your chosen career.