What are the key steps to achieve success as a product manager?
Product Management has been recognised as a profession since the 1930s, when Procter & Gamble published a document outlining its details. In recent times, the position of Product Manager has gained more popularity. If you wish to pursue a career in Product Management, what are the essential actions to take?
In a recent webinar, Ahmed El-Sharkasy, Founder and CEO of Knowledge Officer, addressed the position of a product manager and dismissed some of the usual misunderstandings associated with it.
El-Sharkasy’s comparison between a product manager and an executive chef is an appropriate analogy for product development. The product manager’s role is to oversee the process, not to be the owner or CEO. They must guarantee the delivery of the appropriate product to the targeted audience in an efficient and timely manner, without having to manufacture it themselves.
Being a leader, you possess the power to influence and convince others to take actions that align with your goals and objectives. You are accountable for the direction and reasoning behind it, and it is via your team that you accomplish it.
According to El-Sharkasy, individuals desiring to pursue a career in product management must approach it similarly to any other vocation, if they want to succeed. Firstly, they must truly be passionate about the field. What do they contemplate and focus on when they are not sleeping? Secondly, they must have job opportunities available. Are employers searching for someone with their skillset? Thirdly, they must have the capability to perform the job. Do they have confidence in their ability to handle the role? If product management fulfils these requirements, then it could be an appropriate match.
Which traits do prosperous product managers have in common?
Focus on the details and the incentives.
It is quite frequent for product managers to get engrossed in the intricacies of a project, and as a result, inadvertently become project managers. Instead of striving to build expertise in project management, leaders must concentrate on inspiring their team to strive towards the project’s ultimate objective and highlight the significance of their contribution.
El-Sharkasy has emphasised the difficulty that product managers encounter in evaluating their own performance, owing to the lack of transparency regarding their position within a firm. It is crucial to keep in mind that direction is not always provided, hence the emphasis must be on creating products that will appease customers and encourage them to become vocal enthusiasts. It is equally important to avoid allocating too much time to urgent matters, as this might hinder attaining the intended objective.
Take note of sales and customers
When developing a product, it is crucial to take into account the customer and not solely concentrate on developing it in solitude. Product managers must not emphasise quantity above quality when creating features but instead concentrate on which features would be the most advantageous for the business and its clients.
Common misunderstandings about product managers
Having technical expertise is a requirement for product managers
Many people believe that product managers must possess a technical background. In reality, several companies will consider applicants with a business background for product manager positions. Knowing how to code is not mandatory, but it might be advantageous based on the organisation and job role.
Product managers usually hold a senior position in most firms
He has observed that certain individuals hold the incorrect belief that they cannot become a product manager until they have worked for at least three years. It should be noted that product management is a managerial position, and in bigger companies, product managers are typically placed in hierarchical frameworks. It is possible to join the field as an entry-level product manager and work one’s way up the leadership ladder.
Product managers may come from either a technology or business background
The job description has been amended to concentrate more on product development, although there are opportunities available in both technical and business-oriented positions. It is not essential to select one over the other.
Only proficient product managers will be regarded for employment
He maintains that it is not always true that firms only hire experienced product managers. He points out that many businesses are actively searching for new college graduates to fill this position, and although it can be challenging to get into product management, the competition becomes less intense once established. He emphasises that having any experience at all is more important than having five to ten years of experience.
Is foresight possible?
Over the last two years, there has been a noticeable surge in demand for product managers, with a 30% increase reported by El Sharkasy. This is mostly attributed to consumers becoming more selective in their purchasing choices.
Product management positions provide greater flexibility, with the option to work remotely. This corresponds with Works‘ discovery that UK companies are open to working with a product manager in Asia if they have the necessary skills.
El Sharkasy declares that product managers are progressively becoming more specialised. Therefore it is crucial for prospective candidates to have comprehensive expertise in a specific field, such as FinTech or Healthcare, to thrive in the position.
Moreover, as per his statement, ProductOps is gaining traction. Similar to DevOps, ProductOps is responsible for the framework and systems that aid product teams in attaining their goals. Working together and devising approaches to handle escalating complexity is achievable for all members of the company.
The Knowledge Officer was established to empower individuals in building prosperous careers in this field. We offer guidance to countless people worldwide, aiding them in identifying the route to a thriving career in their desired domain. Furthermore, our goal is to aid businesses in locating and retaining skilled product management professionals.
At Works, we are experts in technology recruitment for remote tech engineers across various industries. Additionally, we offer extensive HR services that encompass every stage of the process for hiring and integrating overseas employees and freelancers, including selection, invoicing, compliance, and taxation. Our objective is to assist you in integrating the most exceptional remote developers into your team to propel your technical projects and critical technology endeavours.