Should I Become PM and What Skill Do I have to Require?
Written by: Vincent
The role of product manager (PM) is the most exciting role within tech companies right now. PMs are the center of decision making of a product, PMs influence people inside their team even often within their organization. PMs are also the main key/touchpoint from every angle of the company like business team, tech team, even the BoD. It's also become a common case where PMs often to go and starts their own business
Then, it's not surprising why product manager is one of the most crucial yet promising roles. Some even might say that it is the hottest role in the world right now!
Through my experience as Product Management in GDP Labs for a few years back, I would like to share with you about what I usually said to a question like
- How do we know PM is suitable for them?
- What skills are required to be a PM?
Let's talk about this shall we?
- How do we know PM is suitable for us? There is no an exact answer to this, but I think if you’re a type of person that is more likely to
- Try to solve any problem and issue
- While at the same time continuously trying to ask questions about anything
- You’re more likely will INTO a product management
- What skills are required to be a PM? This below is probably the most common thing that every PMs would say. Not Exactly the similar for each PMs, but I can guarantee they’re all have same purpose
- Take a problem and create strategy to solve it
- When you become a PM, Problems will be your best friends on your job even on your occasional day to day tasks. So I think you have to be able to recognize the main problem to solve
- After you decide the main problem to solve, next up is you have to come up with a strategy, paired with a clear vision, that is essentially your route from problem to solution.
- A good strategy is a set of actions that is credible, coherent, and focused on overcoming the biggest hurdle(s) in achieving a particular objective. - Richard Rummelt
- I want to share about how to develop your strategic thinking, but I think it will take too long. So here is some recommendation
- You can also learn how to create some kind of “Framework” in order to handle your issue and create strategic plan
- Executing the strategy & plan (getting things done)
- Imagine yourself as a Captain that is commanding your ship crew when sailing
- You need to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing, and how they will do it/get it done
- You need to learn to
- Set OKR (Objective Key Result)
- Create product roadmap
- Create prioritization
- Create framework related with product
- Set product development flow
- Maintain team’s sprint planning
- Set data driven decisions
- There is a lot more to it than meets the eye. So for starter i think you can start google these things up
- Like the old people says “even with your closest partner on your relationship that you have, you’d still need communication to make it work” make it the most critical thing for PM IMHO
- IMHO means in my humble opinion > just a side notes, as a PM you should also know the idioms going around your environment so you doesn’t always have to left behind questioning what the hell is that person just said
- Quick jump > Here is a strategy you can use for communication
- Layer your message
- The structure of this post is not an accident, it is a model for getting your message across to a large audience whose level of engagement in the content will vary.
- People have to be able to engage at their level of interest and get value — and progressively learn whether or not they want to invest more — so it can’t be all or nothing
- Consider the Second Order Audience
- Focusing your message into a format that is readily repeatable by others with high fidelity can be a huge advantage, especially if you can distill it down to short memorable phrases
- In short say something that when your audience being asked again by people who are not in your presence can understand it
- Use Multiple Channels
- Try to always use any communication channel available to avoid any possible misinformation.
- Communicate Early and Often.
- You need to know when to give specific information to specific someone in specific time, so people can digest and collaborate (EARLY)
- You need to make sure everything by over communicating things
- They said the devils is in details right?
- Solve miscommunication
- You have to make sure that everyone you communicate with have the mutual understanding of what you’re talking and resulting the same point
- Always repeat information you received and you gave to everyone.
- Great PM is trustworthy and trusting their team
- To be able to lead you need to create a bond with your team.
- Be open to them
- You need to be able to tolerate and understand that nobody is perfect
- But you need to set a target and expectation so that you keep it professional
- This section can be learned through a lot of leadership program. But without actual experience you will not easily get this done.
- The main point is to influence without authority
- To influence you need to have an empathy for your team. Means
- Actually understand what they’re going through
- Be there for them
- Carry out their preferences to upper management & other stakeholder
- Here is some references
As your journey begins, I want you to understand that YES, these things are basic required things to have for a PM, but the one of the most important things for me above all those listed above, is GRIT!
The ability not to give up, always wanting to learn more, and always trying to see the positive from all things that happened will make you a great PM!
Last but not least, besides that PM need to master the skill for writing a PRD (Product Requirement Document). Long story short, PRD contains all information regarding the product you are about to build, including product's purpose, its features, functionalities, and behavior.
What is an example of Good PRD? Download PRD template here.