Considering the accelerated pace of the technology market and the growing demand for tech-based solutions (whether for business purposes or personal use), product managers are becoming one of the most wanted and fastest-growing roles in business. As of today, the national average salary for a product manager is $113,446 per year in the United States, according to Glassdoor.
While this particular job position is indeed extremely attractive in terms of professional growth, it’s also crucial to realize the scale of responsibilities it entails and the amount of both technical and soft skills required. Not to mention that roles can also vary greatly, depending on a number of factors, including industry and stage of a company.
If you’re pursuing a career path of a great product manager, you should start by expanding your skill set with core competencies, tech proficiencies, and also emotional intelligence skills. Join us as we go through the necessary qualifications each product manager should possess – and make sure you’ll make a perfect fit for your dream company.
A product manager (PM) is a professional responsible for the development and success of a product or a service. This means they are in charge of every stage of the product’s lifecycle, from ideation and development to launch and post-launch maintenance.
Depending on the company, product managers may have different roles and responsibilities. However, their ultimate goal is always the same – to develop and bring to the market products that will satisfy customer needs while also generating profits for the company.
To achieve the desired results, product managers need to be skilled in multiple areas and disciplines, such as business analysis, marketing, project management, and leadership. Here is a full list of required skills, both soft and hard:
When it comes to hard skills for a product manager position, employers will be looking for candidates with experience in specific software, platforms, and tools. These include:
- Technical skills. Product managers should have a basic understanding of technology and how it works. For instance, if a company uses CAE simulation in order to improve product design, you should have a clear understanding of this process. This way, they’ll be able to communicate more effectively with the development team and understand the technical aspects of the product.
- Business analysis skills. To assess the market potential of a product, PMs need to be able to gather, analyze, and interpret data. This will help them make more informed decisions about product development and launch.
- Project management skills. Product managers need to be able to plan, organize, and execute projects efficiently to meet deadlines and budget constraints.
- Marketing skills. Product managers need to be able to identify target markets, develop marketing strategies, and track the performance of marketing campaigns.
In addition to hard skills, product managers also need to possess a number of soft skills, or interpersonal abilities. These skills are just as important as the technical ones and will help you succeed in your role. The most common soft skills for product managers include:
- Communication skills. Product managers need to be able to communicate effectively with different stakeholders, including customers, developers, and executives. They should be able to clearly articulate their vision for the product and persuade others to buy into it.
- Problem-solving skills. PMs are expected to identify and solve problems quickly and efficiently. They should be able to think on their feet and come up with creative solutions to challenges.
- Organizational skills. Product managers need to be able to prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously. They also should be able to keep track of deadlines and deliverables and make sure all team members are on track.
- Leadership skills. A great PM needs to have the ability to motivate and inspire others to achieve common goals. They should be able to build and manage teams effectively and provide clear direction.
In addition to hard and soft skills, product managers also need to possess a certain level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to be aware of and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.
PMs need emotional intelligence skills in order to be able to:
- Manage conflicts. Product managers need to be able to handle conflicts effectively. They should be able to identify and resolve conflicts as soon as they occur or prevent them altogether.
- Manage stress. Product managers need to be able to manage stress in a healthy way. They should be able to stay calm under pressure and maintain a positive outlook.
In addition to specific skills and proficiencies, product managers also need to possess certain core competencies, or areas of expertise, in order to be successful in their role. The most common core competencies for PMs include:
- Product development. Product managers need to have a deep understanding of the product development process, from ideation to launch. They should be able to manage all aspects of the process, including requirements gathering, design, development, testing, and deployment.
- Product management. PMs are deeply involved in the product management process, from planning to post-launch maintenance. They should be able to manage all aspects of the process, from product strategy and product roadmap to product lifecycle and portfolio.
- Customer experience. Product managers are expected to work on improving customer experience and be able to identify customer needs and pain points, as well as develop solutions that address them.
- Data analysis. Product managers need to have a deep understanding of data analysis, from collecting data to interpreting it. They should be able to use data to make informed decisions about product development and launch.
Product managers are in high demand in today’s business world, and for good reason. They play a vital role in the development and success of products and services. If you’re pursuing a career in product management, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the skills and competencies you need to be successful in the role.
As such, make sure to brush up on your technical skills, such as business analysis and project management. In addition, focus on developing your soft skills, such as communication and leadership. Finally, don’t forget to build your core competencies in areas like product development and customer experience. By honing