Your comprehensive guide to Product Management
The role of a Product Manager has been listed as one of the Top 5 in-demand jobs in tech in 2022, this demand could be due to companies focusing more on customer-centric products and product lead growth.
A Product Manager works alongside those who make the product, use the product and manage the business. It’s a varied role that covers all aspects of the product lifecycle all the way from ideation to the end user. They can effectively communicate the vision of the product to internal and external stakeholders and ensure that the product strategy delivers the best outcomes and value to the customer or end-user.
If you are interested in making a move into Product Management but are unsure how to get there, the good news is many Product Managers break into a career in product from another background due to the role being so interdisciplinary. As the role covers so many different aspects and responsibilities across the business the requirements of the role may look different from company to company depending on the nature of the business, however, there are a number of core skills that will enable you to be successful in the role….
- Strategic thinking
- Excellent communication and organisational skills
- Collaborative mindset
- Business Knowledge
- Proficient with technology
- Knowledge of UX
- Empathy for the customer or end-user
What backgrounds do Product Managers come from?
Often Product Managers come from various backgrounds including Customer-related roles, Marketing, Operations and Engineering. Below are a few examples of popular roles within each functional area that Product Managers transition from….
- Business Development Manager
- Customer Success Manager
- Digital Marketing Manager
- Strategic Marketing Manager
- Project Manager
- Programme Manager
- Management Consultant
- Business Analyst
Engineering and Design
- UX Designer
- Software Engineer
- Engineering Manager
What Qualifications will you need?
There are no formal qualifications to become a Product Manager, but most companies will require you to have a related undergraduate degree or equivalent industry-related experience. However, you will find that most Product managers tend to be well educated as the role will require business knowledge and specific industry experience, this could be an MBA, Master’s degree or technical training and Product Management courses.
There are also other things you can do to put yourself ahead of the competition when applying for a role in Product Management…
- Think about taking a related course in Product Management or learning code- even at a basic level this will open up your options of roles.
- Build your understanding of UX – the end-user or customer is always the focus of developing the product so having the ability to know the right questions to ask and really get into the customer mindset will help you in the role.
- Research the role and speak to someone who is working as a Product Manager- this will give you more insight to the role and what the expectations are.
- Build your analytical skills- Problem-solving, collecting and analysing data is a fundamental part of the product manager role.
What roles are there within Product Management?
There are basic roles in Product at each level of seniority, depending on where you enter a business in a Product lead role these are the types of titles and levels you will expect, but they may vary from company to company….
Entry level: Associate Product Manager
Mid Level: Product Manager
Senior Level: Senior Product Manager
Senior Level: Director of Product Management
Exec Level: VP of Product
C- Suite: Chief Product Officer
There are also related roles such as Product Owner, Technical Product Manager, Product Marketing Manager and Product Development Manager.
If you have been considering a career in Product Management, I hope this gave you an insight into how you can get there.
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