Successful PMs excel at 3 core skill sets:
- Setting a vision
- Getting things done
- Generating insights
Setting a vision
Sales owns the pipeline. Engineers own the code . Great Product Managers own the VISION. Although every cross functional team member contributes , It is the PMs job to actively sculpt, refine, simplify, test, guard and correct (if necessary) the vision.
PMs that don’t own the vision will produce roadmaps - and ultimately products - that are off strategy, or orthogonal at best.
Owning the vision is a balancing act, but icould count 5 key qualities that PMs has to demonstrate:
- Market understanding: Understand the competitive landscape but also the competitive trajectories
- Spectrum of input: They deeply understand the product perspectives from power users to noobs and the in-company insights ranging from the engineering team to customer support
- Dissemination: Ability to communicate the vision effectively to everyone
- A Future perspective: Predict how the market will evolve (techn
- .ical capabilities, competitive threats, user base, potential disruptions)
- Translation: Ability to build, protect and deliver on roadmaps which are making significant progress toward the overall vision
Getting stuff done
PMs that don’t ship product aren’t PMs, they’re just people with nice ideas. The critical skills - which are cumulative - that help PMs excel in this category are:
- Cultivate feedback loops
The last key component is the driving the product team forward with insights. The type and source of the insight varies but it’s the PMs responsibility to help generate, filter and evolve vision based off these insights.
The insights are critical because they help validate that the team is pursuing the right course of action (eg the feature we recently launched is driving up new payer conversion by X%) or informing the team about potential market, consumer or product changes that need to be tackled (eg the market appears to be shifting toward unbundled mobile apps w/ narrowly focused feature sets).
- Data driven
- Customer focused