The presence of a product manager is a must for the conception, development, and launch of a product. A product manager’s role in conducting product-related teams and the responsibility to meet timelines, budget, and everything else make them an integral part of the life cycle of a product. They steer the product through its various stages and ensure its progress synchronizes with its milestones.
Various responsibilities of product managers intricately link them with the success and failure of a product. So, quite expectedly, not every product manager performs well in their job. Often it takes years of experience to reach a stage in your career where you can be called an effective manager.
Nevertheless, you don’t always have to wait years to improve your job. Focusing on certain essential aspects can improve your performance, helping you become better among your colleagues.
Get identified by the top management for training
High-performing firms always acknowledge the importance of a product manager. Hence, they concentrate on identifying, training, and retaining talents that can practically take their products toward success while adhering to the company’s mission and vision.
If you are working as a product manager in a firm, putting in the effort and bringing results for your company, chances are you will be identified as a potential talent by the top management. Resultantly you might be selected for a high-level training program based on your current needs. But demonstrating hard work, sincerity, and passion for your job are the prerequisites to earn a spot in such training programs.
Get yourself into a bootcamp
At the beginning of your career, the company might not identify you for a training program, even if you demonstrate lofty aims for performing great. Taking the initiative and getting yourself into a product management bootcamp can polish your abilities and jumpstart your career. A bootcamp is often much shorter (25 weeks or so) than an MBA program which is much longer and expensive.
A bootcamp not only gives you the required concepts but provides you with valuable experience to develop your career at a fraction of the expense compared to a full-time MBA program. Like a degree program in a prestigious university, a highly effective bootcamp combines real-world examples and case studies to improve your core competencies. You can polish your problem-solving, critical thinking, strategic planning, and so on through such programs.
Work on your emotional intelligence
Being emotionally intelligent is very important for every career. But it is even more critical for a product manager. This quality helps them maintain a positive working environment for everyone involved in the team.
As a manager, you will be working with various people. You should be able to understand your team members, their thoughts, and their passions to motivate them the right way. Your emotional intelligence helps you do that. You cannot communicate and inspire an extrovert the same way as an introvert. The same goes for someone who is lazy and who is not.
When you understand others’ emotions, you can show the right amount of empathy without overdoing it, develop camaraderie, and get better work from your team. So, it won’t be wrong to say that highly emotionally intelligent product managers manage extensive projects much better than those without.
Also, as a manager, your emotional intelligence helps you understand the impact of your verbal and nonverbal spat over others. Hence, you can ensure you don’t hurt someone else’s self-esteem, which can impact their dedication to the work and jeopardize it.
Improve your communication skills
For a product manager, the importance of communicating effectively cannot be overemphasized. From conception to development to testing, launch, and post-launch, you have to communicate with countless people about numerous aspects. You must communicate with your employees about the vision behind the product development and your goals for its launch.
As a product manager, you will also communicate with financers, attract new investments for your product, and negotiate terms. The sensitive and critical nature of the information in these communications does not give you a chance of a slight error. Missing out on important information or not communicating essential details to the right people at the right moment can derail your product at one stage or another.
In a research, 28% of employees say that ineffective communication results in flunked deadlines; also, it is the reason for many failures at the workplace.
On the contrary, communicating effectively improves your relationship with various internal and external stakeholders, positively impacting overall productivity. As per a McKinsey report, well-connected teams demonstrate a 20–25% increase in productivity. So, to become an effective product manager, work on your communication skills.
The job of a product manager is very critical for an organization. This one person can change the fate of a company’s product in many ways. Therefore, having an effective product manager in your organization is a must. Some ways to polish a product manager are mentioned above. The organization and the person in question must work closely to achieve these standards for improvement.