The Definitive Guide to a Career in Product Management

Product management is one of the most sought after careers in India today. More than 20,000 product management jobs are available for qualified personnel. These jobs tend to pay very well, around 246% more than the average salary in India.

This is not surprising in a world where the very definition of a product is constantly evolving. Today, a product is not limited to a physical or tangible object.

Digital creations like NFTs or apps, and services or experiences like health checks or travel packages are managed as products by the companies that offer them.

A surge in innovation has led not only to an increased demand for product managers, but also to a new set of expectations from them. Modern product managers need specialized skills that traditional management programs do not prepare their graduates for.

For professionals looking to pursue a career in product management, it is important that they understand what the business expects of them and how to develop these skills.

WHAT IS PRODUCT MANAGEMENT?

The journey of a typical product begins with an idea or concept before becoming an offer used by its target audience and generating revenue or value in another form for the company.

Along this journey, companies have to make critical decisions about the product, such as its features, pricing, positioning, promotions, and more. After.

Product management is about anchoring this whole process so that companies make the best decisions about the product, people with different skill sets align to a plan and contribute effectively, and as a result, the product also serves its purpose for the customer. like the business.

WHAT IS PRODUCT MANAGEMENT?

The typical day of a product manager involves a mix of strategic thinking and tactical execution. Some common tasks of product managers, regardless of product type or industry, can be described as follows:

  • Identify and validate the feasibility of products on a market
  • Conduct market and target audience research, their personalities, analyze competitors and uncover any ideas that help to better position a product
  • Formulate strategies with newly acquired market knowledge to effectively write development and go-to-market plans, along with expected timelines and timelines
  • Align product and organizational strategies
  • Coordinate with teams and effectively communicate plans to team members so that all stakeholders and contributors are on the same page when it comes to plans and ensure that collective and individual contributions translate into results expected results
  • Provide direction to various organizational functions such as user interface, marketing, sales, product development, customer support and more.
  • Implement feedback after demos and testing and constantly optimize the product for more efficiency.

KEY SKILLS FOR PRODUCT MANAGEMENT

Good products require the perfect mix of consumer insights, technology, design, and data-driven decision making.

Although a product manager does not need to have deep knowledge of the technical skills involved in creating the product, they should understand how people with different skill sets can contribute to the project.

This is in addition to their ability to assimilate information for decision-making, coordinate the activities of everyone involved, and ensure that customer and business goals remain aligned.

Here is an indicative list of attributes and skills that a good product manager should possess:

Empathy: It all starts with understanding a target audience’s problems and empathizing with their pain points. Validation of a product and its purpose can best be achieved through an empathetic mindset.

Research skills: Since product management involves competitor analysis, market research, business model analysis, etc., strong research skills are in high demand by organizations.

And today, it has evolved to such an extent that it is insufficient to obtain information through research. Product managers need to be able to visualize them effectively and communicate them as well.

Technical skills: A product manager does not necessarily have to know how to code, but he must have a good understanding of technology and technology stacks to decide on the best tools to deploy, architectures to implement, SaaS solutions to subscribe to, methodologies development to implement and more.

Project management: The role of a product manager requires intense coordination and streamlining of processes, workflows and conversations.

Many siled operations also need to be made interoperable. This requires innate or instilled project management abilities.

Marketing Skills: A product manager’s knowledge of market research and competitor analysis comes into play in directing and driving marketing initiatives.

This includes identifying the right target audience, determining the right channels, formulating strategies for an omnichannel experience and more.

Although it is not mandatory to have expertise on marketing tools and platforms, a generic idea of ​​how the different tools work and how watertight strategies could relate to them is ideal.

A career in product management can be very rewarding. You get paid well, work on new challenges and problems every day, and in the end, you get the satisfaction of solving your customers’ problems.

However, to be a successful product manager, it is not enough to show up regularly for work. You must have the drive to not only understand your customer, but also your teammates, your organization, your competitors, and the global environment

While it might seem overwhelming to think of yourself as someone who wears so many different hats, the good news for aspiring product managers is that all of the skills you need to become a great product manager can be learned and developed with the right contributions.

Modern certification programs focused on product management examine the function in detail and help learners develop their skills in all areas.

Honing your skills through such a program will provide a significant competitive advantage in this field for years to come and could prepare you to lead the next wave of innovation and transformation.

– Article by Madhukar Jha, Program Manager – Product Management, UNext Learnin

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