The Top Product Management Skills

Do you want to pursue a career in product management?

If so, you have to prepare a resume that sells you with the appropriate skills to match the position.

Do you hold a different position in a company but suddenly had the responsibilities of product management thrust upon you, which happens sometimes (due to downsizing or changes in hiearchy).

Either way, you find yourself wondering, what are the real, important product management skills that you need in order to fulfill the responsibilities involved for this position. Do you have what it takes?

What does it take, anyway?

Well, this is a source of some contention and debate among professionals. (This bickering among my colleagues has gone on long before I was born…)

The main arguments occur over the skills and qualifications required of product management.

Be a People Person

The most important quality is leadership and people skills. Just like any department, if you’re in management, you need to have a strong capacity to lead. This involves working closely with people and helping your team work well together. Always stay positive, motivate and promote constructive criticism. You should have the ability to keep cool core when pressure or confusion arises – as it often does in the hectic world of business

Know How to Plan

The next most important skill is a sense of logistics and balance. You have to know when the time comes to renew the product, apply changes from R&D. You have to know how to prioritize; how to identify and choose the most viable and significant improvements over weaker alternatives. You need to have a keen sense of time. If you screw up, it can all come down like a house of cards.

Understand Your Customer

Finally, a product manager has to have an understanding of their target audience. You must anticipate how customers will perceive the product and its identity. You have to adapt your product to meet the expectations and standards of the people which it serves. Without knowledge of your demographics, you’ll be very out of sync with your customers’ needs.

This happens more often than not, and has resulted in historic failures (Microsoft and Google being prime examples of this).

The 3 skills outlined above are the most important qualities of a product manager. Although debatable, I believe that they are the skills necessary to succeed. Do you agree? What other skills characterize a great product manager?

Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.