The product management career is the best fit for you if you are interested in streamlining a company’s product development process along with earning a decent salary. Being one of the fastest job roles to grow and lead, the product manager role covers various responsibilities that skilled individuals have to run. By learning relevant skills, product managers can successfully develop products that fulfil customers’ requirements and fuel business growth.
What is Product Management?
Product management refers to the business practice of planning, developing, launching, and managing a product/service. It entails the whole lifecycle of a product, ranging from conception to development to the launch in the market. Alternatively, it is a company’s managerial function that handles the development and marketing of products according to the customers’ requirements.
Learn Product management courses from upGrad.
What does a Product manager do?
The professionals who administer the development of products for an organisation are known as product managers. They are accountable for managing a cross-functional team to plan, develop and execute a product. Moreover, they ensure that the products fulfil the customers’ needs and can be delivered to them while incurring a profit.
To become a successful product manager, you must have some vital skills like analytical ability, strategic thinking, creativity, communication, and leadership qualities. You should think strategically, perform efficiently, and communicate flawlessly with stakeholders. The national average salary of a product manager in India is ₹8,20,207 per year.
Common responsibilities of a product manager are:
- Conducting comprehensive research to infer customers’ needs
- Developing a strategy for the development of a product
- Communicating the strategy to the stakeholders and other related professionals
- Outlining the product vision and roadmap
- Supervising and guiding the product team while it works on the development of the product
- Defining marketing objectives according to the customers’ demand to achieve sales objectives
- Creating and employing product-related marketing campaigns
Let’s explore the details of the top 7 product management skills that can guarantee you a bright career.
Top 7 PM skills
1) Communication skills
Mostly, product managers dedicate their time to communicating with their peers and other professionals involved in the product life cycle. They regularly have to speak and write in an easy-to-understand manner to share their goals and priorities. For example, they have to communicate during presentations, and team meetings, while dealing with clients on their objectives, etc. Hence, communication skill is one of the must-have product management skills.
Product managers can’t effectively undertake their duties without flawless communication skills. If they lack communication skills, they can’t understand customers’ needs and, as a result, can’t efficiently deduce feedback. Consequently, the company’s business will incur a financial loss.
Courses like Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management can significantly help to reward learners with excellent communication skills.
2) Research skills
Research is an integral part of the product management process. The product managers must be able to comprehensively research the products and their competition. They must be able to collate reliable information from multiple sources, customer feedback, and research reports. Moreover, they should be able to comprehend complex data sets and filter them into valuable insights.
Generally, all product managers conduct interviews or surveys with potential clients to understand their needs. Based on the outcomes of those interviews or surveys, they guide the team to develop products that meet the customers’ needs. Besides, they should stay up-to-date on prevailing industry trends. Specifically, it involves reading trade publications, networking with other product managers, and attending conferences.
3) Writing Technical Specs And Requirements
One of the crucial components of a product manager’s role is bringing new product ideas. The product development process cannot proceed further without explicit technical requirements. The ability to prepare technical product specifications, exhaustive requirements and product features for newly launched products guides the engineering team.
The product managers must be able to understand a product’s technical features and translate them into easy-to-understand and concise requirements. Moreover, they should write complete, unambiguous, and testable specifications.
4) Management skills
The product managers are accountable for managing the product’s development and launch. The management skills help them to effectively work with cross-functional teams, define deadlines, and track the project’s progress.
They may have to motivate their team, retain all team members on track, and guarantee that the product fulfils customer expectations. These product management skills help product managers to ensure product success and help the organisation fulfil its business goals.
5) Critical and analytical analysis
Analytical skills are inevitable to understand the customers’ needs and feedback. The ability to think critically about a problem and discover solutions is imperative to ensure product success. These skills help product managers to recognise patterns and trends in customer behaviour. Consequently, they can make cognizant decisions about product functionalities and improvements.
6) Marketing skills
The developed products may prove to be futile if they are not marketed. Once the product is launched, the product managers must oversee how to market it proficiently and let it reach a wide user base. These skills involve the capability to promote and deliver products in the most effective manner possible. The product managers must be able to respond to changing demands, create marketing strategies for products and define pricing frameworks.
Some of the essential aspects related to marketing skills are discussed below:
- Product managers should understand their target customers’ needs.
- They should understand the market landscape and identify their competitors.
- They should create a strong brand impression for the products in customers’ minds. Consequently, customers can remember it and prioritise those products over others in the market.
- They should be able to develop an advertising and sales strategy to promote the products effectively.
7) Interpersonal skills
Product managers should be able to build and retain relationships with different people involved in the product life cycle. They should possess essential interpersonal skills like presentation, collaboration, active listening, emotional intelligence, and negotiating skills.
How to learn top PM skills?
Incorporating the following approaches in your product manager career path can equip you with top PM skills.
1. Obtain a relevant degree or certification:
Pursuing a suitable degree or certification course is one of the best ways to learn the demanding and essential PM skills. It not only strengthens your fundamentals but also helps you to master the cutting-edge skills that employers are looking for. Moreover, it provides you with an opportunity to acquire practical experience through an experiential learning platform. It also lets you connect with leading industry experts who can assist you in embarking on a successful career.
Similar to any other skill, it takes time to learn and master product management skills. If you are currently working in a product management role, you can use certain reliable tools to hone your demanding product management skills. On the other hand, if you are a beginner, you can look for and grab opportunities for practical learning. Practising certain key product management skills like communication, organisational management, and marketing skills is imperative.
3. Attend workshops and industry events:
You can attend online and local events related to product management to learn the best practices. This approach keeps you informed on the cutting-edge trends in this career. Moreover, you can join professional associations that help you to meet and share knowledge with industry experts. You can expand your professional network and learn the necessary aspects from experienced product managers.
How upGrad helps?
Regardless of which product management skills you wish to master, upGrad courses help you learn through interactive live sessions delivered by leading and experienced industry experts. They help you work on real-life industry projects to provide an immersive learning experience. The 24*7 student support, additional career support, mentorship, and live discussion forum are some of the great perks of pursuing these courses on upGrad.
upGrad’s Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management course can be an outstanding choice to fuel your career in the role of product manager! This course lets you develop a product mindset, master significant product management skills, and develop a product of your own with the help of user research, modelling, development, and product analysis.
Inheriting demanding skills like problem-solving, communication, team collaboration, structured thinking, product sense, leadership, and stakeholder management, learners get to be a part of the growing world of business management with upGrad!
The product manager career path is challenging yet rewarding that requires a knack for managing all aspects of products in their lifecycle. The best way to land a successful product management career is to master the above skills and keep up with the changing trends.
What is a project manager's first task while working on a project?
The project management process includes five phases: initiation, planning, implementation, monitoring, and closure. The first task of a project manager is initiation, i.e., defining the project and deciding whether it’s feasible for the organisation to accomplish it. If feasible, the project manager must draft the project outline and resources required to complete the project.
What are the fundamental prerequisites all project managers must know?
All project managers must be familiar with the prevalent project management tools and methods. They must be equipped with essential skills like communication, leadership, analytical and critical thinking, management, and interpersonal skills that help them undertake any project.
What are the best project management tools?
Project management tools are designed to streamline project communication, planning, and task management. A few of the best project management tools are Wrike, Trello, Asana, Jira, Smartsheet, Monday, Clickup, Airtable, Basecamp, Notion, and Workfront. The choice among these productive tools depends on the industry and the project’s requirements.