How to Prosper as a Product Manager?

As a Product Manager, you don’t work in a vacuum. In fact, most of the execution from the PM’s perspective doesn’t actually involve touching and developing the product itself.

Here are the five pillars of Product Management:

1.Develop a Product Sense

• Stay clear on your goal  • Truly empathize with your customer  • Need to get driven by design  • Know your market  • Be creative  • Be visionary

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2.Enhance Analytical Rigor

• Fly high, get low  • Have thorough understanding of key metrics — you can identify substantive and actionable metrics that impact your business in a meaningful way (while avoiding vanity metrics) and have a good cache of proven means to move the needle on any given number. • Big on data  — you know what kind of data is available, how to get to the data, what kind of analysis you can run against it to get the answer you need, and most importantly, how to communicate the findings effectively.

3. Influence without authority

Most product folks don’t report into engineering or sales/marketing teams – so they don’t share the same boss – and yet they’re responsible for dictating product features and timelines that deeply affect engineering and sales/marketing planning. Ensure that you influence your team without showing too much authority, at the same time conveying your message across on what needs to be done.

4. Consider innovating through minimalism

The best product thinkers know how to carve down the scope of the product until it makes even more sense, as opposed to adding more and more superfluous features. You can slash to the core of what a product really needs to do for the customer, and you’re relentless at staving off feature bloat. Follow the principle “KISS” that is “Keep It Super Simple”. Always remember, simple designs are easier to understand, cheaper to make, less likely to fail, and easier to fix than complicated designs.

5. Prioritize ruthlessly

PMs help prioritize the development calendar for engineering, and to do that you need to have excellent organization skills and the ability to make difficult trade-off’s quickly. Even though you can’t find or make more time, you can exercise control over yourself. This isn’t time management; it’s “me management.” If you want to get the most out of the time you have, you have to become an excellent “me manager.” “Me management is about ruthless prioritization.” You can’t do all you would like to do in a single day. Add a week’s worth of single days together and you have even more you wish you had time to do. The only way to be as effective as you need to be is by prioritizing and that too ruthlessly.A Product Manager encounters too many barriers, organizational silos, and vagueness about what he can or should be doing. “Once you reduce the ambiguity around things like their deliverables or specific authority, performance improves. The clearer the roles and responsibilities, the more successful the product manager is.

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