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Qualities of an Excellent Product Manager | Product Manager Traits

By Kapil Verma – Chief Product Officer at MakeMyTrip

In product management, there are a few distinct differences that exist between an excellent product manager and a good product manager. These are specific traits that help in elevating product managers to the top tier in their profession. There are 6 traits that differentiate an excellent product manager from a good one.

Key Takeaways:

  • An excellent product manager understands his customers, their preferences and pain points well.
  • An exceptional product manager is clear about business goals.
  • excellent Product Mangers tend to follow a systematic approach in solving problems and are usually right.
  • excellent Product Mangers prioritize tasks efficiently.
  • They think out of the box and come up with innovative ideas.
  • excellent Product Mangers collaborate well with engineering, business, customers, sales and UX teams.
In this article
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    In this article, we will discuss 6 traits which distinguish an excellent product manager from a good one:

    1. Understands their customer deeply

    An excellent product manager understands his customers very well. They can think of solutions even if the customers are not able to articulate those. Even if the customers are incapable of explaining certain pain points, the product manager understands the customers so well that they can think of those pain points which are unarticulated and then think of solutions for those. 

    2. Have clarity on where they are going

    While good product managers may have a clear vision for short-term goals, excellent product managers extend their foresight to not just short-term, but also long-term goals. Their main goal is to guide the product development process to a strategically determined goal.

    3. Are right, a lot!

    Exceptional product managers cannot read minds or forecast the future. But they tend to follow a systematic approach in their product development process. They utilize data analysis, market research and deep customer understanding which helps them take an informed and calculated approach to make the right decision.

    4. Say “no” a lot!

    Prioritization is very important in product management. An exceptional product manager is not afraid to say no to less important tasks. They ensure that their team dedicates their energy and focus to the right, more important goals.

    5. They think 10x, not just 10%

    Exceptional product managers don’t just settle for marginal improvements. They like to think big and explore new and unconventional possibilities, push their boundaries and come up with innovative solutions for their product problems.

    6. Are like an Orchestra Conductor

    Product managers are like the center of the product-building process. They need to collaborate with many different teams like engineering, design, business, etc. These teams form an orchestra. An excellent product manager is a very good conductor of this orchestra, who takes the entire orchestra and creates an excellent symphony. 

    The qualities that distinguish an excellent product manager from a good one go beyond technical skills and involve an overall understanding of the product, its users, and the collaborative processes involved. These product managers are a combination of skills like empathy, strategic vision, decision-making, prioritization and teamwork. Since the domain of product management is constantly evolving, product managers need to ensure that they upskill and cultivate more traits like these.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    An excellent product manager should be able to understand customer needs well, have clarity on their goals, follow a systematic approach, prioritize well, think out of the box and collaborate well with other teams.

    Product managers need to collaborate with many different teams like engineering, design, business, etc. These teams form an orchestra. An excellent product manager is a very good conductor of this orchestra, who takes the entire orchestra and creates an excellent symphony.

    Exceptional product managers follow a systematic approach in their product development process by utilizing data analysis, market research and deep customer understanding which helps them take an informed and calculated approach to make the right decision.

    About the Author:

    Kapil Verma – Chief Product Officer at MakeMyTrip

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