I’m often asked what skills a product manager needs. In my view at least, a good product manager needs both ‘soft’ skills (emotional intelligence) and ‘hard’ skills (product management techniques).
Read on for my list of the 12 most important soft skills a product manager needs.
I bet you’ve found yourself in this situation. You’re trying to get your head around the main user problem your new product is going to solve. The thing is, for every question you try to answer, several more questions arise.
This is an interview I did a little while ago with a user experience author living on the US East Coast. She was interested in moving into freelance product management.
- how to move into product management;
- differences between working in the private and public sectors;
- KPIs and financial modelling; and
- the pleasures and pains of being a product manager.
When it comes to the ecommerce checkout process, what’s one thing that retailers are doing wrong? What’s one thing they’re doing right?
From a product manager’s perspective, there’s no one thing everyone gets wrong – it depends entirely on the circumstances.
This is why context and understanding of user needs are so important. Figure out what people need – their goals, frustrations, distractions… everything – then figure out how well your ecommerce capability meets those needs. Improve, then rinse and repeat.
And don’t forget Marty Cagan’s observation that “people don’t know what they need until after they’ve seen it”.
Read the other 20 opinions over on whatusersdo.com.
For a glitzy song contest, Eurovision has a lot to answer for.
There is a product management angle to this post. Eventually.
I enjoy being a product manager, although on some days I question whether my level of patience is suited to my chosen career. When working somewhere, I often spot opportunities for them to improve, gain a competitive advantage or reduce wasted effort, then become terribly frustrated when bureaucracy and organisational inertia prevent me from moving quickly enough to exploit them. If this feels familiar, read on.
I was recently asked this question:
How do you keep user needs at the centre of your product management process?
Read on for my answer:
I gave a talk recently about how I’ve been using data and analytics to guide my decisions in product management. I’ve edited the transcript a little and split it into bite-size parts for your entertainment. This final bit tells the secret behind meaningful product roadmaps. The previous bit was about the benefits of open and transparent data.
During a class I was giving the other day over at Edtech, we were looking at possible risks that might affect the theoretical products we were discussing. One team of students was hotly debating the relative importance of one of the risks. They couldn’t agree how much of a problem it would be if they discovered that something similar already existed on the market. I call this The Coffee Shop Problem.
I gave a talk recently about how I’ve been using data and analytics to guide my decisions in product management. I’ve edited the transcript a little and split it into bite-size parts for your entertainment. This bit is about the benefits of open and transparent data. The last bit was about how UK government digital services gather and use evidence.