Success as a product manager is no easy endeavor. The Perez Notes says, A successful PM has to be able to deal with constant change and uncertainty, be more focused on customer needs than on the company’s bottom line, and prioritize their tasks effectively. When you’re considering starting a career in product management, it can be hard to know where to start and what you need before you even really know what that job entails.
What makes a product or service a success?
Now more than ever, having a solid grasp of your fundamentals of marketing is necessary for success as a product manager. Scrolling through the shelves of amazon or flipping through websites without knowing anything about what makes products successful can give quality insight into why some ideas succeed and others fail miserably. And what makes a product or service a failure? There are certain traits in a successful PM that can help us understand how to build a quality product and in my experience these traits were imperative to my success in the past and continue to be my mantras today.
In my opinion, there are 11 essential traits of every successful PM. These traits will serve as your foundation when building your skillset and will set you on the right path for developing your career in product. In this article, I’ll go over each trait and explain how you can use it to improve yourself as a PM.
Some of these traits are more important than others, but no matter what you do in your career, I believe each trait will be useful. Try to put these 11 traits on a chart and update it with your experiences working in product management. I think this chart will help you learn how to be successful in product management and ultimately build a successful product of your own.
The most important trait for any PM is the ability to observe. Being able to watch something happen and then act on it is essential for success in any field of work.
As a product manager, you’re constantly observing your customers and their needs. You also need to observe the company’s goals and objectives and make sure you’re working within those parameters to make your customers happy and meet the company’s goals.
Observe what people like
Whenever you walk into a store or cafe, try to observe what people like and don’t like about what they see when they walk in. As you observe, ask yourself how it makes people feel when they walk in that door. What do they want to find? What do they want to avoid? Asking yourself these questions will help you understand how people look at the space around them , what attracts them towards certain things / products and what attracts them away from other things / products.
What do they want to avoid?
As you observe, ask yourself how it makes people feel when they walk in that door. What do they want to find? Asking yourself these questions will help you understand how people look at the space around them , what attracts them towards certain things / products and what attracts them away from other things / products. If you’re working on an online product, then use your observation skills to find out why people engage or disengage with specific features of your product. Look at the features that customers are using the most and figure out an actionable way of improving those features so that customers can engage with your product more often.
Fundamental parts of your product
If certain features aren’t used by customers, find a way to make them more useful or find a way to remove them from your product. Eventually, you want the most useful features to become fundamental parts of your product and you can use these fundamental parts of your product as a base in order to grow it into something even bigger and better with the help of customer input.
Passion in a PM is essential because if you’re not passionate or excited about something, then it becomes very difficult to inspire others in the company to be passionate for that thing with you. In my experience, if you can’t teach someone else something, then there’s no use in you knowing it yourself.
Passion is what makes people buy your products or use your services. It’s what makes them want to use your products in the first place. If you have no passion for the product you’re working on, how do you expect others to feel about it? If you can’t be passionate about something, then there’s no reason for others to be passionate about it either.
If you’re not passionate about selling something you don’t have much time for it when compared to other things in your life. People are very much driven by their own passions when they’re trying to sell or promote something they believe in.
As a product manager, you need to make sure you’re passionate about your product and use your passion to create products that people want to buy. Find products that you personally like and make them better.
Determination is essential for any career in work because you’ll need the determination to keep pushing through whatever roadblock that’s in front of you. If you can’t decide what to do at any given moment, then there’s no point in pursuing something because it would be very easy for someone else who was just as capable doing the same thing as you.