Once you’ve wrapped your head (and ears) around a handful of these, you’ll already start getting a feel for what’s involved as a product manager and what you can expect the role to look like and its general duties.
It will allow you to learn all of the basics and develop technical skills with a high-level overview of what it takes to become a product manager.
There are plenty of options available, ranging from free to paid, short or long courses.
When you’ve nailed the basics, look to studying further in your specific field.
Whether that’s sales, marketing, UX design or something else, find courses that bolster your skillset with targeted knowledge.
Hone the soft skills
In addition to knowing your way around the ins and outs of product management, there are a host of soft skills that will empower your role.
Soft skills are highly transferable and increasingly highlighted as desirable for employers.
So don’t overlook what they can do for you and your entry into a career as a product manager.
Here are the soft skills you’ll need as a product manager:
Critical thinkingand analytical skills: as a product manager you’ll be faced with time-sensitive decisions every day. This makes critical thinking a fundamental trait when analysing data to deduce the best route forward for your teams.
Problem-solving: product managers are responsible for creating a product that solves the problem of its users while overcoming the challenges this presents along the way. You’ll love dissecting problems to find suitable outcomes.
Leadership: From hiring to training, forecasting to presenting ideas and plans, to resourcing and executing, there are lots of leadership elements in your product manager role. Creating successful products is no easy feat and good leaders will know how to align their teams.
Time management and prioritisation: product managers have a lot to juggle. Teams require nurturing and guiding, deadlines have to be met, stakeholders want to be satisfied and the final product needs to produce results. Knowing what tasks take priority and which can be delegated, deleted or deferred is a must to keep things on track.
Communication: product managers spend a great deal of time talking! From hosting meetings and check-ins to relaying progress to stakeholders, you’ll have to master the art of communication. A confident speaker and the ability to rally a room unites the collective as you drive products towards completion.
Unfortunately, some people believe that soft skills aren’t that important. However, almost every employer I’ve ever talked to about this disagrees. […]
Build a product management portfolio
Now you understand the fundamentals of becoming a product manager and what’s involved in the product lifecycle.
You are ready to start putting theory into practice and building your portfolio.
This is a website that can be sent to potential collaborators and employers.
It's worth noting that learning the fundamentals of product management might mean you understand what’s involved at each stage of the development process and have an overview of their inner workings.
But this doesn't necessarily qualify you to build a product from start to finish. And that’s okay!
This isn’t your role as the product manager so don’t feel intimidated.
The best move is to break each stage down and demonstrate your ability within them. This could be
There we have it! Our guide on becoming a successful product manager in 6 actionable steps.
This varied, challenging, exciting and lucrative career is a match made in heaven for critical thinkers.
For those who love to dissect problems, who enjoy collaborating and getting the best of their teams, and those who want to deliver exceptional products to customers.
You can build your skills and knowledge by leaning into product manager-type roles in your current organisation and enhancing your learning with courses and resources online.
From there, build out your portfolio, start networking and get applying for product manager jobs.
Which are the best product management books?
Here they are:
"Inspired" by Marty Cagan
"The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries
"Cracking the PM Interview" by Gayle McDowell
"Product Leadership" by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walkingshaw.
These books offer valuable insights and practical advice for aspiring and experienced product managers.
What is product management with example?
Product management is the process of identifying market opportunities, creating a product strategy, and overseeing the development and launch of a product.
An example of product management in action would be the creation of the iPhone by Apple.
The product manager for the iPhone would have identified the market opportunity for a smartphone with a touch screen interface, developed a product strategy to meet customer needs and business goals, and overseen the development and launch of the product to ensure its success in the market.
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Master the fundamentals of product management as you learn about:
Module 1 - Know your business, audience, and markets
Module 2 - Know your customers as people and in numbers
Module 3 - Value and purpose
Module 4 - Product discovery and market fit
Module 5 - Drive business value through measurement
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