How to be a superstar product manager

August 28, 2014

A product manager is an integral part of any organisation and the person responsible for driving the development of a product. The expectations of a product manager can differ from company to company and they can be responsible for everything from the study of demographics to outbound marketing campaigns. Beyond the 'on paper' roles, however, there are some key superstar elements that product managers must have. Whether you are looking to improve your own skill set or you need to hire a new product manager, make sure you are looking for these personality traits.

Curiosity does not kill this cat

A good product manager needs to be as curious as a 4 year old in a theme park. They need to ask about everything. A good product manager is almost never satisfied and should always be looking for the best possible outcomes to each situation. That means lots of 'How' and 'Why' to ensure each base has been covered. At the centre of this curiosity should be the users of the product, who should be the most important aspect of each decision made by the product manager. Do you ask enough questions?

A drive for improvement

A product manager does not need to have an ego the size of the moon. They should understand that their role is always evolving and that they will continue to learn. This means actively seeking ways to improve either via webinars, conferences or articles like this. A good product manager should not have a fish bowl complex but be constantly looking for what is beyond their current world. Find the superstars in the sky.

Communication is key

A great product manager knows how to talk to all different types of people in all different types of situations. You can pick up on personalities and use them to help communicate your vision or goal. A superstar product manager also takes pride in listening to other people too, whether that is a user or employee. You want someone who is that calm and understanding customer service rep with customers and that confident firecracker during presentations. You want to go-getting attitude; the person who will get things done. And now.

Weed out the good from the bad

As a product manager you are going to have information flying at you from all directions and a good PM can organise all that information and seek out the best possible solution for the product. A product manager needs to be not only organised but also quick to pick up on the smaller details and not miss a thing. Problem solving should come naturally.

Acceptable level of understanding

Finally, product managers need to have enough of an understanding of the product to be able to represent it correctly. If you are the product manager of a mobile app, you don't need to be a developer but you need to have a sound understanding of the processes it takes to create a mobile app. It is important for the product managers to have an empathy for those involved in the development process and an ability to make informed decisions all communications and the science.

If you need help ideating, testing, and/or validating your product idea, talk to Prototype MVP development company today.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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