Right product managers are key to all organisations that wish to grow their business. Hiring or promoting the right person for the role is the best way to do so. If you love to manage different roles at the same time; comfortable with your hands and feet on different boats simultaneously, you should certainly aim to become a product manager one day. In this write-up today, we will cover all aspects of how to become a product manager.
Who is a product manager?
A product manager plays a very important role, especially in technological setups. They are the be-all and the end-all from initiation and conceptualization, to the product finally reaching the market. A product manager’s role starts from the time the concept of a new product is floated in an organisation.
Product manager role
- The person is responsible for the generation of ideas and also for gathering ideas from concerned teams.
- He is the person who is accountable for having new ideas brainstormed, collated and curated.
- He needs to then prioritize and integrate practical and relevant ideas into product development strategies.
- He will also reject ideas that do not seem to be in sync with the overall goals of the project.
- Finally, when the entire ideation process is over, he is responsible for communicating them finally to key people in the organisation.
- Conceptualize the product and decide features
- One of the most important product manager roles is to conceptualize the product based on ideas generated and selected.
- He is the one who is responsible for deciding the objective and the purpose of making the new product, deciding the features of the product and matching them with the expectations of the target market.
- To work effectively, he needs to work in close sync with the technical and engineering teams so that the final product that is launched in the market is complete and offers unique user experiences.
- Forming strategies
- Once the ideation and product specifications are brainstormed, outlined, and decided, the product manager’s role is to strategize the route map to reach the final goal.
- He is the one who takes the call on the how’s and the what’s that need to be done to be able to launch the product in the market as per specified times lines.
- Implementation and Launch
- Finally, one of the main product manager roles is to determine the release or the launch date, define the exact timeline and ensure that the schedule is met meticulously by all teams.
- He needs to coordinate with all internal departments, external stakeholders and the top management to ensure that everything is moving as planned and make the launch a grand success.
As is clear from the description of the product manager role, this person is the captain of the ship during the entire journey of product initiation, development, and implementation.
How to become a product manager?
A product manager is a crucial player in corporate entities. He is at the centre of all activities that happen to pertain to product development and implementation. They need to be capable leaders and extremely proficient managers. It could be said that they need to be, ‘Jack of all trades and master of each one of them too’!
However, all capable and successful product managers need to start somewhere down the line. None of them dons the cap of a product manager at the onset itself. They grow and move up the ladder over the course of time – gaining hands-on experience in different critical aspects of product ideation, development, and implementation.
Here is a roadmap that you can follow to achieve your dream of being a product manager one day.
- Qualifications – Ensure that after your Bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science or any other field, you go ahead and complete a master’s degree in business administration. You can do this course as a regular student or on a part-time basis while pursuing your career.
- Choose your domain – this is the most important step in deciding on how to become a product manager. Some product managers wish to pursue a creative field while some go in for hard-core technical stuff. You will first need to analyse your interest and preference – do a SWOT of your strengths and weaknesses and then move ahead.
- Choose a field that you are passionate about – Again, a very basic and yet one of the essential aspects of being a successful product manager one day. You may want to be in the IT industry or go in for non-IT industries like Pharma and Medicine, Travel, Beauty and Healthcare, and so on. Options are many these days – choose the one that is an extension of your personality and aptitude.
- Make sure that you keep your HR informed – This is important if you are keen to become a product manager in the existing company. If you wish to move out and look for a product manager role in some other business, make sure that you express your interest to the new HR manager explicitly during the interview.
- Do a course on product management online – there are many reputed digital companies today offering newer insights and expertise, online. You will gain by accessing reliable resources online to make yourself suitable for the role.
- Ensure that your interest in becoming a product manager is properly highlighted at every forum – network with your interested communities as much as possible. Register online with online product manager communities; attend events and broaden your horizon as much as possible. It helps!
- Gain experience of becoming a good leader – leadership is a prerequisite and your stepping-stone to how to become a product manager. Excellent communication skills, leadership quality, critical thinking skills, honing your research and analytical skills are all different ways to prepare for the big role.
As a product manager, you need to be matured in handling different requests from different sources and become a big-time juggler of tasks to achieve success. This roadmap will help you prepare to do this!