Learn. Practice. Learn.
A college student asked me recently about product management and Product Management “skills”. I thought for a bit and sent her this list. The key here is that these skills can be learned and practiced. It isn’t magic. Other things must be learned the hard way.
I haven’t listed things like Agile, scrum, roadmaps, backlogs, user-story writing, etc. You can read a couple books and get the gist. Learning “Agile” in one organization might not help you in your next job. Learning to communicate clearly or facilitate a meeting effectively will serve you for your whole career (in product management, or otherwise).
And with that, a list of 12 core competencies for Product Managers:
- Conduct effective customer/user interviews
- Build revenue, pricing, and adoption models. Micro/macroeconomics
- Experiment design and analysis. Statistics
- Effective meeting design and facilitation
- Mapping and understanding complex competitive, partner, and customer ecosystems. Complexity and systems thinking. Domain research
- Basic data modeling, JSON, XML, working knowledge of relational and non-relational databases. SQL, REST APIs, processing data using Python, etc.
- Experience with various analytics tools, and business intelligence tools. Know what you’re looking for, and where to find it.
- Broad understanding of usability, usability testing, usability heuristics. Ability to communicate to the user experience team using a common language
- Awareness of cognitive biases, and how they impact decision making.
- Communication skills: listening, verbal, writing, and visual communication
- Effective note-taking
- Time-management Any to add? Self-learning success stories?