Many people refer to product management as the “everyday profession.” It is true to some extent. This field juggles many tasks at the same time. But you have to pass the topgrading interview to enter into this field. Sometimes you manage the “management” aspect; other times, it is the “leadership” one. And there are four pillars that form product leadership – Soft skills, Business acumen, Domain knowledge, technical skills. Let’s know how these pillars work along with each other.
The First Core Pillar Is Soft Skills
The foremost skill required in the business world is soft skills. Product Managers need to have a strong set of soft skills to get the projects done in a timely manner. You can learn and be proficient in soft skills with time. Let us explain this briefly to you –
Communicate actively with everyone ranging from developers to executives. It will make your work easier. Practice active listening and improve your writing skills. Furthermore, building solid relationships as people are the ones who build products and maintaining relationships with them is the key to success. Networking and forming cordial relationships with your peers and colleagues is the requirement of today’s time.
You also have to be good in negotiations. It doesn’t mean that you have to be rude. You frequently negotiate with your boss and customers. And you learn to negotiate in the best manner with time. Negotiations are like win-win outcomes for both parties. So, with the help of good soft skills, you can negotiate better.
Business Acumen Is Important
Successful products not only solve the needs of the customers but also reap huge profits. Therefore, product management recruiters need to have a thorough knowledge of business principles. It will make the decision-making process easy. Business acumen also includes the knowledge of product innovation strategy and processes, positioning, contract negotiation, to name a few.
A Clear Understanding Of Domain Knowledge
You must have a thorough knowledge of the industry in which you work. Out of the four pillars of product leadership, domain leadership is the only pillar that does not transfer from industry to industry. Thorough knowledge of your domain is a crucial requirement for creating a remarkable product. It is also beneficial when you think of transitioning jobs as organizations want to hire people having a wide range of experiences. It becomes quite difficult to have full knowledge of your domain. So, what are a few ways to acquire domain knowledge? Let’s find out.
- Pay attention to your customers and their feedback.
- Attend exhibitions and trade shows.
- Read trade publications like magazines and company blogs.
- Follow the industry experts.
Technical And User Experience Skills
Some people think that a Product Manager does not require technical skills; others think that having technical skills are very important. “Technical” is a broad term, and it includes the following areas –
Technology – As a Product Manager, you need to understand the way your product is made. It does not mean that you should be doing the coding. Having a deep understanding of the technologies would be enough. Advantage of a Product Manager who is technology savvy
- It improves communication.
- You develop a better understanding of tech trends.
- You positively accept the technical challenges.
User experience – The customer of today wants the best experience while using the products. They don’t want to settle for mediocre experiences. So, provide them with a delightful product to enhance their user experience.
Product lifecycle – Product Managers should thoroughly know about the product’s life cycle starting from ideation to sales and marketing. You need to know the process of how the product is made to understand the development milestones and support your team in the right direction.
There Is More To A Product As Defined By Product Leaders.
You cannot deny the importance of the above-mentioned four pillars in terms of building successful products. But is building the product enough? Not at all. The product leadership goes beyond the actual product. You need to consider the impact of the product at a global level.
Let us explain this more clearly. A few years ago, the above-mentioned four pillars would have been enough. But not anymore. In today’s digital world of technological advancements and artificial intelligence, your products do not just exist in the physical world but also in the virtual world. You can say that it is important for Product Managers to focus on social responsibility and security.
To Sum It Up
Product leadership is not an easy profession as you have to gain a lot of knowledge in depth. It takes years of study and experience to master the four pillars of product leadership. Keep in mind to always work towards improving yourself to become the best product leader in your field.
Palarino Partners build world-class product management teams. We put our prime focus on recruiting Product Managers for private software companies. It helps them avoid their most costly expense – a mis-hire. Get in touch with us for more information.