When it comes to product building, a product manager is the person who is whole sole responsible person to own its success or failures, whatever the outcome results into. The product manager needs to carry some hot properties in his kitty to win over the situation.
His kitty bag should contain:
1. Good Business knowledge: Without an ample number of years of experience nobody can become a good product manager even with very high skills and qualification tags. A person who himself has spent certain substantial amount of time in understanding business, developing product and maintaining quality in his early career stages cannot become a good product manager.
2. Business analysis skills: Though this job is usually done by someone else in project management but a product manager is supposed to have an equally balanced business analysis skills to overcome any of the customer requirements skipped or semi-understood by the business analysts before the product development starts.
3. Technical know-how: Without having a good technical knowledge a product manager cannot decide about the right platform, development tools (front-end or backend) and thus his decisions about the technical set-up may create a big problem at a later stage.
4. Team management: A team comprises of all kind of people. No two programmers or testers think the same way. Two programmers will write the same code requirement in different fashion. The code written in two different ways may perform same but the two codes written may differ in terms of complexity, structured designing and size of the code. Similarly two different testers will test a code differently and will bring out different results. These issues at stretch can me managed with standard procedures. But there are more issues related to team – HR, behaviour, attitude, knowledge, experience etc.
5. Business solution architecture skills: A product manager has to be visionary in deciding about the product architecture. Database design, table structures, code architecture guidelines, server sizing, etc. has to be dealt with keeping in mind that these things create complex issues if require a change at a later stage.
6. Time management: Product deliver commitment is done in two ways. One way is estimate each micro level activity involved in the product development and then commits a deadline for delivery of the product. Another way is just give an estimated deadline and then start reverse engineering to fix timeline for each micro level activity. A buffer time basket will definitely help in both the cases to manage unpredicted problems arising in between during the development.
7. Leadership: There is a different in commanding the team and getting the things done by demonstrating yourself. The product manager has to lead in certain cases to demonstrate the team various possibilities in managing the situations.
8. Managerial skills: A regular flow of monitoring, follow-ups, sanctions, approvals, queries, questions, issues, confusions needs to be managed to keep the team members tied in a rope together to drive on the same road together in the same vehicle to the same destination.
9. Communication: A three way communication is very essential for the product manager during the product development. He needs to keep the communication bar intact and aligned between the customer, his own management, and his team members. He should be very clear to identify between the information that needs to be shared or to be communicated without sharing with others.
10. Change Management: Change requirements happen anywhere and everywhere even in day-to-day life. During product development, many such requirements arise that need to be managed tactfully and smartly so that the progress doesn’t get hampered on one hand, and the momentum of the team stays up-swing always.
11. Disaster Management: Risks are bound with any development be it a personal life relationship or a product development. A product manager must always be prepared for pre-conceived or sudden unknown surprise risks. He must be able to get the crux of the situation at any such moment and move ahead with a timely taken right decision.
If the product manager masters on the above skills and his delivery model accordingly, he has all chances to win over the situation by delivering the right product to his customer in stipulated time-frame.