Product Managers are like Mini CEOs of the company. They align the cluttered teams together to form the strategy for a company, be it big or small. People who are comfortable mingling as well as debating with others, and leading other folks, (while respecting their opinions and differences) make good product managers. If that’s you, take note.
- Focus on Delivering the best experience one can have.
- Do not let the prioritization path go unnoticed
- Be a dreamer. Think outside the box, challenge convention, and always question.
How to Become Effective:
- Say No: Any feature, no matter what the size may be, will somehow end up eating a good chunk of your dev time. There is almost never a tiny change or minor improvement. There is a lot of thought and maintenance work that is hidden from most stakeholders’ view. Since resources will always be limited, you need to learn how to pick your battles. The toughest thing which a product manager needs to do is to Say No; it takes a lot to build a company, and everyone has their own opinion on how it should be run and its future course, but it is impossible for everyone's opinion to be considered. Over and above people's time, accepting changes constantly also costs money. There is a lot of data and analysis involved, and product decisions cannot be taken in a jiffy. There are always going to be both good and bad ideas; if they are good, you can keep them in the pipeline and work on them as and when time permits - it is all about priority and if an idea is bad, learn to say no gracefully.
- Look out for Unintended consequences: Being a product manager requires much reasoning; one has to think of why a product might fail or succeed. In order to decide what will make a product fail or succeed, a product manager needs to trust his/her instincts and take the decision being cognisant of the trail of thought one has in their head. Introduction of a new feature with good initial traction may lead to a huge decrease in usage of an old feature; these things are hard to catch when you have hundreds of data points to look at. Always make sure adding one feature does not drastically harm any other feature that you want be used.
- Have Effective Communication: It is essential to know and communicate with everyone who works with you, from marketing to sales to operations, all kinds of team members who are directly or indirectly associated with your team. It is vital to get valuable feedback on the product to make it more successful. Everybody needs to be rowing in the same direction.