In recent blog posts, I’ve talked about some of the main challenges faced by product managers. Today, I want to discuss the essential product management skills that will assure that you can overcome these challenges and succeed as a product manager.
Hard and Soft Product Management Skills
A range of skills is required if you are to succeed as a product manager, including both hard skills and soft skills. By hard skills I’m referring to those technical skills you need. These skills include things like you ability to work with spreadsheet software and manage your time to maximum advantage. Many of the hard skills you probably gained while acquiring your education and past job experience.
Soft skills are just as important to your success. They include such thing as your ability to develop relationships with others in your organization, your communication ability, friendliness and attitude. Hard and soft skills combine to make you well qualified to take on the role of product manager. Being short in either category of skills can make your job difficult and, in some cases, nearly impossible to do.
Essential Product Management Skills
A product manager needs to possess or develop 20 different functional skills, including both soft and hard skills, in order to fully assume the mantle of responsibility in your job that is so vital to your organization’s success. Skills are listed below and many will be discussed in greater depth in upcoming blog posts:
- Computer skills
- Time management
- Product development process knowledge
- Ability to identify new product capabilities and/or markets
- Profit and Loss
- Behavioral competencies of a product manager
- Strategic skill
- Conceptual ability
- Entrepreneurial attitude
- Creative thinking
- Analytic skills
- Political astuteness
- Customer service skills
- Results orientation
- Interpersonal skills
- Leadership skills
- Ability to collaborate cross-functionally
- Influence skills
- Ability to stay calm under pressure
Be sure to watch for next week’s post when I will write about the critical skills of managing competing priorities, something that vexes almost every product manager.