The role of a product manager has become increasingly essential to any business that wants to succeed in a crowded and competitive marketplace. Some of the most successful organizations on the planet have experienced their level of success thanks to effective product managers. A product manager wears many hats and is invaluable to any business that intends to stand out and scale.
Among other duties and responsibilities, product managers anticipate the future. They develop and nurture current products while finding ways to make them better for the future. A product manager is the brand’s biggest advocate. The sole task of a product manager is to do whatever it takes to stay ahead of the competition and a good product manager will make sure that your business does just that.
So what does a good product manager look like? Product managers must have an array of competencies these days while also being business savvy. So if you are a product manager, here are 5 tips that could propel your career in 2021:
Establish clearly defined goals and objectives
The key to successful project management in 2021 is to establish well-defined goals that have been agreed upon by all the key members. The goals set must be measurable and clearly communicated so that there is no room for error or miscommunication among participating members.
Communicated and established goals are vital because they allow the members of the team to unite towards one shared objective. When the entire team sees and understands the bigger picture, it is easier for the team to start acting as a beacon when challenges and complex issues arise on the project.
Studies show that teams that are motivated by a common goal are more likely to perform their jobs 5 times better than their disorganized counterparts. Project managers can ensure that the team members reach a consensus by doing various things including hosting meetings and workshops aimed at discussing objectives and individual responsibilities.
Assign clear roles and responsibilities
As a product manager, it is your job to make sure that all the members of the team have clear roles and responsibilities assigned to them. In product management, t’s not about getting things done quickly but rather getting them done most efficiently and cost-effectively possible. Assigned roles help to determine how a team will work together while ensuring that the individual skills of various team members are fully utilized.
It is the project manager’s responsibility to make sure that all the team members are sticking by their various defined roles. Otherwise, it’s easy to find inconsistencies in the system such as 3 team members working on the same thing while other more important tasks sit neglected. Project managers that define the roles and responsibilities early on in the process help to increase the levels of transparency and accountability as the development process progresses.
Good time management matters
For teams to be managed effectively, a good product manager will focus on proper time management as well. For instance, Product managers should attach concrete timelines to every team member’s role in a project so that they can then be linked to the team’s weekly goals. Keeping your team on an established schedule will allow them to keep track of their own performance and contribution to the project’s life cycle.
One great way to manage individual timelines of the team members is by relying on the array of project management software that’s available in the market. Such software makes it easy for product managers to keep track of every task that’s assigned, which prevents team members from steering in different directions.
Give distributed product teams a shot
If there’s anything that the pandemic has taught the modern workplace is that the ability to adapt is a must. Even as the world’s medical experts attempt to bring the pandemic under control this year, the temporary consequence of remote work is that it has become cemented as part of the modern work culture for hundreds of organizations.
As a result, product teams and their managers must now find ways to adopt a hybrid model of remote, as well as office work.
If product managers are resistant and choose to maintain an office-bound culture, they risk limiting themselves to the best talent and staff. Without being confined by the false limitation of hiring people only in one’s geographic location, remote work will open product managers up to a pool of viable candidates in all corners of the world.
This way, product managers will now be able to create world-class product teams, thus making the workplace even more appealing for prospective employees. Not only do most people prefer remote work, but it helps to significantly bring down operating costs, which is a big win amid a pandemic.
Ability to develop meaningful relationships
Above all else, product managers must strive to develop meaningful relationships with their team members. It is no secret that product managers generally have to work across different departments across the organization for the goals and objectives to be reached. If a product manager is unable to maintain a positive working relationship with the team, then it is unlikely that the product life cycle will progress without any hitches.
By developing meaningful relationships with all the people involved in creating the product, including the UX professionals, engineers, sales staff, and shareholders, it is easier to solve the customers’ pain points.
Product managers are experts when it comes to seeing the product life cycle through. That’s why they are invaluable to startups and other product-based businesses. Product managers wear many hats. However, their primary responsibility is to oversee the successful development and consequent launch of a product.
Effective product managers not only guarantee product success, but they also work to increase profits at every turn. Product management as a role continues to evolve based on industry trends and the ever-changing technological space that we find ourselves living in today. As such, product managers are invaluable if not critical for modern product-based businesses.