Product Management

How do you level up in product management?

Forget the job titles in the world of product management. But how have you advanced your career? From your first role to a more strategic approach. Or to leading a team of product managers. What have you done to get to to where you are?

  • Product Manager at HappyFox

    My tactic was to always strive to build product-awareness, regardless of the role I was in.

    As a PM, when one does make the transition, being well-versed in this aspect of the role makes a big difference. For someone like me, who had spent most of their time in engineering, learning to look at things as an end user was crucial. It helped to develop a perspective that eventually translated into PM thinking.

    Regardless of when it is that you plan to transition, here is one thing you can do in your current role as an engineer. Ask yourself:

    How would a user use the product you're working on right now?

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  • The Team at JAM

    A product leader is a pretty rare beast. It lives in big organisations, and manages tribes of creatures called product managers. How did they get on top of this product food chain? To put it simply: They started as a good PM, grew to be an exceptional PM, and… got bored.

    A PM optimises for efficiency. Their role is to make all the pieces of product building work together like well-oiled machine. The more processes they optimise, the more time they have left to ask bigger questions.

    Example: you start by asking why the company blog doesn’t have bespoke graphics for each post. You discover the process of communication with the design team is faulty and fix it. With this hurdle out of the way you start thinking: how can this blog serve as a better lead generation tool? If the goal is to generate leads, is the blog the best way to do it?

    This line of thinking is what a product lead does. A product lead optimises for effectiveness.

    How to practice?

    • Identify core principles. Develop a habit of identifying the logic behind all decisions. Practicing the five whys method is a good way to develop this skill.
    • Find mentors. If you know good product leaders, talk to them. If they are hard to find there are plenty online resources to start from. We've linked a few below.
    • Become an exceptional PM. Stay open-minded, learn, be creative, continue to optimise.

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