5 Skills a Product Development Manager Needs to Have

With the responsibility of ensuring that a company develop and produce quality, in-demand products, one may think that the skillset of a product development manager is obvious. In some aspects they may be, in others not so much. Most would attest that a successful product manager needs to possess the ability to manage everything effectively, case closed. But what skills are needed in order to achieve this broad goal?

Given that product managers may seem a bit unbalanced due to the various hats that must be worn during the course of any given project, narrowing down a concise listing of skills may seem daunting. If this is something that appears to be the ideal fit for you, pay close attention to what is to come. Know precisely what to add to your bag of tricks along your quest for a position within one of the fastest growing career paths available today.

The top skills that employers look for in a product development manager are as follows:

1. Business Acumen

It is a product development manager’s most basic responsibility (and primary goal) to maximize a company’s value by way of marketable and profitable products. An active understanding of business in order to achieve this goal is highly essential. A successful manager will have a [healthy] obsession with optimizing products lines to ensure that the business value of your company soars. A product manager will always have the end goal in mind.

2. Technical Knowledge

You will be unable to define or oversee the creation of a product if you have absolutely no idea how it is made. Additionally, as customers request features, etc. how would you know how to implement the changes or even if it were possible?

Also, having technical knowledge allows you to have a firm understanding of the time and effort that it will take for the product to launch to market. This will permit you to make critical decisions as it pertains to labor, budget constraints, and more. Being the head of the product development and launch, means that you need to be able to explain to anyone at any time: what your product is, as well as how it is created and repaired.

3. Collecting and Analyzing Data

The MOST important aspect within the decision making process, is data collection. It is imperative that a product manager be able (and willing) to collect customer-related data and analyze it effectively. This will allow you to know precisely what to develop to fill the demand of your industry.

4. Ability to Prioritize

With constant recommendations coming at you from both customers and colleagues it is imperative that you are able to prioritize these requests. Learn what needs to be addressed immediately, not at all and at a later time (or even what to reserve for another product).

5. Strategic Thinking

Prematurely jumping into a project, one must consider if the proposed product will remedy an issue within society and be profitable for your company’s industry.

The skills desired may seem to be quite varied, but the position is extremely broad. Throughout the course of the working day, you will utilize a bevy of skill sets and knowledge points. Overseeing the development of a product (new or redesigned) requires a person that is flexible and focused.

As a product manager, you are able to design what the public needs and wants. You hold a major portion of the key to a business’s success. A product manager is one of the few people that get to work with [virtually] everyone within a company. Therefore, should you possess enthusiasm over product development coupled with the top skills mentioned above, it is your time to pursue a career as a product development manager.


Originally published at spectechular.walkme.com on November 26, 2014.