Every career comes with its own unique challenges. For product managers, these can range from the difficulties that come with managing a budget and timeline to juggling customer needs with a team’s technical capabilities. This can be overwhelming and can lead to self-doubt. Despite navigating a difficult profession, self-assurance in a product manager’s ability to guide their product’s development is critical. Here’s a look at how to move from self-doubt to self-assurance on a product manager’s journey.
Gaining Technical Skills
The first step in gaining self-assurance as a product manager is to develop technical skills. Product managers are responsible for the development, maintenance, and release of products. Therefore, having at least a basic understanding of coding and programming is essential in order to ensure that the product is being created properly. Additionally, understanding platform features and how data is stored and managed is essential.
In order to gain these necessary technical skills, product managers can take advantage of a variety of resources. Begin by taking coding and programming classes offered in a variety of formats. Classes can range from in-person lectures to online webinars to a variety of video tutorials.
Testing, Adjusting, and Iterating
The next step in a product manager’s journey to self-assurance is to test, adjust, and iterate. Once the product is developed, it’s time to put it out there and see how it performs, in order to understand how to improve it.
There are a variety of ways to test a product. One of the most popular methods is A/B testing, which is a process of presenting users with two versions of the same product, in order to determine which performs better. This process can help product managers gain insight into which features should be kept, and which should be removed or tweaked.
Another important step in the journey to self-assurance is seeking feedback on a product. Product managers should ask for feedback from both colleagues and customers. Internally, feedback from peers and colleagues is valuable in understanding what mistakes have been made, and how an product can be improved.
This feedback from customers is also essential, as it allows product managers to develop a better understanding of what customers need. Even if the feedback is critical, it can still be valuable in finding areas of improvement in a product.
Developing a Process
The last step to achieving self-assurance is to develop a process for managing products. A process ensures efficiency and accuracy. A typical process involves research, development, testing, marketing, and release.
The product research should involve understanding customer needs and competitor products, as well as looking into trends in the market. Development is when the product is actually built, using the technical skills learned earlier. Testing involves testing the product against user scenarios and ensuring that it is up to customer standards. Marketing ensures that users are aware of the product and its features. Finally, the product can be released and users can begin to use it.
The journey from self-doubt to self-assurance is never easy. Developing technical skills, testing, adjusting and iterating, seeking feedback, and developing a process are all important steps in gaining confidence in a product manager’s role. With the right tools and strategies, product managers can move confidently from the project’s conception to the finished product.