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Transitioning into Product Management - A Beginner's Guide

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Transitioning into Product Management - A Beginner's Guide

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Transitioning into Product Management - A Beginner's Guide

  1. 1. Transitioning into Product Management A Beginner’s Guide
  2. 2. Where do I come from?
  3. 3. Let’s get started.
  4. 4. First, who exactly is a PM? • A PM is the rightful “advocate of the customer” during product development • A PM helps to guide a team in discovering and developing the right product for users (Source: Product Manager HQ). • Typical PM workflow: Research & Planning Design & Spec Implement & Test Release & GTM 1 2 34 Analytics& Feedback
  5. 5. Busting some PM myths right away! Myth 1: A PMs role is well-defined • PM is perhaps the most overloaded term in the industry • No universal definition of what a PM does • Varies with “context” i.e. • Organization • Product • People • Stage of project delivery Suggested read: Steven Sinofsky’s 2005 note about who is a PM? https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/techtalk/2005/12/16/pm-at-microsoft/
  6. 6. Busting some PM myths right away! Myth 2: PMs are “mini-CEOs” of their product • PM can be (a) Individual Contributor or (b) People Manager • Almost every PM starts as a individual contributor in their organization • You’ll be better off thinking of yourself as a cog in the wheel just to be able to appreciate what everyone in your team brings to the table • PMs are often referred to as those doing a “thankless job” in the team • No direct authority over the team • PMs don’t set the dates (engineers do!) • PMs bring different people, functions, viewpoints, ideas and working styles together to deliver the product • They liaison with the organization’s CEO, leadership team, business development, marketing, sales, operations, customer support and finance functions!
  7. 7. Busting some PM myths right away! Myth 3: PMs only manage, others do the work • PMs are expected to get their hands dirty • PMs can’t say “That’s not my job” • PM is responsible for the overall success • The PM’s opinion matters in every single detail • Without over-asserting or overstepping into territories of stakeholders • Playing the role of a PM is an art • PMs listen endlessly, diffuse tensions, handle stress, know when to speak, switch contexts repeatedly • PMs influence others once they build credibility • In most organizations, a PM is needed to demonstrate different personalities at different times • Eg: Aggressive vs Defensive; Data vs Leap of Faith • See this: A Day in the Life of a Product Manager. Needed, Marketable, Sellable, Distributable Usable, Useful, Desirable Possible, Feasible
  8. 8. Let’s define “Minimum Viable PM” (MVPM) • An MVPM is someone who possesses:  Customer Focus  Product Vision  Product Design Skills  Initiative & Leadership  Analytical & Data Skills  Technical Skills (basic engineering & architectural understanding)  Strong Work Ethic Test Your Fit! https://www.productmanagerhq.com/2016/04/30-questions-determine-product-management-right/
  9. 9. From Theory to Practice Source: The Circle of Product Management (@Medium.com)
  10. 10. Which flavors do PMs come in? Source: Completing the PM Trifecta in: Business, Users (Design), and Technical Expertise (@Medium.com) • The Business PM • Growth mindset: “How do we grow?”, “How to monetize?” • Works primarily on business development and marketing • Traits: Comes up with a viral loop idea for hockey stick growth • The User PM • Designer mindset: “How will this make users feel?” • Focuses mainly on UI/UX, has artistic and drawing credentials • Background in design, user research or psychology • Trait: Obsessed about customer experience, visual tweaks, content- marketing, font and icons (sic)! • The Technical PM: • Builder mindset: “Can it be done?” • Often knows how to code, knows (or wishes to know product inside out), can manage technical team doubling up as engineering lead at times, plans technical roadmap in addition to product features • Trait: Obsessed about performance, scalability, code organization, reusability and optimization
  11. 11. Hopefully, you’ve made up your mind by now!
  12. 12. Handholding through transition… Books Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done Hooked (Nir Eyal) The Inmates Are Running the Asylum Mobile Usability Platform Leadership: How Intel, Microsoft, and Cisco Drive Industry Innovation Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster UX for Lean Startups Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology Decode and Conquer: Answers to Product Management Interviews The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Built to Love Only the Paranoid Survive Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design Small Data: The Tiny Clues that Uncover Huge Trends
  13. 13. Handholding through transition… Online Resources www.productmanagerhq.com The Top 12 Product Management Mistakes The Product Manager’s Essential Reading List of 2016 The Famous PM Reading List on Medium The Past and Future of Product Management http://www.crackingthepminterview.com/ The Art of Product Management (author Jackie Bavaro's blog). What distinguishes the top 1% of product manager's from the top 10%? Good Product Manager, Bad Product Manager (Ben Horowitz) How to Hire a Product Manager (Ken Norton) The Art of Decision Making as a Product Manager (Sachin Rekhi) 3 Reasons Better Products Don't Always Win (Sachin Rekhi) What I Look For in a Product Manager (David Lifson) Be a Great Product Leader (Adam Nash) Getting Hired: How to Get a Job in Product Management (Jason Shah's Udemy Class) The Product Manager Handbook (Carl Shan, Brittany Cheng) The Art of Delivery (Ibrahim Bashir) The PM Interview (Raphael Korach)
  14. 14. Handholding through transition… Habits • Read… a lot! • Indicate interests on Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn and Medium to get relevant articles • Follow key product leaders and visionaries online • Write… at least once a week – platforms such as LinkedIn, Medium or your own blog! • Write about a product that inspired you (eg: PowerPoint for iPad vs PowerPoint for Android – what’s different?) • Write about a product that you disliked (eg: Messenger’s latest update changed something which you don’t like?) • Play with products and FORM AN OPINION • Play with new apps, websites every singly day • Perform a UX audit • Understand why they’re built the way they’re and have an opinion on things (most important) • Make notes on their user experience, patters, +ves, -ves, • Discuss, debate and share thoughts with other PMs or PMs-in-the-making • What did you like about a product? • Is the product in line with business objectives? and so on…
  15. 15. Get. Set. Go! Thank You in.linkedin.com/in/vishrutshukla medium.com/@vishrutshukla

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