Working as an effective product development manager is exciting work. There are few things more satisfying than seeing a product you have worked hard to develop finally make it out into the market. With the rewards, however, comes a unique set of challenges. Product development managers have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. After all, he or she is responsible for the successful delivery of a product.
How to Succeed as a Product Development Manager
What does it take to succeed as a product development manager? Let’s take a look.
Have a vision
All great product development managers have a clear vision, and know how to direct their team towards that vision. They are able to successfully align their short-term and long-term goals toward that vision. “An excellent product manager is keeping in mind the long-term vision while driving short-term results, has the customer intuition to get there, and has the authority/integrity to lead the team along the way – very much a mini CEO when it’s done right,” explains Nabeel Hyatt, a venture partner at Spark.
Hone your communication skills
It is crucial to note that product development managers must work across a variety of different organizational levels and departments. That means that they can communicate effectively across different organizational boundaries. Pragmatic Marketing’s 2013 State of Product Management and Marketing Survey identified with the following description: “A master generalist [that] can talk to engineers, users, executives, finance, marketing, sales, and other groups without tripping.” Remember that as the product manager, you need to know how to communicate and motivate your entire team.
Product development managers must successfully manage a range of different resources and employees, and must juggle a number of different tasks all at once. All of that requires excellent organizational skills.
Work on your problem-solving abilities
When working as a product development manager, you are bound to encounter problems. The trick is to know how you can overcome them. You need a solution-oriented mindset and a true knack for problem solving.
Stay on top of technology
Product managers are almost always tech savvy. 93 percent of respondents consider themselves “somewhat or very technical.” Much of development these days is technology-driven, so you must have an understanding of technology to succeed.
Curiosity is the driving engine behind many successful product development managers. For example, nearly two out of three of all Pragmatic Market respondents self-identified with the following description: “Needs to understand ‘why’ things occur. Always driving to the core of the issue and trying to understand how choices are made and how people are motivated.” If you want to be a successful product development manager, you need that spark of curiosity!
Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with strengths in software development, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial design. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.