We at Coach PMs are obsessed with helping product managers develop themselves professionally. This obsession led us to an obvious question: How do you ‘construct’ a great product manager? As we coach practicing and aspiring PMs, we see patterns emerge in terms of key elements that are required to be effective in any product management role.
We call these elements “building blocks” and they have come to form our model of product management professional development. They are:
It is critical for PMs to know product theory and hone their skills practicing the role. It is not enough to simply know about how products are conceived and successfully taken to market: deep competency in all “Dimensions” of product management is essential. We’ll describe these dimensions in a future post.
Product managers in the tech field need to have knowledge of technology and its implications for markets and products. The bar here is a bit lower than that for Product Competency. Product manager don't necessarily need to know how to code and build applications, but they need to understand the underlying technologies and frameworks, including development methodologies used to develop tech products. Without a deep appreciation for how technology is shaping markets, it's very easy for products to get “left behind” relative to competitors and alternatives.
To drive products that solve compelling market problems, product managers must understand the domain in which their product operates. That can include knowledge of industry verticals like fintech or telecom, key functional capabilities such as online payments or billing, and even the commercial aspects of delivery models like SaaS and technologies such as AI.
Anyone who’s been in product development for any amount of time knows that soft skills such as effective communication, presentation skills and negotiation are often what separate an average PM from a rock star.
Putting it all together
The relative priorities of these building blocks vary somewhat depending on context. Technical PMs, for example, obviously require greater technical knowledge. That's why our personalized approach to developing PMs professionally is so effective. At Coach PMs, we are committed to helping PMs rapidly develop all these building blocks resulting in greater confidence, improved strategic impact on their organizations and greater value to the market.
Coach PMs can help you assess where you stand in terms of the building blocks given your current situation and help you develop a plan to help you differentiate yourself within your organization and the market.