How to Be a Great Product Manager

There are many distinct qualities of a Product Manager that separates them from other positions. However, even amongst fellow Product Managers are distinct traits that separate the good Product Managers from the bad, and the great from the good. This is a question asked multiple times by students of Product Gym, and even by Product Managers worldwide. 

“How can I become a great Product Manager?”

You can view the distinct qualities of an effective Product Manager, by a BCG Digital Ventures PM, to learn about effective PM qualities from the perspective of Nicole Lenzen, a former Senior Product Manager of BCG Digital Ventures

These are the top qualities that will set a great Product Manager apart from an average Product Manager:

Goal Prioritization

As a Product Manager, it is your duty to oversee all of the functionalities, and the inner machinations of your product, as well as the work of the teams helping bring your product to life. It is for this reason that you should have a vision set for the product, and the general direction that you’d like for it to move towards – an end goal for how the product should be. It isn’t your job as the Product Manager to tell people how they should be doing their job, and their role, but why they should be doing what they’re doing. Express how critical their roles and responsibilities are when it comes to ensuring the full success of the product. 

Consideration and Openness

A Product Manager is still a human being. Even the greatest Product Managers don’t have all of the answers, so great Product Managers are always open to new ideas and suggestions from their fellow peers. This can range from someone from the technical team to the marketing team. Great Product Managers always consider alternatives brought up from their coworkers and know that they may not always have all the answers, and solutions to an issue.

Credit and Blame

Great Product Managers will share the credit of their final products and give credit where it’s due. At the same time, they’d take the blame if a Product were to fail, or were something to go wrong – they don’t put the blame on anyone else specifically. The Product Manager is a team player, and will rise and fall with all of the teams throughout the course of the product life cycle.

Customer Knowledge

A great Product Manager will know the customers and the audience. This means that they have full knowledge of what the customers want, what the customers need, and how to get the customer that point. The Product Manager is the bridge between the customers, and communicating what they want to the team so they could get it out. 

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