Why Process Engineers Make the Best Product Managers

2 min read

Process Engineering and Product Management…

They sound incredibly different, and you might think that these two professions have NOTHING in common.

But guess what? These two titles have much more in common than you think.

Let’s start by talking about what Process Engineers do daily.

Process Engineers own part of a complicated process and manage it. Typically, they would be responsible for part of the product and set specific metrics for it. They make sure that everything about the process they are responsible for runs smoothly.

Not only do they manage the process, but they also think about ways of improving it by running experiments.

Sounds very similar to Product Management, right?

We learned what Process Engineering is and how it can be leveraged to build a Product Manager resume from Evgenia Yuferova, who completed the Product Gym program and switched the course of her career from Process Engineering to Product Management.

If you want to learn more about Evgenia’s story, make sure you watch her video!

So how does a Process Engineer excel as a Product Manager?

Evgenia identifies a couple of skills that a background in the former teaches, which can be used on the job for the latter.

Problem-solving is the first skill that comes into her mind. Starting from the engineering education that Process Engineers receive, they are regularly asked to solve abstract and complex problems.

Knowing how to solve problems systematically is essential in Product Manager interviews, especially during Product Manager case studies.

Another skill she identifies is the ability to understand and use data. Great Product Managers make data-driven decisions to assess how a product is doing in the market objectively.

While a background in Process Engineering is beneficial for a rewarding career in Product Management, Evgenia also identifies some new skills that veteran Process Engineers would have to learn during their job as a PM.

The most important one is communicating with customers. Product Managers spend more time talking to their clients compared to Process Engineers.

After comparing and contrasting these two titles, Evgenia gives us an insight into what makes her successful on the job as a PM.

In addition to her extensive problem-solving skills that she mentioned earlier, being able to tell the difference between causation and correlation plays a crucial role. This skill involves having a quantitative mindset that can interpret data correctly.

Prioritization is another skill that she talks about. Process Engineers face numerous problems every day. They have to be smart in terms of allocating their time and effort when it comes to deciding whether to solve daily issues or to focus on their more significant projects.

You would have to respond to daily requests immediately, but you should also work on your long-term goals to make an impact.

Process Engineering or any career in life sciences might sound very different from Product Management, but as Evgenia pointed out, a transition is possible!

While there is no suggested timeline to switch careers, Evgenia advises prospective Product Managers to stay in their jobs as Process Engineers for at least a year before they change jobs.

Here’s the full interview with Evgenia:

Evgenia has been sharing her experiences in the Product Manager job hunt with us. Make sure you also listen to her Product Manager Second Round Interview webinar to prepare for your upcoming interviews!

If you are a Process Engineer, who is confused about how to make a switch, make sure you schedule a call with us now!


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