What, therefore, should a product manager be aware of and learn at a product manager course? A product management specialist today must possess in-depth knowledge in completely different areas, namely:
- understanding of the market and the target sector
- marketing and placing the product on the market
- IT product development techniques and technical knowledg
- metrics and analytics of user data
- project management procedures and methodologies
- sales and customer support
- business planning and finance
- Team management and communication offline and remotely
Even seasoned specialists are intimidated by this amount of information presented at a product management course because it is exceedingly challenging to be an expert in all of the aforementioned fields at once. But don't lose your cool. No one expects you to learn product management in a single day, even if it is undoubtedly a complex discipline.
The bullet points above serve as a reminder of the areas where you can and should improve when you start learning at a product management course. At the same time, you can start by developing the fundamental abilities needed for a product management specialist's everyday tasks.
How to become a product manager? Project managers, team leaders, analysts, marketers, and designers are some of the people who get into product management through different product management courses. For many specialists, moving into product management in 2022 will be an obvious next step in their career growth. It would appear that in the field of product management, personal traits and broad experience are more significant than where you come from. After all, a product manager is practically an entrepreneur. The capacity to draw the appropriate conclusions from life and work experience and then rapidly learn from mistakes (one's own and others') is actually the most important characteristic of a product manager. If you are willing to look after users and are certain that customer satisfaction directly affects a product's performance, product management is for you. It's also for you if you don't mind receiving feedback from others and are ready to use it to improve your work. The remaining is knowledge and experience that you can obtain in a product management course.
How to manage product lifecycle? Effective product management calls for more than just creating and launching a product onto the market. In practice, there are numerous stages to this procedure. Skilled professionals who have completed a product management course should be familiar with the phases of a project and their crucial moments, such as audience identification, product introduction, market acceptance, and demand decline. They can use specific tools at each level to optimize their advantage and generate significant income. They may sustain a product during its growth stage, boost ROI when it reaches maturity, and delay the transition to stagnation and declining demand by managing product goals, price, and marketing initiatives. The product lifecycle should serve as the foundation for the development methodology: When a product is already developed, Kanban is preferred over Scrum in the early phases.
In a product management course, you may learn how to build a product strategy and conduct market research. Every product is surrounded by other things. It is developed to address the issues of a certain target market. You must therefore accurately define your market niche, the user profile, and the issues that the product addresses. The product manager needs to be fully aware of the benefits of their offer and the justifications for customers buying from them. Because of this, it is crucial to research your competitors in order to identify their advantages and disadvantages and establish your own brand's positioning, characteristics, and messages that the product should convey in its communications. This presupposes that you will perform market research and be able to test your theories on the target audience. Understanding the differences between qualitative and quantitative research – which includes surveys, in-depth interviews, observation data on site visits, brand awareness, and page conversion – is crucial for accomplishing this task. The launch of an MVP is one of the key phases in the idea testing process (solution with a minimum required set of functions). The subsequent proper collection and processing of user data are crucial. This implies the ability to use a variety of analytical platforms and tools. Furthermore, knowledge of statistics and sociology that you gain at a product market course will also be very helpful.
The ability to create a business plan and allocate funds is vital. The product management course teaches students how to set and prioritize company objectives, including things like introducing new monetization strategies, boosting earnings, cutting expenses, snagging new markets, and developing brands. These objectives might occasionally be at odds with one another, and taking the wrong move can absolutely ruin the project. It is very important to make thoughtful and well-informed decisions. In the Product Management course, you will also learn how to make a financial forecast, including what expenses and income may be anticipated going forward. This will help you determine when the business will become self-sufficient. Without understanding these numbers, even a good product can fail. If your team has a strong financier, prepare this plan together.
The actions of dozens of people play a role in the success of an IT product. You need to be able to design and apply a "product roadmap" to assist people in appropriately allocating duties and comprehending precisely how they can affect the process of creating and promoting a product. To accomplish this, you must define your goals accurately, choose the appropriate metrics and KPIs, set realistic deadlines for each stage, and identify the outcomes you anticipate after each iteration. You may learn all of this information in the product management course. The product roadmap and the product strategy are interconnected. Your tactical decisions should be projected onto a roadmap as part of your strategic plans. You need to be aware that the roadmap is subject to change. It must be examined, corrected during product development, and modified in accordance with new data, competitor actions, and user feedback.
A product always implies a user experience. Therefore, the product manager must understand UX in order to properly launch their solution (User Experience). This means that when creating a product, he should aim to explain the user experience and incorporate all elements of system interaction into the TOR in addition to describing the functionality. The Agile practice of creating a backlog in the form of user stories is well suited for this. The practice is covered in full in the product management course. You will learn how to create work scripts & workflow, and how to deal with mock-ups.
Creating a product backlog is only half the battle. In order to produce a final product that can provide people with a certain benefit, it must be appropriately prioritized. In this case, it is easier to test and refine it. You can learn about all the aspects of prioritization in the product management course. A competent product manager should succeed in user testing. His responsibility is to accurately collect customer feedback and make product improvements in light of that data. A/B tests, usability tests, product demos, and other more sophisticated techniques can help in this situation. Once data has been gathered, a particular theory has been validated or disproved, and changes have been made to the product, the experience must be repeated. Throughout testing, you will learn about user insights and can incorporate fresh, original thought into the project.
A product manager is not an expert who can work independently. There is a lot of communication with the team, the investors, and the users every day. In addition to frequently having to persuade others and support their arguments, the product manager must also develop and communicate a product vision, be able to set reasonable expectations, and explain the advantages of the brand to everyone involved in the process. This is extremely difficult and calls for the development of negotiation, active listening, and team-building skills. The manager must simultaneously balance the needs of users, marketing department specialists, and development department experts while making decisions regarding the product almost every day. This is what the product management course will teach you.