Be an Influential Product Manager: Key Commandments
As a product manager, you are a leader based on influence, you don’t have people working directly for you, they have other bosses. As an influential product manager, you have to work hard with your teams to get them onboard with your product or feature. And in doing so, it’s important to explain the what and the why in a way that’s so great it jump starts motivation and product development.
An Influential Product Manager Builds Trust through Transparency
People trust what they know, and those who give trust in return. Be completely open about your decision process. Explain the why. Talk about the motivation to do something, for example adding a certain feature or changing a design – and back these decisions with quantifiable data. So much, that when you have to make a decision based on intuition, your team will have no problem trusting in you.
An Influential Product Manager Empowers People
Help people and members of your teams do their job. Create an environment that allows room for them to do their job well, and give them space and motivation they need to do it. Talk to them about the problem and allow them to come up with the solution. And be generous and empathetic. “Bring the donuts.”
An Influential Product Manager Is the Subject Expert
Know the answers or know where to find them. Your team will look to you for answers on product questions, and they have to know you as a problem solver, solution finder. Product or specific problem your product is solving. Collect data from customer interviews and share insights and data collection from analytics.
An Influential Product Manager Stays Relevant
Always stay on top of what’s going on in the company. Even better, know what’s going on with other products in the company and how your product fits and interacts with those products. You want to make sure you make it easy to understand where you, your team and you product fits in the bigger picture.
An Influential Product Manager Gains Visibility
Meet with with other departments. Show people what you are doing, talk about the plan and objectives for products you are working on. If you have mockups share it with the team, get their feedback, let them feel ownership and they will naturally get on board and want to see the product succeed just as much as you do.
An Influential Product Manager Builds Trust in your Skills and Abilities
This will come naturally by following the other concepts. Without trust – a team can’t win. Communicate openly. Maintain integrity, do what you say you are going to do, do it well and do it authentically.