Diese Präsentation wurde erfolgreich gemeldet.
Wir verwenden Ihre LinkedIn Profilangaben und Informationen zu Ihren Aktivitäten, um Anzeigen zu personalisieren und Ihnen relevantere Inhalte anzuzeigen. Sie können Ihre Anzeigeneinstellungen jederzeit ändern.

How to Become a Software Product Manager

Curious how to become a product manager for software products? From this slide deck you will learn what are the four most common business areas that future PMs in tech come from, what are the core product management skills and which resources to use for upskilling.

  • Als Erste(r) kommentieren

How to Become a Software Product Manager

  1. 1. How to Become a Software Product Manager Karla Schönicke, June 2020
  2. 2. First step: Make the conscious decision to become a software product manager
  3. 3. This may seem obvious. But far too often when taking a new turn in life people are in a ‘trial'-mode, meaning: Out of fear to fail you don’t truly commit to it, so if you fail later, you can say: “Well I tried but it didn't work out.” Sad thing is: By not giving it 100% and standing behind that decision you sabotage yourself from the start.
  4. 4. Instead of self-sabotage take the decision that you are a product manager now. Start moving in this direction by changing the description in your online profiles and CV, presenting yourself as a PM in meetups and starting to look for relevant job ads. The important thing is: Make it real by taking the first step towards your goal.
  5. 5. Second step: Find your “point of entry“
  6. 6. There is no formal education directly leading to the role of a product manager. And the few existing online courses teach very varying aspects of product management (PM). Therefore people usually tend to find their way into PM from one of the following four areas of work: technical side, business side, marketing side and client side.
  7. 7. Technical side People entering from the technical side have either studied computer science or they are self taught developers. Usually they gained some work experience in a company’s IT department or have been a freelancer for some time before making the move from day-to-day coding (focused on implementing ideas) to strategically shaping the software (focused on finding and specifying ideas).
  8. 8. Business side The business roles most in touch with the product are project managers (focus on budget, deadlines and external clients or partners) and business developers (looking for new business opportunities in new or existing markets). This means both roles know about the product features, the target group’s preferences and buying power as well as the economic performance of the product (KPIs). The PM uses this knowledge to pinpoint which parts of the product generate profits and which parts need improvement.
  9. 9. Marketing side Your path into PM can also originate in marketing, maybe with a stopover in product marketing. The marketeer knows everything about market trends, the brand, sales cycles and which target group responds to which message or feature. All this expertise comes in very handy for a future PM role. Especially keeping an eye on how to reach the intended target group of the product before building it and not afterwards. In the end, your product has to make a profit.
  10. 10. Client side Sometimes people also switch from customer service to PM as they developed a deep understanding of user needs during their work as an agent and how users interact with the software. This knowledge constitutes a real asset in their PM role since the most important task is being the voice of the customer. But very often companies tend to have a greater focus on just building software (output) than on checking first, whether this software is hitting the customers’ sweetspot (outcome).
  11. 11. Third step: Find your competences that match the skills needed as PM
  12. 12. As a PM you will have an interface role. You have touch points with many stakeholders in- and outside the company. Therefore your communication and interpersonal skills are of utmost importance: you have to keep all stakeholders in the loop, balance out conflicting interests and transport ideas from the client to the technical side and vice versa. New product features need to be delivered on time. Consequently PMs have to have solid project management skills, especially concerning prioritization and time management.
  13. 13. You will most likely work with an interdisciplinary team (designers, developers, testers) but they will report to their own department heads, so none is your subordinate. Consequently, strong leadership skills will make it much easier to hold your team together and create a productive work environment for everyone. When talking with clients and especially during the user exploration phase you will have a clear advantage with polished interviewing skills and additional languages.
  14. 14. Lastly, PMs need an entrepreneurial mindset since a lot of the daily tasks include trying new methods, testing prototypes, looking at numbers and evaluating them. The PM role is very often one of an intrapreneur, the innovator within the company.
  15. 15. PM skills summarized: ● communication and interpersonal skills ● project management skills ● leadership skills ● interviewing skills and additional languages ● entrepreneurial mindset Take 5 minutes and think about: Which of these skills do you already use in your job? How could you strengthen them?
  16. 16. Fourth step: Add further PM skills to increase your fit
  17. 17. For PM-specific upskilling here are some great resources: PM knowledge Coursera - Product Management Highbrow - Intro to Product Management edX - Digital Product Management Udemy - Become a Product Manager
  18. 18. When working with designers and developers, it is always helpful to know their vocabulary and concepts: Design knowledge Coursera - Design Thinking for Innovation Coursera - Introduction to User Experience Design edX - Introduction to Design Thinking Udemy - Usability Testing Boot Camp Technical knowledge Codecademy - www.codecademy.com Freecodecamp - www.freecodecamp.org
  19. 19. How to become a Software Product Manager? - Decide to become a PM and make it real. - Enter the PM field from your current position. - Position yourself with your current skills. - Upskill & become a better PM than you were yesterday. Quick summary
  20. 20. And remember: A good product manager is always learning! PS: You have questions? Feel free to contact me.