Eight Healthy Habits of Effective Product Managers

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Eight Healthy Habits of Effective Product Managers

Even though the role of the product manager has existed for decades, the surge of digital business has created a need for a shift in this role to meet the expectations of customers. Companies must deliver competitive, customer-obsessed digital experiences, and product managers must convert customer and market insights into products that meet customers' needs. Forrester's new research, "Eight Healthy Habits Of Successful Product Managers," examines the role of the product manager in the digital age and explains how digital business leaders can set product managers up for success. Read this eWEEK slide show to learn about the eight habits of effective product managers.

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They're Natural Influencers

Product managers are not line managers—they must be influencers. They need to know the skills and resources that are needed to provide a great product and then align those skills and resources around the common goal to deliver a product that will delight customers.

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They Speak and Translate Business, Development and Customer Needs

Success relies on gaining respect and knowing the art of the possible. If product managers are nontechnical, they'll have a harder time working with developers because they lack insight into what it takes to get the job done.

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They Have a 'Buck Stops Here' Mentality

Product managers do not run companies, but they are responsible for the success or failure of their products. They'll direct the future of the product through strategizing and executing on a road map and often own the P&L.

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They Could Write a Primer About the Company

Product managers must fully understand their firms' culture, processes and business models. A good rule of thumb is that it takes three to six months to truly comprehend the cultural realities of an organization.

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They Anticipate the Needs of the Customer

A product manager who becomes the voice of the customer's desired outcome elevates his or her company's customer experience. These product managers go beyond the basics to understand what customers need, including knowing that a car could meet a need that a customer expressed as a "faster horse."

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They Understand Economics

Great product managers understand the cost to achieve business value. They treat internal sponsors as venture capitalists and hold themselves accountable for delivering a return on investment. They know how to pitch the product vision internally and externally.

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They Balance 'Gut Feel' With Real Data

Successful product managers are credible because they ground their decisions with both quantitative and qualitative data. They need good instincts to drive the visionary side but temper those instincts with grounded research and data.

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They're Market Scanners

A company suffers when employees are consistently looking inward. Strong product managers are outside-in thinkers who are not only aware of market dynamics and technology trends but are also able to anticipate customer needs and areas of disruption. Many product managers note that this—finding the time to get away from their everyday duties—is the hardest part of their job to balance.

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Forrester 2018 Predictions See GDPR, AI, Recruiting as IT Challenges

Forrester's IT technology “predictions” report for 2018 indicates that many organizations will struggle to deliver high-quality customer experiences, with hiring the IT talent that they need and complying with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation.
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