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How to Succeed as a Product Manager: 8 Tips and Strategies

The author of this article is EPAM Lead Business Analyst Kamya Jangbahadur.

Lead Business Analyst Kamya Jangbahadur

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I am a business analyst who aspires to work in product management. I have worked closely with product owners and product managers – across a variety of sectors, domains, and locations –over the last few years, and I have long wondered what it takes to truly excel in this role.

I began to closely observe my product owners/managers, conduct extensive research on this role, take LinkedIn learning courses, and read Melissa Perri's book "Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value." I realized that the path to successful product management could be paved with some time-tested methods that have worked for successful product managers.

Based on my research and expertise, I compiled a list of key recommendations for anyone new to the field of product management.

Let’s start by considering the fundamentals of product management.

What is product management?

Product management involves the development and delivery of innovative products to the market. It requires a unique blend of experience, business acumen, and technical expertise.

A product goes through several stages, from research and development, to introduction and sales, then maintenance and support, until it ultimately reaches a point of decline and is no longer in use.

product life cycle

Product managers are accountable for the product’s overall strategy. They are responsible for creating the product's vision and are focused on designing, marketing, selling, and gathering feedback on the product. They ensure that the product's vision is implemented within the agreed-upon timelines and budget.

Products can be of all types, ranging from physical items to software products. The products may be geared toward different market segments, such as B2B or B2C. Product management can help organizations work more effectively and improve the lives of end users by resolving day-to-day issues.

The product manager role has an enormous impact on users and businesses.

Who can become a product manager?

Anyone with experience in product/application development, client engagement, understanding client needs, problem-solving abilities, and an interest in collaborating with cross-functional teams would be suitable for this role.

The positions identified below engage in similar tasks and frequently migrate to product manager responsibilities via internal job postings:

  • Business analysts,
  • Domain/functional consultants,
  • Product support and customer service specialists,
  • User experience analysts, and
  • Research analysts.

What skills does a product manager need?

Soft skills:

  1. Empathy
  2. Clear and concise communication
  3. Listening and attention to detail
  4. Receptivity to criticism and feedback
  5. People management skills
  6. Collaboration and problem solving skills
  7. Negotiation, persuasion, and storytelling skills

Tech skills:

  1. Experience with product design and development process/methodologies
  2. Understanding of design thinking and UX principles
  3. Understanding of Scrum processes
  4. Ability to analyze and interpret data
  5. Knowledge of APIs and integrations between products/systems

Responsibilities of a product manager

responsibilities of a product manager

Some of the typical activities and responsibilities are:

  • Collaborating with the delivery/implementation team to review finished work and resolve any queries.
  • Evaluating product features for release readiness.
  • Analyzing data and making decisions based on product metrics.
  • Interacting with customers and understanding their concerns.
  • Providing ideas and suggestions to address a problem statement.
  • Documenting needs as epics, stories, or functional/business specs.
  • Conducting market research and competitive analysis.
  • Gathering and analyzing customer feedback for roadmap discussions.
  • Creating and aligning the product roadmap with the vision and goals.
  • Prioritizing requirements based on company goals and user needs.
  • Attending meetings pertaining to product strategy development, participating in client demos, and release scheduling.
  • Collaborating with sales or support teams to resolve client issues.
  • Working with technical architects to determine the viability of solutions.
  • Collaborating with the UI/UX team to create designs for complex features.
  • Working with cross-functional teams to handle dependencies, if any.
  • Communicating with third-party providers when integrating systems involving the exchange of information.
  • Collaborating with legal teams on compliance requirements.
  • Collaborating with the marketing team to manage release communications.

Product metrics to track

The influence and success of a product can be evaluated, tracked, analyzed, and measured using key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics. All product companies employ several essential product metrics to track consumer usage, including the following:

  1. Acquisition metrics measure user interaction with the product, including sign-ups, app/website usage, and downloads.
  2. Engagement metrics measure the time spent on a product, including session length.
  3. Retention metrics track the active users and churn rate, indicating how long people use the product.
  4. Conversion metrics aid in analyzing customer behavior and identifying opportunities for improvement in the customer journey. The product conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of clicks or visits and multiplying by 100.
  5. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) indicates the level of customer satisfaction; input can be gathered through surveys or ratings of the application.
  6. Net Promoter Score (NPS) indicates whether users are inclined to suggest the product to others.

Tips that can help you succeed as a product manager

1. Conduct research

Every idea requires evaluation and research to assist product managers in understanding the market, its size, competitors (if any), target consumers, and emerging trends. You can conduct primary research by interacting directly with prospective customers via surveys, interviews, and focused group sessions to gain insights into customer preferences and problems. Secondary research involves reviewing existing data collected from publications, reports, articles, newsletters, and published analytics.

If you are releasing a product that has similarities to your competition, research can help you identify the disadvantages/problems with the existing products that you can overcome with your product.

2. Identify the problem through user interaction and analysis

Product managers must connect with their consumers frequently to grasp their underlying difficulties, problems, and user wants. This is true whether the product is already available in the market or is in the research or development stages. Interacting with users provides a clear insight into the customer mindset and aids in creating the solution that can address the actual pain points.

3. Develop prototypes for better visualization of the end-to-end flow

Prototyping facilitates improved visualization of the product concept. It aids in understanding the end-to-end flow, including how the feature works, its usefulness, and any gaps that may exist. Potential difficulties can be detected and addressed early, before the exact requirements are implemented.

4. Experiment with a small group

When launching a new product, or crucial features within an existing product, it is generally a good idea to test them with a small sample of people before releasing them to a larger audience. Testing with a small number of consumers allows you to identify its usage, difficulties, and adaptation. A complete walkthrough or overview of the solution can assist consumers in understanding how it works.

5. Assess risks

Product managers must regularly identify and assess risks to improve planning and prioritization. Risks should be mitigated in a timely manner. Risks vary, and the examples include: the suggested solution is not feasible; cross-team dependencies when developing essential and time-sensitive features; customers being blocked because specific capabilities are not performing as expected; multiple issues reported following a release; and many other scenarios. Risks must be addressed as soon as possible, and the lessons learned should be recorded and used as a checklist for future product planning and development.

6. Embrace a product mindset

Product managers should instill the product mindset in their implementation teams to ensure that they grasp the product knowledge, business objectives, and outcomes to remain aligned with the overall product growth and strategy. Implementation teams are responsible for delivering new features and should have a broad understanding of the overall product vision and roadmap to be able to deliver continuous value.

7. Communicate with stakeholders

Maintaining open communication and transparency with all stakeholders will help keep everyone aligned and on the same page. Regular check-ins and meetups will help to ensure that everyone is working toward a common goal and remove any roadblocks at the earliest possible time.

8. Use AI tools

Product managers can utilize AI tools to conduct research, generate insights using predictive analytics, and gather deep insights.

  • ChatGPT, Microsoft Co-pilot, or Gemini can assist with research, generate user personas, predict user behavior, suggest feature ideas, assist with brainstorming on product features, help with competitor analysis, and even create product roadmaps and draft user stories.
  • Click Up can improve project and product management. It can help in the creation of product roadmaps, time tracking, collaboration, dashboard generation, and more.
  • Otter.ai can help summarize meeting discussions and identify action items. Otter automatically collects and assigns action items from meetings, providing the entire context for the discussion and keeping everyone on the same page about the next steps.
  • MixPanel can be used to analyze data and make informed decisions. It delivers real-time analytics and the ability to spot patterns.


To conclude, I will say that in a rapidly changing technological landscape, companies that truly want to achieve product success must focus on: understanding and addressing client problems; empathizing with customer challenges; creating a unique value proposition; providing great user experience; constantly gathering feedback; and developing a solid marketing strategy for being seen and known in the market. These efforts will be useful in sustaining a long-lasting product, and helping build meaningful relationships with the end users.

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