In her ProductTank London talk, Asha Haji, COO at Founders Academy explains how and why to treat your product management career like a video game.
She teaches us how to level up in the product world by following these steps:
- Learn who you are
- Learn the moves
- Win boss battles
- Upgrade your gear
- Explore the world
Watch the video to see Asha’s talk in full. Or read on for an overview of her key points.
Learn Who you Are
The role of a product manager is quite cross-functional. People coming from one area of product will have specific strengths they can draw on to make them successful in a product management role. This means they will also have certain weak areas. Asha gives us a breakdown of the strengths and areas of improvement for engineers, designers, business analysts, marketers and salespersons who are making the transition to a product management role.
Learn the Moves
In order to succeed in a product management role, one needs to know about the role. To help with this, Asha specifies some cheat codes to help. These include reading product management books about lean startup, agile and product strategy. Product managers should also test out the tools that will be used for planning, roadmaps, user stories, analytics and more. Each team or individual may prefer a different tool so the key is to see what might work best for your team.
Win Boss Battles
Product managers have to deal with a variety of roadblocks, from missed milestones to stakeholder infighting. Asha lays out some steps to overcoming these boss battles.
Upgrade Your Gear
As a product manager, you may be responsible for multiple products, teams, and stakeholders. To help you manage this you should upgrade your gear by organizing teams into multifunctional squads. It also helps to keep your team focused on specific user behaviors and not fancy features.
Explore the World
Finally, it’s important to explore the world around you. Spend some time in a different department on secondment while advancing your career. This way you can learn about different areas. You must also know your rivals by assessing the competition in your space to see where your product ranks and where it needs to be improved.