Sunday, August 23, 2015

Essential Product Management Skills | How to Become a Product Manager in Silicon Valley

This is a short list of essential skills that a product manager in Silicon Valley will want to have. Ideally, the candidate has a lot of experiences and a computer science degree if he/she wants to work for Google / Facebook. This is a first post, will add follow-up posts about 1. a day in life of a product manager 2. interviews of high paying Silicon Valley product managers 3. sample interview questions.

In practice, you don't have to have all skills. Experiences and results really speak louder than a traditional resume. In a later post, we will cover the "touchy feely" "soft" side of Product Management. Comment and ask questions below.

Skills & Tasks
Wireframing prototyping skills
Web analytics skills
Marketing, campaigning the product, Public Relations (PR), "getting the word out"
Product marketing, publicity
Managing prioritizing backlog
Presenting roadmap, flow chart
Engineering estimates
Leading teams
Gathering and researching inputs from stakeholders and customers:

  • From internal teams such as sales, business development, marketing etc.
  • From customers through customer research, define target customers and personas
  • On external market forces such as competition, market dynamic etc.

Product vision
Feature requirements
MVP wireframes (product feature list)
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
User flow chart
Use cases, epics
Product launch plan
Product description
Product release (beta programs)

User testing
Functional testing

Tools & Techniques
Agile tools and techniques
Waterfall versus agile
PM best practices

Managing / Coordinating people
Product development teams
Product owners


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