It's fair to say that a product manager wears many different hats in their role. Product managers need to be excellent leaders, communicators, and problem solvers. It's a position that suits only a particular set of people, but it fits like a glove when it's right.
That said, when switching jobs as a product manager, there's a lot to get to grips with right off the bat. The position requires you to have in-depth knowledge of the organisation within which you're working, the team you're working with, and, of course, the product.
It can be challenging, but not to worry. We've asked product managers that we've placed over the last few months to give us their tips on how to hit the ground running in a new product manager role and summed up their advice into six handy tips.
1)Centre the User and Customer
When you want to get to know a product, of course, it helps to examine the product itself. However, you'll gain more helpful information by speaking with the people who use it day in and day out.
One of the best tips for product managers would be spending some time working in customer support each week. Talking to users about genuine problems will allow you to see the most significant pain points and areas for improvement.
2)Make an Impact
Speaking of pain points... if you want to get off to a good start in your new role, it's a good idea to make a name for yourself by making positive changes. This could be within your team or the wider organisation. Use an analytical eye to identify a process or protocol that could be improved, and then be the main driver behind making that improvement.
3)Speak With Stakeholders
Another big part of your role will be getting to know all relevant stakeholders associated with your position. Who are they, how can your relationship mutually benefit each other? To do this, it's a good idea to book some time to speak with each one individually, so that you can get a good grasp on not only what they do but also what they're all about as people.
4) Don't Come in Guns Blazing
While you may feel the urge to assert your dominance and competence early on, you'll rarely find this has positive consequences in the long run. What you want instead is to build strong and genuine relationships. Asking questions and being attentive will make you seem far more confident and capable.
5) Get the Lay of the Land
When you arrive in your new role, you'll spend the first few days and weeks absorbing a lot of new information. While you're becoming more familiar with the company and building relationships, don't forget to keep an overarching eye on how people are working rather than only what they're working on. Every team works a little differently, and this is something you'll need to know if you want to make improvements for the better.
6) Be Curious and Inquisitive
Above all else, this is possibly the most critical trait for a product manager. The drive to continually learn new things, always look for solutions, and always question the way things are being done. When you begin a new role, this is more important than ever.
Top Tips for Product Managers
Hopefully, this article has shed some light on how to give the best impression of yourself and start you off on the right foot in your new role. Product managers play such an integral role in a company that your team's success depends on your success!
If you're thinking about switching jobs or looking to move into a new product manager role, we can help. Get in touch to discuss your options today.
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