What are the most important skills for a new hire, Tech and Non-Tech PMs?

For a new product manager, what are the most critical abilities? What are the requirements to get started off on the right foot in the first few months of your product management example?


Some of the basic and must know skills you should possess are:

  • Communication
  • Being aware of your stakeholders
  • Recognizing your users
  • Setting priorities and
  • Realizing that no product is ever “perfect” due to evolution

Adding to what @Bethany has listed, I’ll add: Helping stakeholders and users understand that goods are always evolving and will never be “perfect”.


Having recently switched to a smaller company after working in product for around 6 years, “Knowing your stakeholders” has never been more of a lesson. Quality is always a priority in well-established goods and businesses, but my CEO just told me that the solutions are “obvious.” He is saying that excellence is a hopeful companion and that we must provide or perish.

That early on your stakeholders might care more about fitting a square peg into a round hole than having nothing at all for an extra month has been a difficult pill to swallow.


Actually, there isn’t much of a difference between large and small companies. Is fixing this defect or dealing with this edge case going to be worth the effort and money invested? The temporal horizon is merely altered by the company’s maturity. A three-year payback is unnecessary with a startup because you might always be one year away from bankruptcy. In a large company, the payoff is always worthwhile because you know you won’t touch this code for another 5 years.


Thanks. Any reading you would recommend to enforce all this?


Inspired by Marty Cagan is the first book I would recommend. Next, I just finished reading the book below and would definitely recommend. Great practical advice for a newer PMs.

Product Management in Practice: A Real-World Guide to the Key Connective Role of the 21st Century


Managing up. Soft skills. Soft skills. Soft skills.

Put yourself in the shoes of those who have more responsibility than you. What must occur for them to carry out their duties effectively and project the greatest possible image?

Decide on a solution, provide it to them, and then carry it through. If they don’t have to figure it out and ask you for it, you appear better.


The biggest problem, in my opinion—and this may vary depending on where you are—is managing stakeholders. Make one person happy, and four others will be unhappy. Making sure that your stakeholders understand that you hear them and that you understand, but also that there are good reasons not to take on what they consider to be most important, is the best approach to handle this. In most cases, it won’t be effective to simply provide them the facts in that discussion; instead, you must practice your people (soft) skills.


Communication, Discovery, Prioritization, Execution.

These are fundamental to your career, therefore as a first-year student:

Communication: be a fantastic listener, comprehend everyone’s objectives, and comprehend how they want to use the product. Additionally, be able to convince others of a notion in some format (deck, doc, etc.). In order to gain clarity and enable everyone to move forward more quickly, a lot of communications in PM include repetition and erring on the side of overcommunication.

Discover: Recognize the pertinent needs and pain areas of your users and clients (I adore “jobs to be done” for this). Even if you don’t have excellent customer dialogues (Mom Test), which is recommended, this will create a high threshold for suspicion regarding generalizations about your consumers. Get skilled at locating strong support for your or the product team’s assumptions, including data collection and engaging data visualization.

Prioritization begins to incorporate all of the aforementioned, but it also provides a framework for comparing various hypotheses, tests, and bets (I like RICE to start then review the stack rank with more nuanced eye after that). Be mindful that some businesses have established the ratio of “moonshots” to “roof shots” they want a team to work on. This is portfolio management and risk analysis.

Execution: the capacity to provide consistently. Maintain a forward motion drumbeat. Even though it comes last in the order of events, this is the muscle that needs to be developed first. Know what success means at all times for each feature, product, and your location. be able to develop effective KPIs. being able to define an idea’s or bet’s bounds What are we currently building and what are we not building? (Read Shape Up). Table stakes: be able to implement an organized system of shipping constantly if your company doesn’t use scrum. Your company probably uses scrum in some capacity. Iterate.

I hope this is helpful and look forward to hearing any additions or criticisms. Continue reading Inspired and follow @shreyas on Twitter.


Excellent @MichaelYoffe, I’d add a few more things:

Curiosity. Make sense quickly and learn swiftly. Prove that you understand. Earn respect by contributing to the team in ways that make them stronger than they would be without you. By contributing, I don’t just mean getting the drinks or doing the office administration. Find your pain points and eliminate them.


Understanding knowledge management in businesses is important for SKU setup from a non-technical perspective. Although each organization will be different, the basics are still relevant. It becomes particularly important while discussing barcode standards.


I hate how the three top answers are more about navigating orgs. From my POV, the better you know users, as fast as you can, the better. PMs are advocates for their users first and foremost.


In theory you’re right @ChristieDook. But knowing customers and doing everything ‘right’ in the SDLC often only gets you part of the way. I used to believe that was #1 too, but I’ve got a lot of scars from where it wasn’t enough.


It doesn’t matter how well you know and advocate for your users if you don’t have the support of your organization. I’ve seen many PMs with great ideas get shut down because they were unable or unwilling to play internal politics. Maybe this isn’t as important in small orgs, but in larger firms this is critical.


I come from a large IT company and, before that, one of the top three CPG companies. large organizations. spent more than ten years combined.

Without the ability to navigate and persuade, a PM won’t get very far. But the core of PMing must be user-centered. Although you can influence others to follow a certain path, understanding the right one to take requires extensive user and customer knowledge.

There isn’t a single most crucial talent, in the end. I choose the response that feels the most accurate to me.

However, you are correct in one respect: after leaving large organizations for startups, I never looked back. While persuasion is still crucial, it is simpler for people to agree when there are a small number of people present who share the same goals.


@RichardsonEva, I don’t agree with it. It can be dangerous to “know the way to go” because of in-depth client information. We constantly strive for a deeper knowledge of our consumers and fight for their success. On the other hand, things frequently don’t go as planned. Customers can be unpredictable, and the systems they use are frequently intricate. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you stake your reputation on being accurate and rely on consumer knowledge to accomplish so.

In my 20 years working in big tech and international consulting, I’ve had the most success in the later years when I let go of the need to always be right and instead concentrated on helping the leaders, I work with make better decisions. Don’t get me wrong; I still obsess over the little things and never stop learning about the consumers in order to put them first in everything I do. But for the result, I need to do much more than that.


Being a slave to your consumers’ expectations does not imply that you know your users well. I frequently find myself pondering how to influence user behaviour in a way that is beneficial to the product and the company.

As I already stated, I presumptively have stupid users. They can’t be trusted to provide me with the correct solution to their issues.

My career has centred on user retention, gamification, and behaviour; I work in B2C goods. Without my strange, love-hate relationship with my users, I could not be great at what I love to do.

There is nothing I’m attempting to sell you. However, I adore Space Quest!

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I’m seeing a lot of “learn things quickly” here and I just want to say that’s not necessarily true.

PM is not about learning things quickly, it’s about taking the time to learn in the first place.

As a PM the most valuable skill you can have is empathy. Empathy in listening, talking, writing, understanding, in how you apply patience with others, and most importantly with yourself. Nobody is perfect, not everyone learns in the same ways, and applying that in your communication style is your sharpest weapon.

In order to go fast sometimes you need to slow down and see what’s around you. Trying to do it all will eventually lead you to burn out.

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.