Product Management

The Product Manager vs. the Technical Product Manager

ram statues butting heads

A lot of people ask me about how to break into product management. I think that is because product management is a hot career track today. So much so that there are many variations on the role and title.

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The World's Most Unlikely Product Manager

man in protective mask

What degree do you think most product managers have? I will bet that you did not answer “B.A. in environmental science.” But I do know of at least one product manager who studied just that. After college, his first job was supervising the removal of asbestos (and asking his onsite teams not to smoke while they were doing it).

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5 Product Managers Reveal the Worst Advice They Received

product manager getting advice from the team

I did not learn how to be a product manager in school. I learned on the job and from others. My experience is that we all look for opportunities to deepen our understanding of best practices. That is what ambitious product managers do when seeking out one another — looking for wisdom, guidance, and advice.

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How Tough Product Managers Pick Fights

boxing gloves hanging on boxing ring ropes

How many times do people “ping” you at work each day? For product managers, the answer is probably something like: “Oh, I’ve stopped counting.” Feedback comes in from so many different channels — internally and externally — that those pings can start to feel like a series of jabs.

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5 Signs You Should Be a Product Manager

product manager reading article on a tablet

Are you considering a career in product management? Or has someone told you that you’d make a great product manager, perhaps even seemingly out of the blue? If so, you are likely curious where product managers come from. And what is this emerging craft called product management, anyway?

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4 Unexpected People Skills Every Product Manager Needs

product managers in a startup office environment drinking coffee

It’s all about the technology, right? Nope. I learned that fast in my first product management role. Product managers need a wide array of skills to be successful. And a lot of those skills involve people. When you factor in that many product managers work within a “responsibility without formal authority” context, having interpersonal skills is essential.

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3 Ways Product Managers Make Engineers Happy

snail crossing train tracks

The relationship between a skilled product manager and their technical team is like the tracks to a train. Product managers provide direction and purpose. They guide engineers so they can do what they do best — write code and implement features that customers care about.

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How Product Managers Defeat Feature Creep

curious sheep peeking through wooden fence

Feature creep can be an uncomfortable reality for many product managers. It crept into my work when I was a product manager at a large company, navigating many product teams and several layers of management.

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How Good Product Managers Handle Bad Feedback

Product manager discussing plan in an open office

I received some harsh feedback relatively early in my career as a product manager. I had worked at a SaaS company for about a year and was the first product manager on the team. We had finally landed a massive software partner — and I was excited to walk through my plan for the product integration with my CTO.

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6 Traits of Highly Successful Product Teams

product management team talking

Building a product that is meaningful and lasting is tough. It’s also a remarkable experience when it happens. Once you get a taste of product success, nothing else will do.

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7 Tips to Hire the Perfect Product Manager

hiring manager interviewing candidate

Product managers are a relatively new position at companies big and small. In order to summarize the very high expectations that come with the role, job descriptions often describe someone with “big vision and the ability to make it a reality.” So how do you determine if someone can see big and work small at the same time?

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The Day I Became a Happy Product Manager

product manager scrolling on tablet

It was a big month. I was leading product for a Los Angeles-based SaaS company in the HR space. Our team had released five big new features and was starting to see engagement with the product. We armed our sales team with the features they needed to close some of the biggest deals we had seen all year.

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The Product Roadmap vs. the Technology Roadmap

Roadmaps are essential to planning and getting complex work done. They are used in many different ways and shared with different audiences. You see product roadmaps in everything from executive briefings to IT planning meetings. Roadmaps are even used during sales presentations with key clients. And product teams are constantly discussing the right level of information to include.
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What Strategy Really Means for Product Managers

Black cat on scratching post

Working with product managers is the greatest job in the world. And at Aha! we talk to hundreds of product leaders each month. These are the individuals responsible for managing the future of the companies where they work. I am fortunate to be able to help them on that journey.

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How Product Managers Get Customer Feedback in 24 Hours or Less

Product manager working at a desk

Black accents or aluminum? That was the last industrial design decision we had to make when nearing the launch of our Movband 3 fitness activity tracker. Our design team was split for months, but now we needed to make the call quickly.

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