Ernest Sliter is a currently working at OpenSesame. He is also a student at the University of Texas at Dallas majoring in Management Information Systems.
Are you interested in a dynamic career involving technology, business, and user design? Product managers, also known as PMs or “mini-CEOs”, are the individuals responsible for strategically guiding a product through its life cycle. They are driven to maximize the ROI of a product by managing the development team and serving as the collective voice of the customer.
It’s not uncommon for developers or other employees serving in technical roles to eventually transition to product management. Some developers may find they enjoy managing the product road map and solving customers’ problems rather than actively writing code and building the product. Other seasoned engineers may be searching for a suitable career transition into a management position.
If you’re interested in moving to product management in the future, here are three critical steps to make the transition successful.
1. Decide Whether You’re Right for Product Management
You’ll find there are very few formally trained product managers out there in the world. Instead, many of them have transitioned into the role after previous careers as developers, marketing managers, business analysts, and salespeople.
Developers usually have several qualities that help them thrive as product managers, primarily:
- Strong problem solving abilities.
- Experience with product development and working with the development team.
- Exemplary analytical skills
However, not all developers are suited to a product management role. Before embarking on the product management path, be sure to ask yourself these questions.
Can I understand and empathize with customers?
Customers are the most important part of any business and the primary responsibility of any product manager is to understand their problems amd needs. Not all developers are able to put themselves in the customer’s mindset to identify current frustrations and foresee future problems. Furthermore, you’re responsible for serving as the bold voice of the customer within the workplace. You have to be willing to remind and educate everyone about the customer’s most pressing issues at all times.