Being a project manager can be tough. You’re the person who needs to know about all aspects of the product, from its conception and development to sales and customer support. Last week I went to a talk given by Karsten Rieke – former product manager at Xing. From his presentation and the discussion afterwards, I want to share some tips with you for being a successful product manager.
Respect your team
Trust and respect goes a long way. Appreciate that you have a talented team who are experts in their fields and be prepared to listen to what they have to say.
Know your stuff
If you want respect from your colleagues, you will also have to learn how to speak their language- this means knowing your numbers or some key programming concepts. This will help communication and get people to take your suggestions seriously.
Know how others like to work
The slides from the presentation categorize how people in different departments behave and what their work styles are. Not everyone will fit into these stereotypes, but it is worth thinking about how your colleagues work best and how you can fit around that.
Get your team to communicate
At Pidoco we have scrum meetings every day across all of our departments, so that the marketing team knows what the programmers are working on. We also encourage everyone to ask questions, which creates an open atmosphere. It also helps us to see how our individual tasks make up the bigger picture in moving our product forward.
Go outside for inspiration
As product manager, you should be pushing for your product to move forward. Meet with current customers to see how they use your product and how they would be affected by the improvements you have planned. Other people in your industry can also inspire you to try out new things.
Thanks to IxDA Berlin for organizing this event and click on the link below to access the slides.
You can find out more about Karsten Rieke on Xing.