Forums for the Business Analyst

  Modern Analyst Forums  Careers  Career Advice &...  Secret Skills and Qualities of a Great Product Manager
Previous Previous
Next Next
New Post 6/25/2010 1:40 PM
User is offline Seilevel
13 posts
10th Level Poster

Secret Skills and Qualities of a Great Product Manager  

By Joy Beatty

I was giving some thought to what it meant to be a good product manager. There are many good posts written about the typical analysis skills found in a product manager, so I wanted to think a little outside the normal box. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Thinking on their feet – We spend a lot of time in front of busy users, project managers, and developers, who are smart and know their business well. At times, they are intense. They will ask tough questions of us, and probably even more challenging than that, they will state things that we need to be able to understand quickly and ask questions back intelligently. Too many blank stares, uncomfortable silences, and “uh, I don’t know”s will help us lose your credibility fast.


  • Thoughtful – We are interviewers often, and so with that we must be willing to listen and think about what they say. This is different than quick thinking, but rather truly deep thinking. It will require some skills of empathy and understanding when the teams are frustrated. It will require just being someone that cares (and not faking it!).


  • Likeable – I hate to say it, but we have to be likeable. We work with so many different people through the course of our work, and we really need these people to want to help us get information from them. People enjoy helping people they like, so be likeable.


  • Must like people – Again, we work with so many different people who believe in us, trust us with their products. So complimentary to the last point, we must like the people we are working with. We have to want to talk to them, to tell them how it’s going, to ask them questions – simply put, we must be willing to engage in conversations. While being an introvert is very helpful to the analysis work that must sometimes be done quietly alone, being an introvert all the time will not lead to successful product management.


  • Passionate –We have to love things! It sounds silly, but passionate people can feel things, both positive and negative about products around them. We can recognize and engage passion in the users we are working with. It shows itself as excitement, which can be addictive in a group.


  • Excellent Reviewer – Not only must we elicit and document requirements, we have to self-review and peer-review the work. Being able to find missing items, or inconsistent requirements across volumes of data is not trivial. There are models and tools to help this, but so far, none of them completely take the thinking out of it. I have found that this is one of the most challenging skills to teach someone to do.

What else do we look for in BA's? You can check out our other blog posts here.

Are you a BA looking for a job? We are hiring check out our site for more details.

New Post 12/30/2010 5:46 PM
User is offline [url=,15.htm]product manager job[/url]
3 posts
No Ranking

Re: Secret Skills and Qualities of a Great Product Manager  
Modified By [url=,15.htm]product manager job[/url]  on 12/30/2010 8:47:32 PM)

Great article Joy!

 I have been in product management for almost a decade now, before that I was a project manager. I wanted to say that it is nice to hear someone who understands the rigors of our job. something that I would recommend my new hires to do was take an improvisation and speech class at a local junior college. Being able to think on ones feet and not be stymied is the most valuable tool in a PM's job. Even if you are a bit unfamiliar with the topic at hand remaining cool and collected goes a long way, and the only way to do that is to practice. There was a time when I was working aproduct manager job for J & J (hopefully you can decipher my clever code), and someone asked me a curveball which there was no way I could have known. This gentleman enjoyed trying to fluster speakers, so I simply stayed calm answered his question ( it was about potential scope creep for overseas clients, something garbage intended to throw me off) as best I could with the little knowledge of his clientelle I had then simply stated I would answer him better when I knew more in a few weeks if he wanted to wait that long. He wasn't the most liked my his peers, so this instantly made me more likeable in their eyes. But if I would have panicked and got an attack of the umms and uhh I would most certainly not have earned the respect of my clients. thank you for this post, more poeple outside of our profession should know about the work it takes to juggle all the personalities and keep everyone flowing smoothly towards a goal. Thanks


Previous Previous
Next Next
  Modern Analyst Forums  Careers  Career Advice &...  Secret Skills and Qualities of a Great Product Manager

Community Blog - Latest Posts

In today's dynamic business environment, mastering effective business analysis techniques is crucial for organizations aiming to achieve sustainable growth and competitive advantage. Business analysis involves the systematic evaluation of business processes, requirements, and strategies to uncover insights that drive informed decision-making. T...
For many years now, a lot of people have found it difficult to identify the difference between Sankey diagrams and parallel sets. The two have made headlines, given that most people find it challenging to note what makes them different from each other. What remains to be undeniable is the fact that the Sankey diagram is among the top data visualiza...
Hosted by Deirdre Caren on Agora Insight's Blueprints for Success - Business Architecture and AI In our recent conversation with Joseph Edward, we explored the transformative power of business architecture (BA) and technology as tools for uplifting communities. Joseph, with his rich background spanning from education to IT leadership, shared...



Copyright 2006-2024 by Modern Analyst Media LLC