“So You’re a New Product Manager…” Part 8 & 9

Tip 8: Plan to Update your Skills

As a new Product Manager settling nicely into your role, don’t forget to update your skills throughout the year. This may be in the form of skills or domain training or attendance at relevant conferences. Often this sort of activty costs money, so like most other elements of Product Management, you will need a plan.

Preparing a plan will provide you with the opportunity to share something a little more formal with your Manager. Your request for funds to support your personal skills program may be approved by your Manager if you’ve prepared a plan.

What to Include in your Plan?

Before you create your plan, conduct a personal assessment of your skill base. Your plan should include informal or formal training activities that will grow you as a Product Manager. For example, if you’ve never had experience calculating the return of investment on a new product, you may consider a short course in Financial management. If you’re keen on understanding the trends in your particular industry, you may want to attend a conference.

Some activities that you may include in your skills plan:

  • Attending an industry conference or conferences
  • Short courses in Product Management
  • Attending webinars
  • Joining an association
  • Subscribing to (and reading!) journals and trade magazines
  • Listening to relevant podcasts
  • Skills training (presentation skills, negotiation and influencing skills)

Tip 9: Enjoy Yourself

One of the most important aspects of Product Management is to really enjoy your job and love your product. If you’re having fun at work, your colleagues around you will be more prepared to help you achieve your goals.

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