Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Managers are team leaders, thinkers, and creators. Particularly digital product managers need several soft skills such as critical thinking, organization, listening prowess, and self-motivation to carry out their daily tasks.
These include dealing with new product development and planning. Also, they are required to focus on pricing, product launch, and marketing of a product. In short, product managers participate in all stages of the company’s products lifecycle. They are the ones who manage the product’s roadmap.
However, leaders might sometimes find it difficult to listen to other voices or get out of their own heads. That’s why it’s key for them to participate in communities. Being a part of these groups will help them stay updated with the latest trends and connect with like-minded people.
Why Should You Join A Digital Entrepreneur Community?
Many product managers are also digital entrepreneurs. They probably have created their own businesses on the Internet, selling services or products online. This might be an e-commerce, YouTube channels and various tech solutions.
In that sense, it’s important for them to become a part of an online community to find motivation and have new ideas. Entrepreneur communities gather information and resources. Also, they are composed of colleagues that can help them thrive in their day-to-day tasks.
Communities for everyone
Whether you’re an advanced entrepreneur or an aspiring one, online groups facilitate learning and engagement opportunities for founders and creators.
These groups are great if you’re looking to broaden your connections from around the world and discover new networking opportunities.
If you’re a beginner product manager, you could join this global Slack community. It focuses on learning programs for students, recent grads, and early career product managers looking for resources and preparing for their upcoming jobs in the digital industry.
Develop A Good Product Strategy
According to Melissa Perri, consultant, speaker, and Product Management teacher, the first big step to develop a good product strategy is to differentiate the concept of strategy from a plan.
Product strategy could be described as a set of achievable goals and visions. These both serve to motivate and align the team and its work around the generation of benefits for both the company and its customers.
Perri says it’s important not to treat a product strategy as a plan: “We need to have a plan. But the plan shouldn’t be ‘build feature x.’ Our plan should be to reach our business goals.”
Plans do not account for uncertainty or change. They give us a false sense of security.Melissa Perri
Moreover, a good and successful product strategy should have ????
Where we want to go. The goal to which one aspires when doing something. In product strategy, it might be the business goals.
The first big goal we have to achieve in our way to reach vision. According to Perri, challenge is “the first business goal you have to achieve on the way to your longer term vision.”
It’s the first achievable goal in our way to challenge. Let’s say it’s the first step between our current state and the first big challenge.
This one’s the current reality, compared to the target condition. You should make sure to measure and quantify it before starting to work on the strategy so you know where you started!
Find Digital Product Manager Jobs
Are you searching for your first product management job? Or are you looking to swim in new waters and find a new position? Finding the right product management community can surely connect you with the right people and find the best job opportunities for you!
There are communities for project managers in any stage of their professional career. In this sense, Reforge is a group that was created exclusively for executives from fast-growing tech companies. It has more than 7,500 members from around the world, and it has a paid membership of around $1995 per year.
As a member, you’ll be able to network and connect with the leaders of top tech companies -such as Uber, Facebook, and Salesforce-, facilitating your search for new job opportunities.
Founded in 2014, Product School is a learning community that focuses on the upcoming generation of product managers. It has more than 100,000 members.
If you’re looking for a job, you’ll receive daily job opportunities through the group’s Telegram channel. The community has Slack and Facebook groups too.
Mind the Product gathers more than 170,000 product managers and professionals. The group offers plenty of opportunities to connect with colleagues in conferences and forums. Also, they count with a job board with diverse job opportunities for its members.
The Product Folks is a volunteer-driven group that focuses on product managers who work with the objective of making an impact in their communities. It has more than 50,000 members who can participate in product conversations, webinars and programs.
Particularly, if you enroll in the Insurjo program you’ll be able to find the best job opportunities within the platform.
Build A Successful Project Manager Career
A good resume
According to Jackie Bavaro, author of Cracking the PM Career & Cracking the PM Interview, the first step to building a successful project manager career is having a neat and free of spelling mistakes resume. Also, it should be short (no more than one page).
Your resume is the first example of your work, and so it should reflect well on you. It should show off your ability to understand the audience, communicate well, and pay attention to details.Jackie Bavaro
Also, Bavaro states that a cover letter, experience launching products, and a highlighting of key achievements that might be important for the position you’re applying to will surely enhance your resume.
Starting your job search with a good resume will simplify your application processes. In addition, it’s important to adapt the resume according to the position and the company you are applying to.
Choose and understand your specialization
Once you’ve been hired for a project management job, it’s important to understand which path you’ll want to walk. Moreover, within project management, there are certain areas in which professionals can specialize.
According to Sachin Rekhi, founder and CEO at Notejoy, there are three types of project managers: builders, tuners, and innovators.
Builders are what could be considered the most traditional product manager. They perfectly understand their target user segment and can listen to users to extract insights to solve product problems ????
They never feel like their product is done and see how the sky is the limit in terms of how they can expand the scope of their product offering to solve ever-more pressing problems for their users.Sachin Rekhi
As examples of the builder kind of product manager, Rekhi mentions that they might probably be the one working on the next version of Microsoft Office or LinkedIn Profile.
Tuners are fanatical about analytics. ???? They are usually guided by hypotheses that they will try to corroborate through metrics and results. Some examples of PMs that might probably be tuners are Uber’s driver growth team, and LinkedIn’s paid subscriptions optimization team.
???? The innovators love taking risks and are always searching for the next big opportunity for their product and its strategy. That’s why they are tasked with the challenging job of finding the right market for a brand new product.
The greatest example of this type of PMs are the ones who work in startups or in teams developing new products, such as the Apple initial iWatch team.
At the beginning of your career as PM the independence you show in your role is key. It’s obvious that while you’re in junior positions you’ll need to check-in with your manager more frequently. However, as you start to grow in the company, it’s important not to depend on those daily check-ins in order to execute a good product strategy.
The second dimension is the advancement in product scope. This includes the general amount of the product’s functionality one covers in its role, as the complexity of the product offerings one’s responsible for.
Product scope typically increases from features, to feature areas, to one product, to multiple products. Product complexity increases from incremental improvements to existing functionality to ownership of more complex product offerings, as well as responsibility for innovation in new product categories.
This is the last dimension and the one to which one must pay close attention if one is to climb the corporate ladder: knowing how to lead.
Teams always work better with a good leader to guide them along the way. So it’s essential that a PM learns how to be a good leader if they are going to manage and lead a team one day!
Indie Worldwide is one of those communities where project managers will be able to find feedback, support and resources on how to build a successful career.
💡 Pro tip
The group, which has more than 2,000 fellows, has a premium club where members can meet once a week with a tech founder who’ll help them accelerate their careers!
This community’s particularly good if you’re starting your PM career. Also, Co.Lab Learning has a bootcamp program where members can experiment with real products with the support of expert mentors.
Apart from events, a job board and learning resources, Creators of Products has exclusive microcommunities for members who share the same profiles and interests. Each one offers to connect you with colleagues that have the same mindset and way of thinking as you. Also, you’ll receive guidance from experts!
Connect With Product Management Thought Leaders
Product management thought leaders are the industry’s referents. They are those who have a leadership position both inside their companies or startups, but also serve as a guide for those new to or interested in the digital product management industry.
Here are some communities that will serve as a platform for you to connect with them 👇
This community’s particularly great for professionals who want to connect with product management though leaders. It has mentorship programs where members get to schedule sessions with the industry’s experts and referents from all over the world.
This community has more than 21,000 members. They connect via Slack and offers events, workshops and a special mentorship program with expert coaches who guide members through one-on-one sessions and weekly meetings.
Still looking for the best digital product management community for you? At Unita, we have plenty of groups waiting to be discovered. Check out our repository of communities.
We’re sure you’ll find a space that fits you and that will help you grow in your project management career!