Top 5 Key Skills Needed for A Product Manager

“At the end of the day, your job isn’t to get the requirements right — your job is to change the world.”

– Jeff Patton, Veteran Product Manager and Consultant

The Product Manager role is a lucrative career option for the students doing their degrees as well as people who work in other parts of IT. Unlike other roles, the Product Manager role differs for each company and even for each product. In this blog, I’d like to share the Top 5 Key Skills Needed for A Product Manager’s Role from my experience. 

When looking from the outside, you may think the Product Manager(PM)  is a person who visioned the product and managing the product team. The role of a PM in startup differs from the established companies. PM who works in a startup has to all the tasks like Collecting feature requirements,  managing the team, handling support and even doing sales. But in an established company the PM has multiple teams to do these jobs and they have to collaborate with their teams and run the product.

Some people may tell that PM is the CEO of the product. But it is not true, they won’t have the authority to decide on resources, pricing and sales strategy etc. At the same time, they are responsible for the revenue and the customers. They are under a lot of pressure and struggling to deliver the impossible expectations. 

Here we are going to see the Top 6 Key Skills needed for A Product Manager:

  • Building Strategy
  • Technical expertise
  • Team Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Empathy

The below picture shows the representation of PM’s top 5 key skills.

Top 5 key skills of a Product Manager

Building Strategy

Building strategy involves building a roadmap for product align with the company’s objectives, researching the ideas and ideating new features, prioritizing the features and launching, analyzing the competitors, prepare a marketing, sales plan with collaboration of other teams.

Technical Expertise

When a person has technical expertise in the domain of the product which he/she has already worked, then it will be a boon. It will be helpful to understand the technical team’s challenges as well as the customer’s pain points.  To overcome the technical challenges need to facilitate expert advice/help or specific trainings as and when required. We can translate the customer’s pain points and make the technical team understand that. 

Team Collaboration

As a PM it is not a job that handles and works with only a single team. Mostly the team will not directly reporting to you and you might not have any authority over them. So, by influencing only you will be able to get the job done. Team collaboration is a very vital skill and you as a PM, need to know about the strengths of each team member and play with their strong skills. Taken a couplet from our great poet Thiruvalluvar and the explanation is below:

Aiyan Thiruvalluvar says

சிறுமையும் செல்லாத் துனியும் வறுமையும்

இல்லாயின் வெல்லும் படை. (769)

Explanation by Scholars About this couplet:

Where weakness, clinging fear and lack of spirit are not, the host (team) will gain the victory.


Communication is a key skill. It is good to over-communicate than not communicate. Also, If in doubt, please always ASK. Double-check the work done by you before sending it to any other persons.


The product is built by teamwork. As a PM, we need to talk to various stakeholders C- suite managers and business executives, tech teams inside the company as well as talking to your customers. 

Each person will have different levels of expectations in these teams, but at the end goal is launching products and getting customers as a team. PM should act as a facilitator to achieve this and communicate this to other teams.

I hope these points will help you to understand the Top 5 key skills needed for a Product Manager.




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