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The tried, tested & debated list of resources for the busy Product Manager

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Getting the Product-Market fit right is tricky. Building a profitable product is even more difficult. If you ever had a chance to build, manage or ship a product, you will know what we are referring to. As a product manager - you are the one who is going to lead the product from conception to completion. More often than not, you are so swamped with your work that you can’t keep in touch with current trends and industry best practices. We get it!

Through our journey of getting the product-market fit right, scaling the product, and making it profitable - We have learnt A LOT! What you’ll find below is a list of resources we had bookmarked, and kept referring to time and again!

There are podcasts, videos, essays, stories, interviews, books, tools, ask-me-anything groups - everything that’s easy to access and refer to when the need arises!

To make it even simpler, we’ve organized them into sections, addressing each critical facet of managing a product; namely,

  • Strategic Planning
  • Execution
  • Skill Development For Product Managers

Bookmark them, read them, internalize them - This is your one-stop guide to being a resourceful product manager!

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning, ideally, follows a top-down approach unifying overall company objectives with the ones at the product level. It’s always better to know where you’d like to go, before you start building your way to get there!

Product Management 101

If you’re just breaking into the job of managing a product, this list could pretty well be your Bible!

Product Vision & Strategy

The product vision represents the core essence of a product or a product line - it sets the direction for where a product is headed, or the needs a product is expected to address.

User Research

Building a deeper understanding of your users, their needs, motivations and how they intend to use your product - that’s user research for you! You will need actionable or testable data for future iterations.

Competitor Research

As a product manager, you are often advised to focus purely on the customer. But, a smart product manager will always keep an eye on the competitor! It’s just good sense to know what your competitors are up to - their product visions, their marketing strategies, the language used to describe their products to the market, the core problems that their products solve, etc.

Customer Journey

A customer journey map, in plain simple words, helps you build a better product. It is a graphic or narrative representation of the customer’s relationship with a company, product or service. It shows the overlap between the customer’s expectations and the requirements of the business!

Execution

This next phase is all about getting your product built, tested and delivered to the market! As a product manager, this is when you roll up your sleeves and get the product out there where it need to be.

Product Design

Product design involves owning the entire process of sketching, collaborating, designing, writing CSS rules and structuring everything in a proper manner - something developers can integrate into their workflow without compromising on the design quality. What’s in it for a product manager? Product managers are responsible for the overall development of the product - this might include adding additional functionalities to the product, or making it simpler!

Wireframing & Specs

A wireframe is a static, low-fidelity representation of different layouts that form a product - a visual representation of an interface, to communicate the structure, content and functionality. Product specs include user stories, user personas, functional specs, and a business case to communicate the value the product will create for the user and the business.

Roadmapping

A product roadmap is a high-level visual summary of the vision and direction of your product offering over time. It’s best created with cross-functional inputs from the engineering, sales and marketing teams, as well as the management!

Sprint Planning

A sprint is a set period of time during which specific work has to be completed and made ready for review. Each sprint begins with a planning meeting between the product owner (manager) and the development team. Agile is a commonly known group of software development methodologies where sprint cycles are used.

Prototyping

Prototypes are simply a snapshot of the product or service at that ‘point in time’. Prototyping helps reduce business risk, communicate and demonstrate the solution to the business, obtain customer feedback and gain insights into whether the product is doing its job!

Product Development

This is the phase where everything comes together - product design, wireframing, specs, roadmapping, prototyping and all the steps that lead to the creation of the final product!

Feedback Loop

A ‘continuous’ customer feedback loop designed well, maximises the benefits of gathering, recording and synthesizing feedback!

Data & Analytics

Product management is data-driven! Analytics helps understand user behaviour, is a great tool to measure the progress of a product, to check if the product is viable, make informed product decisions, and also provides future inspiration for product work! It influences all the decisions leading to product development, including roadmaps, product design, wireframing, etc.

Skill Development For Product Managers

Product management is an ongoing process - there is always room for innovation, and improvement! Product managers can learn a lot simply by observing their contemporaries, understanding the market, analysing the best practices of their competition, and upgrading their functional knowledge.

Collaboration

One of the key features of a successful product manager - the ability to work in a collaborative way across different teams and departments to bring in new products, and increase the profitability of existing products!

Communication

As a product manager, most of your time will be spent communicating ideas, plans, tasks, designs, etc.! There’ll be mails, presentations, specs and bug tickets!

Growth

Growth is a mindset. And every product manager is a growth product manager.

Leadership

To be effective, you’ve got to learn to ‘influence’. Therefore, a product manager must have (or develop) leadership skills!

AMAs

Quick solutions to the questions keeping you up at night!

Talks & Interviews (Videos)

For every product manager who needs a little inspiration!

Books

A few must-reads for every ambitious product manager!

Podcasts

Podcasts for the product managers looking to grow!

Product Management Communities

Learn from your contemporaries!

Product Management As A Career

Make your own path as a product manager!

Thought Leaders You Need To Follow!

Keep yourself updated - follow these product management gurus!

Did we miss anything? Let us know if you want to add anything in this list by commenting down below, we would more than happy to add it.


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