7 Must-have hard skills for Product Managers

From the time #productmanager has a become a hot job Training factories have started offering various courses Even MBA colleges have started offering #productmanagement certifications These last from 4 weeks to as long as part time over 6 months

Most of these do no cover the basics even of hard skills that a PM must have or develop. And almost none of these cover even half of the soft skills required. Here is my take on hard skills required based on what we see in our own consulting practice, with clients and years of product building of my own.

Product Thinking:

Systematically analyzing and understanding the entire product build, launch and scale cycle as well as finding urgent and important problems to solve. This includes features, functionalities, and deep understanding of customers problems and what it will take to solve those.


Technical Acumen:

Understanding software development methodologies, technologies, and the technical aspects of the product building. Without this, most PMs struggle to work with engineering teams and sometime get taken for a ride.


Market and Competition Research:

Analyzing market trends, conducting competitor analysis, and gathering insights to inform product development. If the market is very competitive then keeping a constant eye on this is mandatory.


Project and Time Management:

Managing one’s own time and that of the team remains one of the most challenging things that a PM does. Ruthless prioritization is perhaps the only way to make this happen.


Data Analysis:

Interpreting and analyzing data to derive actionable insights. This includes market data, product metrics, analyst reports and more. Managerial Finance Literacy: Doesn’t have to be financial analyst, but basic understanding of budgeting, financial implications, and resource allocation to ensure the financial viability of products is necessary.


Design Thinking:

Utilizing a structured design thinking process for user-centric problem-solving, involving empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and testing.

(This is a little biased towards a tech/software PM)

What do you think are mandatory skills for a person to succeed as a PM? Did I miss something? Next, we will talk about soft skills required.