Before we discuss tools for assessing the competency of Product Managers in the following chapters, let’s address general traits, i.e. aspects of personality that we have found valuable when building product teams.
Have you ever felt that you’ve completely tanked it? Shipped a feature that was perceived terribly by customers; did an experiment that didn’t yield any actionable result; didn’t think through a solution which led to unreliable effort estimation and a Sprint disaster, etc. Were you able to pick yourself back up and tell what you’ve learned? If so, you have the learning skills that a PM needs.
Did you have to shift to a new domain in a short period of time, say, like a gardener learning how to cook? Did you have to back someone up in an instant and decide things that you aren’t familiar with? Were you more thrilled than nervous? If so, you have the passion that’ll help you to learn.
Product Management is an exciting job. There’s something new every day. To fully enjoy this job, one needs to fully enjoy learning. It could be learning new things, could also be learning from mistakes.
Learning from our own mistakes is celebrated in Agile frameworks in the form of collective Retrospectives and Post Mortem for instance, where the Engineering team, UX, and PM sit together and reflect. Yet on a daily basis, PMs would encounter plenty of small and meaningful self-reflecting opportunities:
After all, it’s more about doing and getting better, than getting it absolutely right from the start. Having the aptitude and attitude to learn is enough. The rest will come in time.