Fitbit fmr Product Lead on Product Manager Standouts (Part 2)

As you know, being a product manager requires us to utilize a number of skillsets throughout our day. Specifically, every task that we take on must be driving toward creating the best product for your users. In my experience, mastering the art (and science) of managing the product development loop is a great opportunity to hone these skills. Most importantly, it will enable you to cultivate leadership skills and climb the ladder as a product leader.

For reference, here are the four stages of the product development loop:

  • Hypothesize and Research.
  • Vet and Validate.
  • Iterate and Improve.
  • Launch and Learn.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that talking about this loop is much easier than actually executing it. As a product manager, it will take time to master this process and utilize it to produce consistent results. However, the more you work at it with your fellow PMs, it’ll start to make sense. Simply put, it’s all about repetition. Along the way, you’ll learn how to optimize the “science” behind each step to make it a turnkey process.

In order to achieve “master status,” product managers need to take full advantage of every aspect of your product tool kit. Said differently, every product manager will learn how to leverage different skills that will lead to an optimal outcome.

For example, here are the key skills that every product manager should be able to leverage in their career. Over time, it’s critical for every product manager to enhance each of these skills through practice and continued experience. Furthermore, you’ll know exactly when to play each of these cards to get what you want.

Vision, Market Research, Customer Voice, UX Research, CEO / Executives, Industry Experts, Prototyping, Data.

That said, the best product managers are able to expand their mastery of the product development loop by pairing it with the emotional loop. Simply put, the ability to close the emotional loop will ensure that your team has complete confidence in every decision you make. At their best, top-performing product managers are able to master the development loop and leverage interpersonal skills found in the emotional loop in order to truly stand out. In summary, here are the attributes that make up the emotional loop.

Trust, Galvanize, Communicate, Manage Controversy, Influence, Own

Ultimately, the standard for being successful as a product manager balances on your ability to effectively manage these skills and processes. As I often like to joke with my team, product managers get all the credit when things are going well – and all the blame when things go wrong. Being mindful of these loops and where you can enhance your effectiveness will ensure that you can stand out as a product manager.


Click here for Part 1

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