Hygger corporate blog
Product Management
Personnel Management
August 6

52 Characteristics of Ideal Product Manager

A product manager is a key person who typically presents ready product solutions to the wide external world. To be considered a successful and professional product manager, you should have enough experience, enthusiasm and, of course, professional management skills, strong communication, and other essential abilities. Professional qualities help product management experts to competently manage, present, and bring the product to the market.

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Average product manager's salary in the software development sphere is getting rise over time. The potential of this role, as well as its reputational weight, are also increasing. Now think — there should be probably one or several product managers among your relative surrounding. All this suggests that the PM profession is becoming more and more popular.

Product managers in the IT industry are in charge of managing software products' development. They facilitate communication among internal staff and external parties. They act like peculiar connecting «bridges». They meet with prospect and current customers and listen to their feedback that may be included in future versions. They cooperate with marketing guys to effectively present software features to consumers.

A successful product manager helps the company in optimizing development processes and creating a business plan to better commercializing. He/she gather user inputs to prioritize feature requirements, reviews the implementation and creates innovative strategies to adapt to new technologies.

They also attend industry event and meetings to stay updated and on top of current trends. Such professionals should be well educated and have a set of powerful skills. What are these skills?

Professional skills and abilities essential for product managers


HR managers are often governed by the set of skills and abilities that must be obligatory for potential candidates. They even have virtual checklists that are aimed to define the professional and personal skills of future product managers.

These lists can be simple but sometimes very stressful for the applicant. In fact, product owners and recruiters compile the portrait of the ideal product manager, identifying similar skills, abilities, and characteristics. And this is a win if this virtual checklist matches what a potential manager can offer.

Do you have enough skills to be a professional product manager?

There are many different options for classifying these skills and abilities of product managers. Here we divide them into 6 main categories:

  1. Relevant professional skills and abilities
  2. Personal skills
  3. Interpersonal characteristics
  4. Analytical abilities
  5. Cross-functional skills
  6. Special skills in working with professional product management tools

Professional skills


  • Creating product strategy and thorough driving it
  • Product feature definition
  • Developing cases for new product features
  • Defining the global strategy for product launch
  • Prioritizing tasks and features
  • Design skills
  • Product implementation
  • Defining value propositions
  • Evaluating advertising proposals
  • Managing risks
  • Work with documents

Personal skills


  • Negotiating and communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Coordination ability
  • Time management skill
  • Creativity
  • Deadlines accordance and punctuality
  • Focusing on details
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Ability to motivate other team members
  • Multi-tasking
  • Working Independently
  • Focusing on customers

Interpersonal skills


  • Leadership
  • Ability to be a team player
  • Team collaboration ability
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Running meetings, and presentations, event management
  • Interviewing skills
  • Influencing and persuading
  • Collaboration with cross-functional teams
  • Managing partner relationships
  • Written communication

Analytical skills


  • High planning and scheduling skills
  • Measuring product functionality
  • Measuring effectiveness
  • Customer analysis
  • Defining objectives and requirements
  • Financial analysis
  • Sales forecasting
  • Ability to apply different metrics
  • Reporting
  • Researching market trends and competitors’ insights
  • Tracking progress
  • Managing customer feedback

Cross-functional/other skills


  • Marketing and promotion skills
  • Developing pricing and budgeting
  • Project management skills
  • Managing social media
  • Recruiting skills

PM software awareness


The very separate point of a product manager's skill set regards the ability to choose, apply and work with modern product management tools and apps.

Online software for product managers combine all their skills and knowledge with smart technologies and thereby optimize and maximize their work and team collaboration.

Professional tools in product management may be considered as basic and common services, such as Excel, Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Microsoft Project, Visio, and so on.

But that's not enough for the XXI century. Advanced and successful product managers try and test special platforms to select the best product management tool right for their needs.

A separate PM functionality requires working with separate features.

For example:

  • Maintaining a product backlog will require good prioritization skills, so you have to be familiar with a product management tool with built-in prioritization. Hygger and ProductPlan are good solutions for these purposes.

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  • Creation and managing of a product roadmap will require choosing a service with a convenient timeline, ideally based on Gantt charts. It should be aimed to share direction and progress to internal teams and external stakeholders. Aha, Craft or Roadmap Planner look helpful in this case.

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These are just two examples describing the need for professional product management software.
With the help of such tools, product managers are able to manage time tracking, delegate tasks, prepare timesheet reports, systemize tasks and much more.

Final thoughts


The role of a product manager is unique. Though often confused with a project manager or other roles, the skills and characteristics PMs should have are different.

Some of the skills mentioned above are easier to implement than others. For some specialists, it is easier to run product meetings than to learn how to code. However, the main idea is to make an effort to implement each skill over time. Once you take time to improve these abilities, you will set yourself a path to success.

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