The traits of a competent product manager

Tremis Skeete has a good write-up of a recent Marty Cagan talk in his post Product vs. Project Managers: Marty Cagan’s Twelve Best Lessons for Product Team Work. His four traits of a competent product manager is something most of us have probably read about before, but it’s a nice refresher. Especially the first two:

The first is a deep knowledge of the users and customers. This seems like a daunting task, but if a product manager just gets out of the office and talks to users and customers, they can easily acquire this deep knowledge.

The next thing a competent product manager needs to have is a deep knowledge of the data that customers generate. To achieve this, a product manager needs to utilize things like web analytics tools, sales analytics tools, and some form of data warehouse tool that shows how the data changes over time. “Most successful product managers begin their day with dedicated time with those tools so that they know how to answer questions that may come up throughout the day,” Marty says.

The article also provides a good overview of the differences between product discovery and product delivery, and why it’s so important to separate the two activities:

Product and project teams need to understand the difference between discovering a solution and delivering a solution; because by doing so they can work together to formulate strategies that complement each other.