Product management is a vaguely-defined professional field. Creating a stellar product management portfolio is a necessity to your success in the ever-evolving corporate world.
No doubt you’ve heard these names before. They bring to mind images of success, innovation, and wealth.
As a product manager, this is the image you want to convey to your potential employers.
A successful product management portfolio will highlight:
- Your individual strengths
- Your personal weaknesses
- Your career history, and related successes/failures
- Your style of product management
Different companies will have different expectations for their product managers, so outlining where you excel will help them determine where you fit best.
The Metric Master
Data analysis is what drove Michael Dell to success. At the age of 14, he analysed metrics that allowed him to make an $18,000 profit in one summer selling newspapers.
If you are driven by data, then you most likely need to know your product inside and out before making strategic management decisions. Your sweet-spot is fine-tuning all processes with mathematical precision.
As a weakness, you likely talk in jargon that is far over the heads of people outside the engineering and marketing teams.
The Design Diva
Think sleek. Bold. Streamlined.
In a word- perfection.
Steve Jobs is by far the most outstanding example of a design-oriented product manager. He designed Apple products with one core focus: consumer experience. There is not an Apple product that a four-year-old cannot master, but the ease of use has not dampened the chic design.
If your focus is on pixel-perfect presentations and unsurpassable customer experience, then you are a design-oriented product manager.
You also have a hard time with products before the prototype phase. Imperfect examples of an idea are a concept outside your comprehension.
The Execution Expert
Executioners get it done.
One of the most successful execution-style product managers is Jeff Bezos; founder of Amazon. He quit his job as the youngest VP of D.E. Shaw to move all the way across the country and start an online bookstore in Seattle.
It was risky. He created markets, and then created products for those markets.
If you can quickly prioritise projects, and solve problems from outside the box, then you’re an execution-style product manager.
Your weakness is your desire to work quickly and bypass beta testing or consumer research.
The Hungry Hipster
You have no idea what you’re doing. And that’s O.K.; neither did Mark Zuckerberg.
That’s not to say he wasn’t gifted; he was both an avid Star Wars fan and genius programmer before he hit middle school. But, as a product manager, his life is a culmination of lucky guesses.
If you’re thirsty for success but have no idea how to navigate the corporate world of product management, then you fall into this category.
Your strengths are likely your ability to learn quickly, and general enthusiasm for your product.
Your weaknesses are yet to be discovered, as you are an under-ripe PM at the moment. As you develop your career, you will likely grow into a different category as your skills are refined.
The Customer Commander
You have a telepathic connection with your consumer. You just know, intuitively, what they need.
So did Angela Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. Customer-oriented PMs have a high EQ; which is like an IQ, but for people skills.
If you have an incredible insight into your customer base, then you’re the MVP of product managers. Technology and analytics aren’t your strong point, but it doesn’t matter because you don’t need them to know what your customer needs from you.
Don’t fit the mould? Don’t worry. Most product management portfolios consist of a mixture of two or three different categories of product managers. As you build your career and portfolio, your specific skill set will emerge.
Above all, be confident. Most top product managers never went to business school, and a few didn’t even finish college. Experience and education are essential to success, but more important is your confidence in your potential and how you build an impressive product management portfolio.
Primary Keyword: Product management portfolio
Variants: stellar product management portfolio, successful product management portfolio, impressive product management portfolio, most product management portfolios
Antonyms/Synonyms: Product managers, Customer-oriented PMs, specific skill set, Experience and education, execution-style product managers