Product Management Learning Path: A Comprehensive Career Guide [2020]

What is a Product Manager’s Career Path?

A product manager has many job responsibilities, such as product ideation, product design, and development. The product manager has complete ownership of the product while working with multiple stakeholders within the organization to ensure product success. Product management learning path in a product manager’s career includes understanding the fundamentals of product management, the process, technology, and design. 

Steps involved in a Product Manager’s Learning Path

Various steps are involved in the product management learning path. We will discuss some of these steps as below:

Initial learning stage

This is the first stage in the learning path of the product manager. In this stage, the product manager would learn about the key roles and responsibilities of his/her job profile. He/she would also understand the product development lifecycle and the various phases involved in product development. The product management learning path involves managing the entire product cycle. 

Becoming a Product Manager

In this phase of learning, the product manager understands the crucial techniques and tools required to succeed as a product manager. This phase in the product management learning path is important as it gives the product manager hands-on experience in managing a product. 

Building a product strategy

In this phase, the product manager will learn the key steps to be followed to build a solid product management strategy. In this phase, the product manager learns some insightful processes to build an effective product strategy. 

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Building an effective product roadmap

The next important phase in the product management learning path is to build an effective product roadmap. The product manager would learn how to create a long term vision for the product. This includes planning for the initial launch up to the growth and maturity of the same. This roadmap must be well aligned with the required stakeholders. 

Customer development

In this phase, a product manager understands how to map key customer requirements. This would help the product manager design products to suit customer expectations and deliver winning products. This is critical in the product management learning path as it helps the product managers understand how to align closely to customer requirements and deliver winning products. 

Product innovation for product managers

The product managers understand the various techniques that help them innovate and develop new features for the product. These phases include identifying any problems or coming up with innovative solutions during the product life cycle. Product innovation plays an important role in designing strong products with a long term vision and providing a competitive edge for the company. 

Launching your product

Here, the product manager would learn how to launch the product in the product marketplace in an ideal manner. There will also be key learning on some tools and technologies to achieve this goal. 

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Product Manager’s Career Progression

We will now discuss some of the career roles and progressions in the product manager’s career path. 

Senior Product Manager

A natural progression in the career of a product manager is to step into the role of a senior product manager. A senior product manager will be responsible for making important decisions while leading the team by example. The role of a senior product manager is similar to that of a product manager, however, with added sections for higher impact and visibility. 

A senior product manager would typically lead a team of junior product managers. Senior product managers often make key decisions on long term product strategy, vision, and roadmap. They play an important role in influencing senior leadership in an organization.

Read: Key Skills Required to be a Product Manager 

VP of Product

As you progress on your product management learning path, the senior-most position is often Director or VP of Product. As VP of Product, you will be less involved in the operational and day-to-day activities of managing the product. VP of Product usually represents the organization at various forums and speaking engagements.

They are the best individuals to communicate the vision of the management regarding the long term roadmap and strategy of the product. In this role, you will enable the organization at the highest level, in close coordination with key stakeholders and the Board of Directors. 

Chief Product Officer

As Chief Product Officer, your role would be managing multiple product VPs and product managers. The Chief Product Officer is responsible for allocating the appropriate resources of staffing, budget, and research for building the product. The Chief Product Officer would ideally take all the strategic decisions regarding the product in an organization. 

Also Read: Product Manager Salary in India

Making the right learning choices for a successful career in Product Management

As a product manager, you must make the right choices to upgrade your skill sets and grow in your career. The product management certification program from upGrad offers a unique opportunity to build on your skill sets and learn from industry experts and expert academicians.

In partnership with Duke Corporate Education, this program will enable product managers, achieve the right training and expertise in various tools and technologies to progress in their careers.

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