3: Know your subject matter

3: Know your subject matter

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned about being a product manager.

So much of being a product manager depends on successfully persuading and influencing others.  Whether you’re presenting your product strategy, presenting a business case to the Board or talking with your customers, you need to demonstrate a good knowledge of your products and market to ensure that you come over as authoritative and credible. 

If your audience perceives your lack of preparation or understanding of the subject matter, even if the rationale behind your proposal is sound, you’ll fail to convince them.

Stay curious and keep asking questions

This is why it’s so important to spend the first month in a new role doing all you can to understand how your product works, the needs, problems and challenges of the markets it which it operates, its financial performance and your organisation’s internal processes around product creation, launch and in-life support.  Beyond the first month, continue to learn.  There will never come a point where you know it all, so stay curious and keep asking questions.

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Read more from Jock

The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management book cover

The Practitioner’s Guide to Product Management
by Jock Busuttil

“I wish this book was published when I started out in product management”

Keji A., Head of Product

Read a free excerpt

Jock is a freelance head of product, author and conference speaker. He has spent nearly two decades working with technology companies to improve their product management practices, from startups to multinationals. His clients include the BBC, University of Cambridge, and the UK's Ministry of Justice and Government Digital Service (GDS).In 2012 Jock founded Product People Limited, a product management consultancy and training company. He is also the author of the popular book The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management and the blog I Manage Products.

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