June 12

Table Stakes for Being a Good Product Manager

We can argue all day about what it takes to be a superb Product Manager. But what are the minimum competencies — the table stakes — an individual needs to be merely effective in a product management role?

Jeff Lash of SiriusDecisions believes there are five. A Product Manager should be able to:

1) Identify and know how to approach a market opportunity
2) Understand their product’s core concept and components
3) Position their product, e.g., does it compete on value and/or quality, what is the customer segment
4) Structure and manage the development/delivery system for the product*
5) See how a product can be scaled once it has achieved product-market fit

*Whether Product Managers are using agile, waterfall or some other development framework, Jeff maintains that too much emphasis is put on this daily tactical work.

Paul McAvinchey

About the author

For over 20 years, Paul has been building and collaborating on digital products with fast-growing startups and global brands, including AOL and WMS Gaming. Currently, he's a co-founder of Product Collective, a worldwide community of product people. Members collaborate on in the exclusive Member Hub, meet at INDUSTRY: The Product Conference, listen to Rocketship.fm, learn at Product Interviews and get a weekly newsletters that includes best practices in product management. In recent years he led business development at DXY, a leading product design firm in the Midwest, and product innovation at MedCity Media, a publishing startup acquired by Breaking Media in 2015.


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