Last time I got asked this question, I took a brief pause to think about it to answer a friend. One of my friends was trying to understand what a PM does and what should be the #1 skill for anyone to transition into a PM role from engineering. I answered, communication and in the back of my mind was thinking this should be a blogpost instead of a one word answer.


— Stakeholder communication:
Both up & down the value chain (leadership & product board)
How do win? Through competitor analysis, product ideation and a good go-to-market strategy.

— Inter departmental communication:
Engineering, design, content & sales teams and across dependent group products if your feature is spanning across.
How to win? By writing a good PRD and scribing MoMs after every meeting.

— Communication with customers:
On the feedback iteration, roadmap, demos and user interviews.
How to win? By being charming with product knowledge and empathising with the users on the problems faced.

— Storytelling:
Be good at narrating an incident, a backstory or tie up to events or characters that the target audience relate to and empathise with.

This also directly relates to how good we are with negotiation
— In getting a buy-in from the leadership
— New asks from customers
— Dealing with Engineering & Sales pushback

The next close skill is being good and strong in saying a NO to anyone. While you do so, remember the Amazon’s leadership principle of Disagree & Commit