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.
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