Business Analyst to Product Manager may not be an intriguing career transition, but it definitely has its highs and lows, ebbs and flows! I was just as perplexed and overwhelmed when I first started. Coming from a business analyst background, being a Product Manager sounded intimidating, but that’s where the story becomes interesting. I was looking for the perfect mentorship, tried to identify my skill gaps and researched about online product management courses and programs that could help me bridge those gaps.
Although Product Management is still in its nascent stage in India, the Indian market is still challenging to break into. You’ll notice that Management job postings by the big banners expect you to have an IIM or ISB tag, or a reputed alma mater in your resume. Being a Business Analyst, and former Data Analyst, I needed a mentor to help me leap towards a product role so my goal was to identify good mentors who could get me seated at that interview table.
I was interested in the Cohort based cross learning with some hands-on experience in the product domain. I got myself enrolled in Pragmatic Leaders Post Graduate Diploma in Product Management. My reason to choose this was not only to update my academic qualification section in my resume but also because this program with job assurance sounded more like a nothing-to-lose kind of option. Yes, you only pay the course fee if you get placed as a product manager.
MBA vs. Cohort Experience: Which is Better?
It seemed like I was a member of a mini-MBA because the cohort-based experience helped me build real-life case studies as well as genuine knowledge. They listen to your needs and focus on your problems, allowing you to connect with people who are already established in the product domain.
I was already earning well before I knew what had transpired. You see, it’s not simply a job training program; it also includes excellent learning on what to do and what not to do as a Product Manager. It is shorter, faster, more comprehensive, less theoretical and has a better return on investment. MBA does not offer specialization in the product domain, but the core basis of this diploma is product management.
From Business Analyst to Product Manager
Do you have a question in mind- Can a business analyst become a product manager? It would be a lie if I said it was simple, because no career transition is actually simple. The more effort you put in, the greater the results will be. It was for me a matter of connecting the dots between the skills I learned as a Business Analyst and repurposing them as a Product Manager.
While some things you understand with time, there are others you need hands-on experience for. You got to be good with numbers of course, but Product Management is the intersection of art and science. Being a Product Manager entails a constant state of exploration; it’s a fierce battlefield. As you go, you will need to learn and relearn. From Idea Sourcing and A/B Testing to Product Roadmapping, Market Research to User Research- it’s fascinating since it allows you to try different things on a daily basis.
The most thrilling aspect about being a Product Manager is that it keeps you on your toes each moment, every day.
A Day in the Life of a Product Manager
I haven’t had the same schedule or routine for a single day. You must first comprehend your customer, learn conceptualization, problem-solving, designing, and mapping, but this is the enjoyable part.
You work with the sales and management team one day and then write PRDs the next. As a result, the job is dispersed and presents fresh obstacles on a daily basis. Having said that, there is no constant routine for a product manager, but one thing that remains constant is that you will always be loaded with problems vying for your attention.
Product Manager is the organization’s customer voice, and I believe there is no other way to characterize the position adequately. They are meant to be the product’s backbone, understanding the customer’s pain spots and working to their benefit accordingly.
Tips for Aspiring Product Managers
1. Make a plan for where you want to go
Being clear with yourself doesn’t mean you have to know
where you’re going, but it does make it easier to sketch out a route.
2. Decide your end goal
Why do you want to change careers? What inspires you? What motivates you to keep going? Get clarity on what you want.
3. Talk to the Experts
You can’t do anything in life unless you have good mentors. Speaking with domain specialists and industry leaders bring in clarity and answers to your queries.
4. Concentrate on smart work rather than hard work
Every industry is crowded, and every job is difficult. Be it time management, creativity or innovative ideas; work less but give it your best shot. Have the right people in your team and learn to delegate.
If you think Product Management is one of the management specialization, there is a lot for you to explore and relearn. When it comes to product, its not just the management you do as a manager, but in a way you own a product to a level that you have the power to kill it. From technical skills to non-technical, coding or no coding, people skills and foresightedness- nobody is a cut-out for a product role, but it’s the right mentorship & training that gets you job ready and experience & practice that takes you ahead. By ahead, I mean any bestowed chair you might be tempted by, be it VP of Product’s or the CEO’s!
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