The Power of PM Professional Development Planning [+Webinar]

Professional Development Planning

Product leaders understand that training and development are an effective means for empowering employees. However, it is also paramount that product leaders mind the gap – the skills gap. The one that often prevents teams and individuals from accomplishing goals. Deciding which skills are most important to the team and the business, and how to develop them can be a challenge. If you start with an understanding of your team’s skill sets and how they compare to those of other Product Professionals in your industry, then your professional development plans can start to take shape.

This on-demand webinar provides you with a blueprint for how to develop this plan based on the insights and findings of the 2nd Edition of our Product Management Skills Benchmark Report. If you lead a team of product professionals, this webinar will help you take your PM team to the next level. Here are some main points that were discussed during our webinar.

Where do you start?

The most effective professional development plans start with understanding the skill set of the individuals on your team. It’s difficult to know how to grow if there isn’t a clear view of everyone’s current strengths and weaknesses. By harnessing the results of a specialized assessment tool specifically for product managers, you can identify the skill gaps to make better workforce planning decisions.

The role of the Product Manager encompasses a broad range of responsibilities and requires at least 15 hard and soft skills. According to McKinsey, “Product managers must easily change gears and ruthlessly prioritize to support a vast number and range of activities.” Your team was likely built with individuals from different professional backgrounds, so it is only reasonable that their experiences differ as well. Assessments will enable you to address specific skill set gaps and determine what steps to take for long-term individual and organizational success.

How does your team measure up?

Despite all the expectations of a product manager, skills strength does vary across industries. Our benchmark report revealed that on average the three strongest skill sets were customer understanding and awareness, communication, and domain knowledge. However, when viewed through an industry lens, product managers working in public agencies or non-profits tend to lag in skills by an average of 3.5%. Whereas those in computer and electronics, telecom and IT industries possess skills of 5% above average overall. It’s important to understand how your product professionals measure up to industry expectations.

We show you which skills are typically most critical (and they may not be what you think) during this webinar.

Why does Re-Skilling Yield Faster Results?

By identifying and re-skilling your product managers in the critical skill areas that will help them grow more effectively, you are building their success path and that of your organization. Re-skilling your product managers offers many benefits over hiring outside talent to fill open roles. Why? Because when you re-skill current employees, there is familiarity with the quality they provide and there is minimal to no time required to ramp them up. You initially invested in a critical resource when you hired them, so why not retain and expand on that investment through re-skilling?

Re-skilling current employees also makes for a more flexible and resilient workforce: Deloitte reported that executives identified “the ability of their product managers to adapt, re-skill, and assume new roles” as an advantage when navigating business disruptions. As some employers’ struggle to find and hire great talent, other organizations are getting creative in using multiple tactics to close gaps – re-skilling efforts are amongst those that are succeeding. Re-skilling has been shown to provide an ROI of 690% over replacing a Senior Product Manager.

And as product managers advance in their careers, there is a shift in the skill sets that develop next. You need to build a career growth plan not only applicable to your industry but also for the time that they have spent in their careers. Companies that want to help their product managers grow more effectively through the first 10 years of their career should provide support in the right critical areas, at the right time.

Shaping a professional development plan for your product managers is like road mapping a successful product. You need to use the right tools to achieve the best result and to motivate team members to excel.

Learn more through our on-demand webinar to uncover the keys for evolving and tailoring professional development plans for your team, within your industry. You’ll find that this kind of planning will yield rewards for individuals, your team, and the organization.

If you haven’t downloaded a copy of the 2nd edition of our Product Management Skills Benchmark Report, obtain your copy here for a deeper dive into the Insights for Product Leaders and much more.


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