The Ultimate Associate Product Manager Guide

One of the best ways to break into the field of product management is to start as an associate product manager (APM).

After all, the associate product manager role is set up as an apprenticeship that leads into a future product manager role.

When I first started in product management, I had no idea what associate product managers were, and how they fit into the broader career trajectory for PMs. Therefore, I’ve put together this guide to dive deep into the associate product manager role.

I’ll cover the following:

  1. What is an associate product manager, and what do they do?
  2. Why do organizations even have associate product managers?
  3. How does the associate product manager fit into the broader PM career trajectory?
  4. How much does an associate product manager make?
  5. How can you best position yourself to get this role?
  6. When can you expect to be promoted to a full Product Manager?

Let’s dive in!

What is an associate product manager?

An associate product manager works with one or more product managers and enables them to do their work more effectively.

Associate product managers hold many of the same responsibilities that product managers do: collecting quantitative product data and metrics, synthesizing customer research, gathering requirements, and coordinating with stakeholders. Continue Reading

Critical Skills to Develop as a New Product Manager in Your First 6 Months

Members of the PMHQ Slack community regularly host awesome events for product managers to swap tips and learn from one another.

In San Francisco, Vinay Melwani (Product Manager at HouseCanary) has organized a monthly morning meetup called AM | PM. Attendees answer a thought-provoking question-of-the-month in a round-robin fashion and reflect on each other’s responses.

Below is our summary of November’s AM | PM meetup!

Our question of the month for November 2017 was provided by Rob McGrorty, Head of Product at Webgility:

“If you could learn anything from anyone in your first 6 months as a PM, what single thing would you want them to teach you?” 

Interestingly, few people shared the same perspective on what one thing they wish they knew as a new PM. Continue Reading

A/B Testing

A:B Testing

In a previous post about quantitative vs. qualitative research, I briefly mentioned A/B testing as a type of quantitative research product managers should be familiar with. This post will cover A/B testing in more detail – we’ll take a look at what it is, why it’s important, how it’s done, and some examples.

What Is A/B Testing?

One example of A/B testing is testing changes on a page design against the current design which allows the team to pick the design that produces better results. In order to do this, two versions of the page are shown to similar visitors at the same time. For example, half of visitors would see version A of the page, and the other half would see version B of the page. Continue Reading

Managing a Product

Managing A Product

Recently one of my co-workers shared an excellent article that explains what exactly a product manager does. I think it’s one of the clearest and best articles I’ve read about managing a product, and if any of you are interested or even curious about product management, I’d highly recommend checking out “So you want to manage a product?” on Medium.

I wanted to share some quotes from that article which I personally learned during my time as a PM and include some of my own comments – hopefully it’ll provide more info about an awesome field!

When you begin managing a product that has at least one customer, you quickly learn that your job is much larger than even the fullest-featured product. Your job is to deeply understand the problem that your product aims to solve then chase the moving goal of solving every nuance of that problem. You will always have too many feature requests and too little time. Too many bugs and too little time. There are always things to do. Continue Reading