7 Characteristics Of Top Remote Product Managers

2019-06-07by Josh Althuser

Remote work is all the rage but some companies are unfamiliar with the future of work.


Top remote product managers know how to use the technology out there today to work on whatever schedule is needed.


They work with businesses to fit their budgets and product development timelines.


Remote product managers also keep their contracts flexible so that the arrangement can be symbiotic for all parties involved.


Here are 7 characteristics of top remote product managers who can do great things for your company:


1. Flexible

Remote work is on the rise. In fact, it’s exploding. With the introduction of innovative telecommunication platforms and cloud-based project management tools, working from home has never been easier.


However, it’s important to remember that not all product managers are cut out for flexible work arrangements. Product managers who work remotely need to be immensely adaptable.


2. Tech-savvy

All of the activities of a product manager can be done from home, but a product manager will need to know how to use cloud-based tools in order to fulfill their duties.


Therefore, remote product managers must be tech-savvy. Meaning, they must be familiar with video conferencing technology like Skype and Zoom and product management platforms like Trello and Jira.


3. Communicative

Product managers are tasked with a lot. They are responsible for crafting the product plan, arguably the most important document for every product.


Top product managers are communicative, relaying updates to executives and delegating tasks to the development team. Remote product managers need to be especially communicative and concise given their physical distance.


4. Collaborative

Product managers aren’t autocrats. While they do hold a great deal of responsibility, they don’t rule with an iron fist.


The best product managers are collaborative, curious, and engaging. While they most definitely stick to the pan, they aren’t scared of experimenting here and there if it will help the team stay motivated, energized, and excited about developing a great product.


Remote product managers can foster a collaborative spirit even out of the office. By engaging employees and asking for their feedback, they are able to stay at the top of mind for every team member.


5. Agile

Traditional product management isn’t always the most effective. Agile product management helps reduce waste, increase efficiency, and prevent bottlenecks.


Agile managers rate project success by iteratively creating working prototypes. This way you don’t get bogged down by bureaucracy or scope creep. By making every task a cycle instead of a straight line, agile product managers are able to predict problems and find solutions swiftly.


6. Creative

While product managers have to be comfortable with numbers and data, they need to break out from the spreadsheet from time to time. Top product managers use lateral thinking to come up with creative solutions to complex problems.


In addition, a creative thinker will be able to energize, motivate, and direct your team — even from a distance. By adding an interesting and refreshing perspective to your team, your product manager can rally the troops and deploy the perfect product.


7. Experienced

There’s nothing like experience. Scouting young talent is never a bad idea but an experienced remote product manager can help calm the waters when storms appear on the horizon.


Experience can help remote product managers navigate miscommunication, peer-to-peer acrimony, and client consternation.


Look for remote product managers with at least a few years of experience to head your next product.



Ultimately, the characteristics of top remote product managers are the characteristics of any great manager.


They are attentive, collaborative and use their experience to guide the development team to a successful launch.


Principally, remote product managers are flexible and tech-savvy people who use their distance to their advantage which only helps you and your teams.


Every business needs a product manager and by looking for the right characteristics anyone can find the perfect match.


Further, the technology out there today is capable of creating harmonious working environments with coworkers from all over the world. This works to a greater advantage for everyone as direct messaging is often better received than even traditional interactions.


The tools out there like Slack, Skype, and Zoom make utilizing the remote benefits simple and easy. Constant communication is necessary for effective management and development.

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Josh Althuser

Josh Althauser is an entrepreneur with a background in design and M&A. He's also a developer, open source advocate, and designer. You may connect with him on Twitter.

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