Switching into Product Management

Andrei Smagin
2 min readNov 29, 2021

Product Management has not yet defined specialties unlike Design, Engineering, Marketing and Sales. Regardless, there are a lot of people who want to switch into product management.

Okay, how to pivot into this area?
The starting point is understanding what specialization you align with most.

Product Managers are those who know everything across different types of product work/stages. It means they have more than one specialty. I have the only one.
The truth is that most people have experience in more than one area. It doesn’t mean you have deep specialization in everything, that is quite impossible.

If you are thinking about switching into Product Management from a tech/non-tech field, your way is to consider if your specialization matches to the PM activities.

A list of specialties may be switching into the PM role

Business analytics

Matches: economics, analytics and quantitative research.

Gaps: design, quality research, development management, soft skills.

Project manager

Matches: development management, time management, technical requirements.

Gaps: need to think differently: relying on economics and analytics.

Marketing specialist

Matches: understanding and managing money, analytics, research and design, user acquisition metric.

Gaps: retention metric, qualitative and quantitative research, experience in dealing with developers.

Product designer

Matches: user experience design, interaction patterns, product discovery.

Gaps: non-technical role, analytics, financial metrics, unit-economics.


Matches: MVP, analytics, technical architecture.

Gaps: economics, research and soft skills. Back-end developers lack design skills.

Sales Manager

Matches: soft skills.

Gaps: analytics, design, development management.

Operations manager

Matches: understanding of processes, pain points, economics and finance dealing with stakeholders.

Gaps: research skills, design skills, analytics, interaction with development team.



Andrei Smagin

Product Manager nut. Stirring up some monkey business. Delivering genius solutions. Teaching on moonlighting. Usually here: https://t.me/productmonkey