This article is aimed at founders, leaders of a product practice or folks looking to set up a product practice within a new or existing organization. If you’re looking for more general information about what product management is, we have resources to cover that here, here & here.
In this resource, we explain how non-digital industries can significantly benefit from digital product management best practices and methodologies.
In today’s competitive digital product landscape, it’s never been more important to have an aligned product management team in your organisation. In this read, we’ll go over how businesses can optimise the relationship between Product Managers and Product Owners.
This read discusses what a product mindset is and how to cultivate it within your business.
One of the most widely adopted business strategies of recent years, a product mindset, is essential for businesses in all sectors. And it’s especially critical for digital products where users have a multitude of options and alternatives to consider.
Product Management Best Practices
Today, product managers play a crucial role in any modern business. Business owners now recognise the role as a cornerstone for the success of digital products the business is working on.
Product development is a complex process. From research to design and delivery, a product team has plenty of complex paths and decisions to take before any product can be considered minimum viable. Product management also extends to cover other key business areas product marketing, data analytics research and validation. There’s also commercialisation and to consider before, and even after, any product is in market.
It is well known that a product manager wears many hats at any given time, working on a product. From strategist to peacemaker to growth hacker… in other words, they must be specialist-generalists. It’s easy to see why a Product Management is such an important role, as it carries so many different responsibilities.
Here are some effective ways down the path of product excellence:
Have A Strategy
This is probably the most obvious thing to do, but often sidelined. When it comes to strategy, have a collaborative approach. Consider business and product strategic goals and never neglect customer needs.
Strategy involves having a plan. That plan maps out where you want to go and what will get you there. This isn’t about features or functions this is about a high-level direction for the alignment of the business and its employees.
Often goals can be short, associated to delivery – 2-week sprint goals. They are most often quarterly and tracked by OKR’s and at times even yearly when dealing with large projects
The path to achieving your goals and objectives is through a series of initiatives, experiments, and growth hacks. Successes are often scattered with failure, so don’t be afraid to take calculated risks to reap the rewards.
Understand growth is a result of user revenue over time being greater than the costs associated to acquiring your users. Map out your acquisition strategy and model your costs whilst improving your ability to grow organically. Optimise your product to fix the leaky bucket, whether that’s in acquisition or retention. Hold onto your users whilst you strive for new ones. Make note of the levers of growth and leverage them for continued success. Fail fast but not often.
Understand The Customer Journey
The problems and opportunities don’t start and end within the remit of your product. Empathise, put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If customers aren’t finding the product, they’re not buying your product. Leverage opportunities to be discovered and engage your target market. Ensure that your value proposition is clearly communicated and the product is desirable and usable. Analytics is key along every path of this journey; you must measure and learn to grow.
Know your customers.
Aligning the company’s objective is a must as a product manager. However alignment with the right things is key. Ensure that your customer needs and wants are addressed in any initiatives on the way to achieving company objectives. Have a clear message, you can’t be everything to everyone. Find our segment, know your cohorts and personas and solve real problems. Keep your loyal customers through your pivots and paths to growth. Make sure the product represents the values of your company. If you do not, it’ll be obvious to the customers through your product.
Continuous discovery is a powerful methodology to scale digital products. In this recourse, we explain what continuous discovery is, why it’s important, and how to implement it.
Measuring and proving Product or Feature ROI can sometimes feel like a wild goose chase. But it isn’t. In this resource, we explain how Product Managers can measure and prove the ROI of their digital products and use it to guide their product management strategy.
Product management is becoming an increasingly popular career choice, and many people are exploring options that will allow them to take the plunge into product management.
But the truth of the matter is – there are various skills and knowledge that you need to succeed in this industry.
So what does it take to become a successful Product Manager (PM)?
There will be many different opinions on what makes a great product manager. To those wishing to embark on this career path, I believe you should adopt or take note of the following factors to become a success:
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a very important quality for product managers to possess! Most product managers understand the do’s & don’ts of customer interviews. Good product managers however – can sympathise with interviewees; tuning into his or her body language & grasping the key points a product will address.
Emotional intelligence is often one of the most underestimated skills we possess!
Company-Product fit involves many aspects. But the most important ones in my opinion are the relevant skills to deeply understand an organisation & its product. This means the ability to understand the product function, business objectives & customers. Many companies require product managers to take & pass a core skills test, irrespective of the type of product they are going to work on but follow up with company & customer knowledge.
By fostering trustworthy & authentic connections with external & internal stakeholders, a good PM encourages people to reach their full potential. I never say no to an office game of ping pong, & it really can make all the difference in the workplace to foster those personal relations!
To stay objective & avoid projecting their preferences or ideas onto those using their products, PM’s need to stay ‘self-aware’. Self-management & social awareness, managing tight deadlines, market demands, resource constraints, prioritisation conflicts, amongst others, can be stressful for any person. When a PM is not able to manage their emotions, others can quickly lose confidence.
And then finally, there are competencies that all PMs must possess, and most of these are gained with time and often through mentorships.
Examples include: running design prints, user testing and conducting interviews. The art of resource allocation, road map planning and feature prioritisation. Revenue modelling & pricing also conducting market assessments; these core skill-sets are what define product managers.
Product Managers or aspiring ones need to hone these skills until they become second nature.
It requires dedication and persistence to get to a place where you can comfortably and confidently carry out your duties as a PM.