"𝗕𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗯𝗯𝗼𝗿𝗻 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗳𝗹𝗲𝘅𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲."
“𝐁𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐛𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐱𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐝𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐬.” – Jeff Bezos
“𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐬 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐤 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐠𝐚𝐳𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧.” – Ikkyū
Effective Product Management resembles proven successful business strategy - be firm directionally while open to the many paths lead there.
While every area in the company relies on feedback loops to improve, product management especially should be constantly gathering requirements, reviewing solutions, and receiving stakeholder input.
Strategically, you want to promote a strong value proposition. Balance client demand (based on current needs) with insightful innovation (predicting future needs).
Tactically, you want an efficient process of planning, release, and review. Balance quickly releasing new versions with allowing time for testing and any tech debt.
With the right strategy and tactics in place, you want to determine the outcome and the impact of your efforts.
Some areas to measure include:
Utilization (e.g. login frequency and average time on the platform)
Satisfaction (e.g. measuring support tickets, churn, and referrals)
Revenues (e.g. renewals, optimal pricing, upsells, and cross-sells)
Choose metrics aligned with your desired growth. While you may get ideas from industry standards, avoid only trying to impress investors.
Keys to Success
Overall, there are several themes to effective product management around approach, collaboration, and feedback.
Your planning should incorporate your brand and values, company goals and operational needs, and clients' user experience and business needs. These desires inform a roadmap that identifies all the major efforts, prioritizes them, and establishes milestones.
The roadmap should be regularly reviewed and updated based on the evolving industry, customers, and business objectives.
Work with internal stakeholders in these ways:
Marketing – collaborate on creating value and engagement
Sales – present new features and discuss prospects' feedback
Customer Success – address support and productivity needs
When the product team openly share plans, progress, and challenges, that encourages others to offer ideas and to be patient when needed.
Regular interactions with customers are critical to success.
You gain worthwhile insights by doing the following:
Seek input early and often by sharing initial designs, mockups, prototypes, and MVPs during the product journey
Prompt feedback through focus groups, surveys, and support tickets
Measure actual activity (e.g. number of actions and time spent) to confirm user feedback
The process should be both aspirational and engaging. Choose high but firm objectives knowing many paths will lead to success.