10 Reasons Behind Product Management Success (Summary)
In my previous article I paid attention to 3 reasons why product managers fail. These were great points to keep in mind whether you’re working on a new product or developing and improving an existing one.
However, we know that product management is not about failure. It is about success, achievement. It is about greatness.
That’s why I want to discuss a few major reasons behind product management success. What are those skills, actions and expected results every product manager must be focused on. Every CEO and c-level executive should be aware of those qualities, factors and ingredients in product management.
This article is a quick summary to introduce the list of these reasons and later in the upcoming weeks I will focus on each of them separately.
1. Product. Product that creates a company’s FORTUNE.
I always like to begin with the end at first understanding where we are heading to.
And for product management it starts with the ultimate expected result of why the product exists in the context of the company. And that is to make the company successful.
Elon Musk said that
“Great companies are built on great products”.
Without a product there is no revenue. Without revenue there are no profits.
And if you want your company to create and sustain such a product, you need the next one.
2. A winning product STRATEGY.
Product strategy at work will deliver results. Product strategy will determine all the major things down the road toward a successful product.
However if you want to create and execute such a strategy you need to take certain actions. And they are as follows.
3. Focus on the CUSTOMER.
Product management is not so much about the product itself, but about customers, their wants and needs, pains and benefit factors.
4. DEVELOP a short and continuous cycle from idea to the product.
Don’t waste time and resources to build huge and complex versions of your product.
Instead, release small iterations that can be quickly tested, validated and fixed if necessary.
5. EMBRACE reality.
As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said —
“There is nothing permanent except change”.
People’s needs change, markets change, regulations change. Nothing should be taken for granted. Each and every day we must learn and embrace the new reality.
6. DOMINATE in the landscape.
Dominate in the industry, among competitors, in the eyes of customers. Position your product as a major force in the market. Work hard to achieve that and retain that place.
Keep innovating. That’s the only way forward.
So these were actions to take if you want to create a winning product.
Now let’s look at the necessary skills that ensure these actions to be successful.
Capabilities every product manager must have.
7. ASK QUESTIONS. Questioning skill
Ability to ask questions.
“It is easier to judge the mind of a man by his questions rather than his answers.”
said French politician Pierre-Marc-Gaston.
Critical thinking is crucial. You must see beyond the obvious, find out real reasons, motivations, facts and keep asking questions.
8. Product EXPERTISE skills
I mean product management techniques. There are a number of product management techniques you must know and apply through the process of successful product development. These are techniques such as:
The Value Proposition Canvas
Product Management Cycle
Jobs To Be Done
Prioritization techniques such as RICE, Kano model, MoSCoW and many more
MVP or minimum viable product
4D framework — discovery, design, delivery, deduction
Agile frameworks such as Kanban, Scrum and others
Customer journey maps
Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)
Business Model Canvas
Many methods to capture customer feedback
AARRR or pirate metrics
and many, many, many more.
I could write, tell and show examples of these techniques in action for hours and days.
Let’s do that another time.
9. The BIG PICTURE
Ability to see the big picture — to grasp abstract concepts, ideas and possibilities.
Being able to emphasize the system in which you are operating. This includes looking into various stakeholders such as customers, team members and investors but also competitors, social trends and future technological disruptions and more.
Leadership skills. Leadership qualities. The last and one of the most important reasons behind product management success
Product managers stand at a very unique position in the company’s structure. It’s sometimes described as influence without authority.
Shakespeare once said —
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them”.
Product Managers are the ones that have to earn their respect by achieving greatness.
Ben Horowitz says —
“A good product manager takes full responsibility
and measures themselves in terms of the success of the product. “
So, these were ten reasons behind product management success.
Let me know in the comments which of them you prefer.
Can you suggest some more?