Three practices of successful product managers
Lead on Purpose
NOVEMBER 30, 2010
Home About the Blog Michael’s Bio Resources Lead on Purpose Entries RSS | Comments RSS Top Posts Lead on Purpose featured Five leadership practices for improving customer service Five factors of leadership Real-world examples of customer service Leadership and Product Management Five stages of problem solving Guest Post: The Yin-Yang of Product Management -- Market Sensing Book Review: The Leader Who had no Title Market sensing Product manager responsibilities Recent Comments Doug Taylor on Guest Post: 10 Secrets of Effective Leaders Michael Ray Hopkin on Ethics and family values Yetta Korwatch on Ethics and family values Essential Pieces for Strategic Product Leadership « Where the Product Management Tribe Gathers on Leadership and Product Management Essential Pieces for Strategic Product Leadership « Where the Product Management Tribe Gathers on Michael’s Bio Archives December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 Three practices of successful product managers Posted on November 30, 2010 by Michael Ray Hopkin At the most basic level, a product’s success is measured by how well it sells in the market and the profit it brings to the company. A company’s success is ultimately a roll-up of all products and services selling for a profit. This seems straight forward, and yet in my experience company leaders too often lose track of this important goal. They focus on this marketing campaign or that new technology, and lose track of what’s most important. Granted, sometimes they focus too much on profit at the expense of other important directives, but that’s a topic for another post. In most companies product managers have a lot of products and significant responsibilities. It’s easy for them to get bogged down in the countless tasks that are thrown their way every day. With all the meetings, floods of email, and requirements to manage, the thought of focusing on a product’s profitability can be illusive. It’s not impossible, however. By focusing on three simple, yet powerful, practices, product managers can channel their products toward profitability: Know your market: Get a clear understanding of the market where your products compete, and work diligently to stay in front of new trends and technologies. Make customer calls and customer visits often. Work with the sales team; understand how they sell your products. Know what works. Know the weaknesses of the products (and take action to correct them). Understand why people pay (or don’t pay) for your products. Be the voice of the customer to your company. Provide clear direction: One of the key directives for products managers is to provide clear direction to the engineering/development teams. Good product managers write understandable and timely requirements and prioritize them effectively. They provide solid product design (most effectively with the help of good designers). A key to giving clear direction is for product managers to project their confidence and full support to the work engineering is doing. Earn their trust. Inspire them to do great things, especially when developing your products. Launch successfully: A successful product launch depends on a coordinated launch plan involving many different groups. Product managers are in a unique position to facilitate successful product launches. Start with a tight, focused beta program; learn from the testers and change accordingly. Help product marketing set the proper tone for the launch by understanding the new product’s strengths. Work in tandem with the customer support teams to monitor product acceptance and make changes where necessary. Work with the sales team to make sure they understand the new product and hit the ground running when it releases. After a successful launch, monitor the product’s uptake and financials and make sure it continues to succeed. This, of course, loops back to knowing your market and making sure your product meets the needs of the people in your market. These three practices cover the most important bases for creating successful products. You should plan time to focus on these elements on a daily and weekly basis. If you are in a leadership position in product management, take time to evaluate your team and make sure they are focusing on these key practices that will lead to profitable products. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated) Credit comes later Understand your role Seeds of success What do we really sell? Filed under: Leadership , Market-driven , Product Management / Marketing , Techology , Trust Tagged: | success , confidence , market , product direction , products , profits , product launch , product design « Book Review: It’s Not Just Who You Know Guest Post: The “General Manager – Soldier Lessons for the Business Battlefield » Like Be the first to like this post. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Lead on Purpose Top leadership blogs Blogroll Lead on Purpose: How Product Managers Lead Teams to Success Leadership / Executive Strategy Great Leadership M-Power – Harnessing the Power of the Mind Management Excellence by Art Petty Quantum Leaders Sanborn and Associates Marketing Hubspot Seth Godin Web Ink Now Product Management / Marketing How To Be A Good Product Manager On Product Management Pragmatic Marketing Product Management Tips Product Management Tribe Product Management View Product Marketing Blog Strategic Product Manager The Product Management View The Productologist Tyner Blain z-Alltop Sundry Kirk Weisler – T4D Live on Purpose Radio Twitter Categories Innovation (12) Integrity (33) Knowledge (63) Leadership (206) Learning (60) Market-driven (50) Product Management / Marketing (135) Purpose (64) Speed Reading (2) Team Building (48) Techology (30) Trust (79) Uncategorized (2) Blog at WordPress.com. Theme: Digg 3 Column by WP Designer.