It’s safe to say that people are a firm’s greatest asset – and product managers are phenomenally valuable assets. In fact, Sequent Learning’s insights suggest that product manager talent inside a product management area can have a greater impact on the firm’s financial and market performance than any other job family or function. Unfortunately, not all product managers are contributing, as they should be. As a leader and a manager, you have a vital role to play to cultivate product management talent and provide pathways to future success. Here’s how you can start:
- Get Your Bearings: Just like any strategy, this one’s focused on product manager talent gaps. You can do this by assessing knowledge and applied experience in areas, including: understanding customer needs, creating product strategies, or launching products.
- Set Goals: Once you understand key gaps, identify areas for development. Some product managers may need to learn a complete suite of product management basics, while others may need guidance on how to observe a customer, craft a strategy, create a business case, or launch a product. Your job is to help them succeed and shape new behaviors. Of course, your ability to coach and guide them here is vital.
- Identify Metrics: Once you identify key goals, you’ll need metrics that serve as vital feedback loops for continued development. As an example, you may want a product manager to visit two customers per month. This is easily monitored. However, you’ll want to know the insights they formed, how they did so, and how that was channeled back into possibly new product ideas or innovations.
As you may surmise, when you are able to identify gaps in skills and experience, you’re in a better position to fine-tune the contributions of product managers. They’ll feel more engaged and empowered.
Reinforcing Positive Contributions
Let’s say you’ve done a good job of coaching and targeted development, or perhaps you did send some of your folks to a Sequent Product Management Essentials workshop. What’s next? What can you do? Did you know that we developed a unique “certificate” program for product managers? You may not know this, but there are no certifying organizations for product managers. It’s true. We acknowledge this, but product managers who take training from Sequent do want to receive some acknowledgement of their work. So after they do a workshop and receive a comprehensive product manager toolkit, they are invited, after 8 weeks, to take an exam to assess what they learned, and how they applied what they learned.
What’s so great about this, and we’ve heard this from so many who have participated, that it reinforces what they learned, rewards them (after all, who doesn’t want to be rewarded), and serves as a motivator. Imagine if you also attached a small gift certificate to help celebrate?
–and it doesn’t stop there because when the bar is raised, new opportunities to learn and grow easily materialize. And who doesn’t want a great return on invested assets?
Learn how Sequent Learning can help motivate your Product Management team.