Benefits of Product Management

Companies that excel in product management intensively focus on the identification of customer and market needs. They also ensure that they have targeted strategically important market segments. This kind of outside-in view of the marketplace increases the likelihood that they will produce the right product that brings about better business results.

Difference Between Operation Management and Product Management

Product management is the business management of products, product lines, or portfolios, holistically, for maximum value creation, across their life cycles.

Operations management is the management of the functions that allow a business to produce, service and deliver products and services. Operations can include supply chain activities, manufacturing, logistics and customer service.

Once the product management team determines, based on market insights and customer feedback, which products the organization should pursue, the operations groups often then partner with the product group on the production and delivery of the end product.

Having a Product Manager in Your Organization

Product Managers are the product or product line “mini-business” owners. They lead cross-functional product teams. These teams are formed to optimize the product’s market position and financial return over its life cycle and their performance should be consistent with division and corporate strategies.

How Product Managers Fit within Your Company Structure

The function of product management should have a seat at the executive table. Many organizations now have a Chief Product Officer (CPO) role whose team is responsible for the ultimate success of all products and product lines within an organization. The CPO role is often a peer to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) role whose team is responsible for engineering the strategic products the CPO team determines necessary for success.

Qualities of a Great Product Manager

As a product manager, you’re expected to have:

  • A deep understanding of customers or users and the challenges they face
  • An uncanny knack for being proactive in recognizing market trends and identifying competitive forces
  • The ability to envision a solution to a customer’s problem (a product or service) in the hands of a customer or user
  • A way to share that vision and ensure that people across the organization can imagine the same end point: a great product in the hands of a happy customer
  • An appreciation for the timing and cadence of work produced by people in various functions in the creation, deployment, and management of products
  • The utilization of softer skills to communicate, create political capital, influence others, and get things done

How to Incorporate Product Management into an Organization

To achieve a best- in- class organization with product management at the core, the following is required:

  • Well- funded market and customer research programs and skilled product managers to draw key insights from collected market data
  • A transparent, top- down, targeted portfolio strategy that clearly allocates funds to product areas that are deemed critical to the business
  • Finely focused product goals and strategies, based on relevant market and business data and extraordinary insights
  • A product development process that is geared to work with the cadence of chosen markets and the products within the portfolio. To reinforce a key point, a development methodology is not product management.
  • Data, metrics, and routines to learn, monitor, analyze, and continuously optimize the contribution of products and product lines
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