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Product Managers are constantly busy, with many duties that range from researching, devising strategy, communicating plans, acting on customer feedback and analysis, and ultimately releasing the product in the market.
Hence they may not get enough time or resources to ensure that internal and external buy-in goes effectively.
We’ll explore how you can improve your product management process and obtain immediate buy-in for excellent results in your business in this post.
Product Managers must constantly learn and grow on the go because each job in every other company requires distinct abilities, and they must develop different talents to fill them.
As a result, despite our emphasis on the most common mistakes you may correct, there will be many more that we’ll discuss next time.
What is a Product Management Process?
A Product Management process involves identifying customer pain points, researching solutions, building a Minimum Viable Product(MVP), setting the strategy, and driving the execution.
It is a long and complicated process that takes multiple steps to achieve the final goal.
There are Product Managers, and there are Product Management Teams. The team size may vary, but it includes members from Engineering, QA, Sales, and Marketing Departments in most cases.
A good product management process ensures that everyone is on the same page and working towards the common goal.
What are the benefits of the effective product management process?
- Product managers can get the buy-in from different stakeholders
- Product is delivered to the market faster
- Improved customer satisfaction as the product caters to their needs
- Process becomes more efficient and simpler with time
- Improved team productivity
What is an Internal and external Buy-in?
Buy-in is the key. Product managers must get buy-in from their teams to effectively manage a product since it’s more complicated than ever before.
They need to understand that they shouldn’t be controlling every aspect of the process either.
Instead, they should work collaboratively with team members and stakeholders to ensure success in each stage of development—from ideation all through delivery.
Internal buy-in is to get your team on board with the Product Management process.
External buy-in ensures that all stakeholders, channel partners, and even competitors align.
Why Is It Important To Have Buy-in?
Internal buy-in means that all stakeholders within the company are bought into the product vision and are willing to help make it a success.
External buy-in means you have convinced your target customers that your product is worth their time and money.
What are Objectives?
Product Managers must set objectives to achieve their goals. An objective is a result-oriented statement that specifies what you want to achieve.
Product Managers need to set objectives because it gives the team a sense of direction and enables them to focus on what needs to be done.
Why are Objectives important?
Objectives are important because they help Product Managers determine the relevance of their product.
They also help Product Managers prioritize their work and make better decisions.
One way to get buy-in for your product is to ensure that you have a well-defined Product Management process, and this means having a clear vision of what you want to achieve and setting measurable goals along the way.
Different ways to improve the Product Management process
Enhancing your product management process is critical to getting more internal buy-in quickly and regularly.
1. Concentrate on the comments of your customers
When a company launches a new item in the market, it usually gets a lot of requests, comments, outlandish demands, and other consumer expectations.
This is a perfect moment to get everyone on the team to agree to the product’s future modifications. But how do you bring people with diverse ideas and personalities together around one issue?
Combine all of your client comments into one location.
The feedback is frequently dispersed across several locations. Team members, such as sales, marketing, and so on, may have a view but only a partial one.
They’ll want changes to the product made solely based on their point of view.
As a result, it may be feasible to combine all of the data from various platforms such as emails, channels, and so on into a single repository to make the product management process more straightforward.
This way, regardless of their position in the organization, all teams can access customer comments without being prejudiced.
Everyone in the organization, including the internal stakeholder, has similar feedback. In addition, they will better understand to identify pain areas.
As a result, all team members will clearly understand what changes they need to make to the product.
Ask the right questions.
Product managers always hear customers and improve the product based on customer input and feedback. Customers, however, may or may not be familiar with the technology behind the product.
When you actually sit down and work on the product again, what they’ve asked for might be substantially different. These professionals need to ask the right questions to customers to get the most relevant feedback.
This approach will help them in two ways: first, it will give a clear picture of what the customer wants, and second, it will also assist in clearing any doubts the customer might have about the product.
One of the essential aspects to remember throughout the Product Management process is considering the ex-customers feedback. What do we imply by this?
Let’s say a client purchased your goods but didn’t like them, or it wasn’t compatible with their interests. They’ve decided to back off and not buy anymore from your firm.
In some cases, the said customer may leave behind constructive comments. There’s a lot to learn from ex-customers. However, only some product managers follow their advice.
2. Set measurable goals
Make everyone on the team sign off on a document that outlines the product’s significant goals and how each team member plans to accomplish them.
This approach will help guarantee that everyone is on the same page concerning what they’re attempting to achieve, and it will foster more buy-in since individuals can see their ideas matter.
Make sure you establish measurable objectives along the road to keep track of your development.
Product management is all about making frequent changes and adjusting as needed; if you can’t measure your success, you won’t do it well.
Display your product roadmap
The next step is to maintain your product roadmap accessible to all team members. One approach to accomplish this is to post a publically viewable product road map.
Product Managers may use publicly available product roadmaps to ensure that everyone on the team understands where the product is going and what planning tools and tactics are employed.
A tool such as Chisel can help you keep track of all your tasks in one place. This feature allows you to share them with others, so they know what’s coming down the pipeline.
3. Organizing tasks effectively
The next step is to prioritize and manage tasks effectively. Product managers often juggle many balls at once, from developing new products and features to collecting customer feedback to meeting deadlines.
It’s essential to have a system to help you stay organized and on top of everything.
One technique to do so is by using a task management tool such as Asana or Trello. These tools allow you to create tasks, assign them to team members, set due dates, and track progress.
They also make it easy to see what the team has completed and what still needs work.
Managing tasks effectively will help ensure that essential items don’t get overlooked and that employees are accountable for their work.
The Product Manager should prioritize tasks and projects, determine what they need to do first, who is responsible for doing it, how they will do it (and by when), and then provide regular updates on progress.
4. Backup your ‘No’ with facts
After you have planned everything, various team members may or may not agree with what you as a product manager have to say. Even if it’s a stakeholder, a superior, or anybody else in authority, you’ll have to inform them how you plan to proceed.
It is necessary to use data and explain why pursuing a specific course of action is the best option for your stakeholders, consumers, and other people.
And if they don’t follow through on it, what are the possible consequences?
Product managers have to make tough calls, and sometimes that may include saying ‘No’ to people who want the product manager to pursue their specific agenda.
This task could be difficult, but PMs need to remember that they are not working for themselves but their customers. It is also necessary to get buy-in from all stakeholders before starting on any project.
Without this essential step, you’ll likely face obstacles down the line when trying to get team members aligned and moving in the same direction.
Step 1 is to rate the desired features according to how well they meet the goals and the amount of time and effort it will take to develop them.
In Step 2, Consider how much time and effort it will take to build the features compared to their value.
And finally, you have the answer. Features plotted on the top-left side of the graph will be your top priority. This way, you will justify your stance and get buy-ins from all stakeholders.
A Product Management Process is a continuous flow of experimenting, learning, and applying what you’ve learned into product development.
The steps mentioned above are not an exhaustive list, but they will give you an excellent place to start from.
Improving your process is an ongoing journey, and it’s essential to be open to change. Always look for ways to make things simpler and more efficient for you and your team.
And most crucially, have fun while doing it!