If you had to remember only 5 things about effective product management what would they be? I have my own punch list but I would love to hear yours so please write me. Here are mine:
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate until it feels like baby-sitting and then do some more with customers, sales, engineers, executive staff, customer service, everyone who has a stake in your success.
- Don't boil the ocean. Easier said than done. Every product I worked on that failed was because we tried to do too much and as a result we forgot what was important. Worse we did not even see our competition coming!
- Recognize you always have competition. Every start-up I talk to claims we don't really have a direct competitor because we are so unique, blah de blah! Wear your customers' hat when you speak about your competition. I mean that. Truly wear the hat and then write down one single reason why they are better.
- Thing like a GM. Product management is a unique, central, powerful function when structured properly. You have all the responsibility but may feel like you have no authority. But you do. You can be a key influencer in your company. But for that you need to think like a general manager - not merely a product manager.
- Always ask for customer input except when you shouldn't. Yes I know tricky but true. Know what your customers can answer for you, what they cannot, how to ask them so they can tell you and when to show them the way vs. asking them. Art and Science. Go to school on this and master it.
Any of these need more explanation or clarification? Ask me and I'd be happy to share more. What's your list of top 5 that's not on here?