Viewing entries tagged with 'product management'
In the last article I talked about the role of architects and engineers in the product discovery process. I explained that great products come from the collaboration of the product manager, user experience designer and architect/engineer.
I find that many companies remain stuck in old, failed models of product management, and don’t always realize how important role definition is to building effective teams and successful products.
In a recent article (The Best Product Management Model) I discussed the notion that there is no single best product management model, and that the most effective model for a given company depends on a wide range of factors. I received several comments from people asking me to explain more about these factors and their consequences. To cover this I’m going to need a series of several articles, but I thought I’d start with the factors that are most often driving the need for improvement in the first place.
One question I get quite frequently is “Google is making boatloads of money, so how can we do product management like Google?” Or another common variant is “Apple creates fantastic products. How can we do product management like Apple?”
Many software product teams are either currently experimenting with Agile methods, or have recently moved. I have written elsewhere about the benefits of Agile methods, including Scrum and XP, but I wanted to highlight here the keys for product management in an Agile environment.
If a great product is the result of combining a real customer need with a solution that’s just now possible, then it’s easy to see why the relationship between the product manager and the engineering team is so critical.
Earlier I’ve written about how important it is to clearly distinguish the roles of product management and product marketing (see Product Management vs. Product Marketing). But many companies suffer from a related problem, which is when the roles of product management and project management are combined.
Have you seen this situation before? Your company gets all excited about a product idea, and as product manager you are asked to define it. You are told that the engineers will be finished with their current project in 4 weeks, so that means take all the time you need, as long as you are ready in 4 weeks.
In my last article (Product Management vs. Product Marketing) I discussed why product management is very different from product marketing, and how critical it is to have capable product managers. The note seemed to strike a chord in that a record number of you wrote to express your agreement and the need to educate companies about this issue. However, quite a few managers of product management mailed me to say that while they agreed, they had inherited an organization where many of the people with "product manager" titles were really product marketing people with all the problems I described, and they were struggling to correct the situation.
Industry pundits claim that 9 out of 10 product releases are failures in that they don’t meet their goals. I don’t know if that’s the exact stat or not, but I bet it’s not far off. I do believe strongly that most releases are ill-conceived. Countless release cycles are wasted on products that are either not useful or not usable. There are many reasons for these bad products, and each article I write is intended to address some aspect, but I have long argued that the root cause of these wasted releases can most often be traced to how the role of product manager is defined at your company, and the capabilities of the people you choose for this role.