Product management deals with the overall development and marketing of a product. There are several stages to it such as developing a product, planning its marketing, verifying it, forecasting, pricing the product, and launching it. In short, a product manager is partly a strategist, analyst, marketer, and business executive. Thus, we can estimate the vital role of product management best practices.
The major stages in a product management lifecycle comprise different teams across various business and technical domains. Product management plays a vital role in each stage, including writing business cases, finalizing the built product or deciding on the date of launch. We need to abide by some product management best practices to reach your goal.
The product manager designs the entire life cycle of a product. For you to build a career in this field or to know about it, here is a list of some Product Management Best Practices.
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Product Management Best Practices
1. Form a Strategy
The higher probability of delivering results depends on having a proper framework for the course of action. This framework or strategy must focus both on the short-term, as well as the long-term goals related to the product. Short-term goals include the things that you want to achieve in the next half-year or so. Long-term ones deal with the product’s original insight and how you wish to establish it in the future with the help of product management best practices.
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2. Grasping the Company’s Objectives
This is an understanding of your company’s definition of success. You need to understand how the product fits into the business objectives. It also helps you identify your potential customers and how the product might cater to them. It’s necessary to determine and align yourself with the company executives’ goals.
3. Understanding the Customer’s Needs
It is essential to keep track of the customer’s feedback. The customer may encounter a problem which they might not be able to solve. You need to design your products to overcome these problems. Having a sound knowledge of their issues should hence be helpful while using the product management best practices.
4. Study the Company Sales
The sales team has the closest interaction with current and potential customers. Keeping a tap on their records is necessary. This may help you judge your products, advantages, and disadvantages. You and your customers may have conflicting opinions on a product. It becomes crucial to analyze the product from their standpoint.
5. Analyzing the Market
Market Analysis is needed to understand the current trends in demand. You need to study these trends before launching a product into the market. The analysis can determine whether your product can sustain or not. A thorough study listing the strengths and weaknesses of your product plays an important role in knowing product sustainability. It is thus imperative to thoroughly utilize the best management product services to get maximum output.
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6. Prioritize Strategically
There may come a point during the development of a product where the team might not agree on the development of a feature. This could slow down the development speed. To avoid situations such as these, prioritize the features of your product. Certain features might be more essential than others.
You may hit a bump while prioritizing, due to a conflict in interests within the team. Hence, you need to properly strategize your best management product services. The market analysis or customer feedback might influence your strategy.
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7. Get the Hang of your Product
Prioritize using your product first hand before getting feedback on it. Try and use your product before designing a marketing strategy for it. If it has a version where you need to pay, see how it differs from the free version. You may also test the UI for specific products. This should give you a fair idea about the customer’s likeliness to encounter a glitch or a bug.
8. Think about Other Products
There may be a lot of stuff in the market that you like. Keep a note of the features that intrigue you. You may try implementing some of those features in your design. Also, keep a note of the features that you have found troublesome. Any of those, in your product, might earn it negative feedback.
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9. Plan, Discard and Rethink Your Plan
A product manager has to handle a lot of activities simultaneously. Managing each department can be a strenuous job. You might have a plan, but things can easily go sideways. It is essential to be flexible and ingenious. Sticking to a plan that is evident to fail is not a wise policy. Work to find the possible loops and eliminate them promptly. Be prepared to make changes as and when required.
10. Run Short Surveys
Take opinions from your team before implementing features that you are not certain of. Running surveys within the team can give you an idea about the market and how it might react to these features.
11. Give Equal Importance to Each Team
A Product Manager needs to deal with various teams within the company. A product’s lifetime includes contributions from all the teams like development, testing, analyzing, sales, marketing, and so on. Be sure to maintain regular contact with each team and guide them as required. Certain teams might require you as a visionary, while others may need help from you as an analyst.
12. Stay in Touch with your Peers
Maintaining contact with your peers in the industry is important. It helps you expand your network and understand the market trends better. It helps your growth as a professional. Quora’s Product Management section provides ample opportunity for the same. Product Manager HQ also offers excellent exposure. Using product management best practices becomes essential to test the waters before launching your product.
The main goal of product management is to make the product market-ready to get more sales. We also need proper product management to monitor the performance and fix issues related to the product.
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Also Read: Average Product Manager Salary in India
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The list of product management best practices mentioned here plays an integral role in developing a sellable product. Developing an entire product requires high commitment. We often tend to get demotivated midway thinking about whether or not our product will be successful. Thus we need to stick to the product management best practices listed above to ensure the top quality of the product.
These points about product management best practices might answer some questions, but they raise new ones for you – What are the resources for an aspiring product manager? What is the scope in this field? And most importantly, how to build a career in product management?
Here’s a simple solution to your question. upGrad provides a Certification program on product management that may guide you on the right path in building a career. This course from upGrad brilliantly explains the product management best practices to deliver a successful product in real life.
The salary statistics also show that product managers will continue to be in demand for the coming years. If you are curious to learn how to build a product roadmap through user research, prototyping and product analysis, and more, check out Duke Corporate Education & upGrad’s Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management.
Q1. How can you become a product manager?
You need to complete appropriate education to be recruited for the role of a product manager. To launch your career as a product manager, you first need to complete your undergraduate studies, i.e., a bachelor's degree in a field like business management, technology, finance, marketing, public relations, or something relevant. Then you might want to pursue higher studies in the field of business, like getting an MBA degree and then working with product companies as a manager. After gaining some work experience in the industry, you can then transition to the role of a product manager. With an MBA degree, you become better qualified to take on the responsibilities of a product manager.
Q2. What are the characteristics of a great product manager?
Product managers should ideally have the ability to prioritize and take care of executional aspects of product development projects. They must possess the intuition, right insights, and empathy to understand the consumer's problems. Strategic sensibilities and effective communication skills are extremely vital to becoming an effective product manager because they have to deal with different teams and people. And very importantly, the best product managers have a data-driven approach so that they can establish a balance with both the product engineering and data science teams.
Q3. Do product managers have to travel a lot?
Many product managers have to travel for work because they need to be present in person alongside their teams during the product development process. Moreover, they have to directly communicate and hold meetings with investors, customers, partners, and others. Meeting in person has a far better impact than talking over the phone or conducting virtual meetings. But that does not mean that all product managers have to travel a lot mandatorily. It actually depends on the organization – while some companies allow their product managers to function entirely from the office premises, others might require them to travel. They might need to travel during client visits, product demos, and media or analyst meetings.