Huh?... What on earth does that title mean?... Well, most blogs try to entice you with a title like ‘3 Secrets To Greater Wealth’. Studies show humans can easily process 3 key points, but if we add a fourth our brains turn into mush and can’t process. We like to think our audience is smarter than the average bear and can process more than 3 things. So, we decided on ‘π Reasons To Assess Your Product Management Team’ as a title.
Recently, we have seen more willingness from enterprise technology companies to use an outside product management consultant to help with challenges in their product organization. Whether they seek to inject expertise, domain knowledge or just bandwidth into their organizations; the number of companies looking for product management services has increased.
In our experience, companies that seek outside expertise; are not just looking for advice. Usually, there is a need to deliver new capabilities and knowledge that help solve their issues.
There are four key things that must be considered when selecting a consultant or consulting firm that will improve your success rate.
At Egress, we see a disturbing trend -C-Suite, Sales, and Product Management are diving deep on the ‘Loss’ analysis and ignoring the ‘Wins’.
After all, the ‘Wins’ are already won – right?
At Egress, we believe the importance lies in gaining the Buyer’s Insight rather than the Seller’s mistakes
Beware of early feedback, it’s mostly noise
It’s so exciting to get new ideas and find market problems at the start of the process. The users are engaged and you are doing your best to empathize with their situation and feel their pain.
Based on our experience with market discovery and the feedback we hear from our clients, it’s best to file away initial input and refer to it later in the process. It may be compelling, especially if it comes from a group of very impressive non-customers that your sales team is itching to win over. Generally speaking, this early input will not be enough to formulate a compelling problem statement.
Don’t be discouraged! Collecting input from a wide range of customers - current, competitors and potential - will unearth the true nature of the market problem explicitly, with emotion and provide the value of solving it.
As a small company we have learned the hard way that talent means everything.
In this tight labor market, we have shifted to a balanced recruiting practice. Looking for experienced consultants and product management professionals while recruiting high potential individuals through internships.
For a company our size, the internship route can seem like daunting task and high risk. We had to invest a lot of thought into the goals of the internship. We sought to answer these and other questions.
Early on in my career as a Product Manager, my peers described me as a ‘Maverick Contrarian’. Truth be told, I doubt it was meant as a compliment but I kind of liked it. I wasn’t satisfied with what I was told a product manager was supposed to do or not do. Twenty years ago (perhaps still today), PMs struggled to illustrate their importance to their organization. PMs worked to define their role and responsibilities almost to their detriment, boxing themselves into a comfort zone to do their job but limiting their ability to lead.
Your research has uncovered a market problem that your company may be able to solve. Congratulations! It’s worth celebrating, but keep in mind that your work is about 30% done. Just like you wouldn’t run off and marry someone you just met, your decision to move ahead with committing company resources to this particular problem must be based on more than just recognizing its existence. You must see if there is a fit – a true opportunity for your company to make money – validation that this market problem is a keeper.
Every product and service we have today was once an idea. Even the most basic creations did not exist before someone came up with an impression for a better outcome that would be useful in some way.
When you stop and think about it, the number of incredible products and services available today is truly amazing. In many cases, these great products have developed into product lines, companies and even industries. And it all started with an idea.
We all know that finding and validating market problems are the most important activities for a product manager.
Yet, many Product Managers struggle to consistently engage in this best practice. The reasons for this challenge may vary, however what we hear most often is that Product Managers collect ample data from customers and potentials but find it difficult to aggregate into meaningful information.
Organizations eager to do a better job building and launching products that win in the market are smart to look to product management frameworks. Who wants to waste time reinventing the wheel when market opportunities require speed and stakeholders are obsessed with agility? The tested, refined, and re-refined product management best practices from the industry’s thought leaders have done all the hard work, so why not just “paste and go?”
Not so fast! As we outlined in our previous post, training your product teams is an important step, but just that – a step – in transforming your group into a well-oiled product management machine. To truly leverage the product management framework, an organization needs to understand its objectives, identify strengths and weaknesses, and tailor the implementation.
In our years of helping companies adopt the most valuable elements of industry standard frameworks based on agile, lean product management and market-driven models, we’ve taken note of the key “ingredients” to a rapid, complete, and successful implementation.