New product managers have often studied the daily mechanics of the product development process, but tend to be light on soft skills, product strategy, organizational savvy, and market insight. Where do they get into trouble?
Many of the challenges that product leaders face are the same across companies. Getting together and talking with our peers lets us recognize the commonalities and avoid defining these as singularly personal failures.
Heads of product management teams worry about a different issues than their individual-contributor product managers. More organizationally focused, less product-focused. What’s at the top of their issues backlog?
VPs of Product Management have to create the conditions for individual product managers to succeed. This includes organizational, process, hiring/mentoring and cross-functional leadership — plus buy-in at every level. What goes on a new VP’s checklist?
There are a lot of inputs to product strategy including advisory boards, customer forums, sales teams and ROI prioritization algorithms. None are sufficient on their own: we have to develop and apply strategic judgment, and test that in the marketplace.
The software bits we release are not the whole product, but a part of the product. We need to make sure we ship a whole product, which includes a compelling story of interest to customers. Strategy, segmentation and customer joy matter.