5 Ways a Product Roadmap Management Tool Can Help Manufacturers Streamline Communication

Posted by Maziar Adl on 10/4/22 6:00 AM
Maziar Adl
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Product Management GoalsHaving roadmaps for your product portfolio helps your product managers focus on the bigger strategic goals of your company, but what about the rest of your teams? Are they aware of the goals for the quarter, the year, or five years? Do they know the company priorities and how to find the data to make decisions on the new and upcoming features and products? Too often, manufacturers neglect basic communication practices that would help bring their teams into alignment to meet those goals.

Let's use the example of an electronics company that has set a goal to be the number one manufacturer of mobile phones that families choose. They want to produce durable devices with built-in high-security features for the whole family, so parents can have peace of mind that their sensitive information and their kids' privacy are protected. Let's look at five examples where effective communication using the right PRM tool will help this company achieve its goal. 

 

1. Aligning Teams to the Business Goals

To have your entire product team work towards the goal of the business, they first need to know what those business and product goals are. When stakeholders hear conflicting priorities, they run the risk of wasting time and resources focusing on separate features. When they work together, better products are often the result of that focused energy. 

Balancing ProductsIn the case of the cell phone manufacturer, when the primary focus for the new device is not communicated clearly, it is more likely that problems will arise. For example, the engineering team might decide their priority is to create a cell phone with a shatter-proof touch screen, while the design team decides to push for a lighter-weight model. While both ideas might have merit, they may not work together. A shatter-proof touch screen may, in fact, make the new model heavier, undermining the goal of the design team. Either goal doesn't truly matter if it doesn't support the company's larger goals and vision. The end results will fall short if they are not aligned with the strategy. 

Using PRM software to connect departments and stakeholders enables everyone to connect with and understand the larger product goals and company strategic vision. Each department team can then align their activities using roadmap dashboards tailored to their role

 

2. Facilitating Cross-Functionality at All Stages

When companies employ cross-functional teams throughout the product cycle, they achieve more of their business goals and match the values of their customers more often. One example is creating better collaborations between the Customer Success and Product Teams. When your Customer Success Team can communicate directly with the Product Team about what customers are saying about the products, better decisions can be made to make the brand successful. 

PRM software facilitates communication between all departments and allows sharing of necessary valuable data to meet the product goals. 

Connecting the Voice of the Customer to the Strategic Vision

While the product managers are busy ensuring the product meets the vision, the Customer Success Teams can provide real data from users, either confirming the product is on track or highlighting opportunities for improvement. Hearing the voice of the customer and how the product's strategic goals align with that voice can help solidify the product's direction. 

Increase NPS Process

 

With the cell phone manufacturer example, if Net Promoter Score (NPS) increase is the company's strategic objective, a prime opportunity for cross-functionality would be to have the other stakeholders meet with the Customer Success Team to review customer data points and summarize quantitative data collection. The product teams may realize that a light-weight design is not important to families. However, a more durable screen is highly desirable. With this valuable information, a better decision can be made regarding the priority of the product.  

 

3. Streamlining Communication Channels

PRM software also makes it easy to communicate in real time about product decisions. Collaborative features, such as shared documents, also make communication more effective. Using the cloud to store shared files and reports allows your teams to be actively involved in the discussion of the products at every step of the way, regardless of their location. 

With Gocious product roadmap management (PRM) software, any time a user makes an edit or updates a document, all users sharing that file will receive an automatic alert. This means your key managers will never miss out on crucial information because they've opened the wrong version of a file. 

 

Gocious PRM Department Intersections

Eliminate Confusion With the Cloud

Sharing documents and reports in the cloud allows everyone involved in the product to stay up-to-date and contribute in real time from anywhere. When product management, engineering, design, finance, sales, and customer experience communicate efficiently and consistently, it becomes easier to stay aligned with the product goals. 

Returning to the example of the cell phone manufacturer, if their customer experience department meets with the product managers, engineers, and design team at the start of the production process, they will save time and confusion by offering clarity to follow at the start. 

Once all stakeholders hear the voice of the customer and the need for security and durability over aesthetics, they will be able to make strategic decisions rather than waste time arguing for both a shatter-proof screen and a lighter-weight device. The product manager could have confidently made the decision early to say that the weight of the device was not the priority and that a shatter-proof screen would be worth testing.

Open communication channels between product stakeholders lead to greater clarity when making product roadmapping decisions. 

 

4. Creating One Source of Truth

Not only does sharing documents make it easier to collaborate, but having one centralized source for data and metrics reduces confusion and miscommunication. When stakeholders see the same data, progress, and milestone achievements, they align with each other more easily and follow the strategic business goals on a continuous basis.  

Gocious PRM software makes metric tracking easy to do with clear visuals and customized dashboards so you can access vital measurements quickly. Companies can select the most important metrics to display first, so you can access a high-level overview of your product portfolio along with the essential information when you need it and still dig deeper into the details.  

 

Plan Detail Screen

 

5. Better Meetings and Presentations for All Stakeholders

Keeping your teams in alignment can't happen without regular check-ins, and yet having a meeting for the sake of checking it off a list won't move the needle closer to your business goals. The previous points mentioned, such as keeping open channels of communication, involving cross-functional teams at all stages, and using one source of truth for product data, all contribute to more effective meetings. 

Similar to how product managers can show different collaborators different dashboards, depending on the stage of product development they are involved in, product managers can also create customized roadmaps depending on the audience. 

Product Roadmap Software Filter

In the case of the cell phone manufacturer, the product manager could create a view for executives based on the detail the Customer Success Team reported and show how the roadmap will result in increased NPS without involving the engineering jargon. The product manager could then present a proposal to the finance and sales departments, showing them the product’s key objectives and projected financials they want to see to understand the justification from a financial perspective without overwhelming them with design or execution details. 

With Gocious PRM software, presentations become a breeze, no matter who is in the room.

 

Reach Your Business Goals with PRM Software

Gocious PRM software was made to help manufacturers reach their business goals. If you're ready to trade multiple apps and spreadsheets for one centralized location with easy-to-understand visuals, book your demo with us to see it in action



Topics: product and portfolio roadmap, Product Development, PRM