You've outlined your vision for your company and defined your product goals. Now, all that stands between you and those goals is finding the right person to execute the strategy to make your vision a reality. The key player who will get that job done is your product manager. If we compare product management to American football, then your product manager is your quarterback. They're the ones in charge of every aspect of product development. Your product manager will:
- "Call the play" by implementing the product strategy,
- "Initiate the action" by executing the production planning process,
- and then "handle the snap" by ensuring all teams work cooperatively to achieve their goals.
Essentially, your product manager has a hand in every step of the production process, from the idea stage to the production stage to the marketing stage and back again. Since they are such valuable players on your team, here's what you need to know about the role.
Fundamental Qualities of a Product Manager
In order to be successful, your product manager needs to exhibit four fundamental qualities.
- Leadership Skills - your product manager must have the ability to lead their team to victory by rallying them to meet the goals of the company.
- Communication Skills - your product manager should be able to direct effectively, collaborate efficiently, and listen empathetically to foster respect from their team.
- Analytical Skills - your product manager must work closely with market research and customer success teams to correctly read the market to make a good play.
- Organizational Skills - your product manager should be organized. Being organized is key to managing product roadmaps to meet your company goals.
As the quarterback for the team, your product manager's skills, leadership, and dedication to the role, are vital to your company's success. Let's dig a little deeper to find out exactly what the product manager role entails.
1. Ingenuity: They Call the Plays
Realizing the goals of your company requires an in-depth understanding of your product lines. Of the existing products in your portfolio, which products contribute to the company vision the most and which don't?
Business analysis is fundamental to developing the product strategy. Your product manager must identify opportunities for new product ideas that will appeal to your target market and increase market share.
The product life cycle begins with idea generation and is closely followed by concept development and validation. During this phase, your product manager will rely on insights offered by key stakeholders to make the final decision on whether to take a product to market.
2. Leadership: They Initiate Action
Outline the Strategy For Your Stakeholders
With the product concept finalized, it's time to put the plan into action.
Product roadmaps are essential, as they provide a fully integrated visual map of the process from start to finish. The roadmap serves as a single source of truth which can be accessed by all product teams, ensuring that all stakeholders stay aligned with the goals of the company. With the product strategy clearly defined, product teams can begin work on creating the product.
The Ability to Think and Act Quickly in Response to Change
Timing is critical, so the product manager must check in with the project managers to ensure that all departments are working together to minimize delays in the production schedule. In the event of a supply chain disruption, a product manager must quickly rethink the strategy in order to get the final product to market on time.
Collaboration with Production Planning Teams
Staying on top of the manufacturing process requires a product manager to check in regularly with their product teams. They will rely on their knowledge and expertise to build the best product, so developing strong relationships is beneficial.
Ongoing product analysis, and collaboration with the customer success teams, help to ensure that the product being built is current and relevant to the market.
3. Delegation: They Handle the "Snap"
When all stakeholders involved in the product development process are aligned with the vision, product go
als are more easily attained. The product manager's role is to keep their teams working toward that vision.
Delegating tasks to the relevant teams is important to keep them collaborating efficiently. Encouraging cross-collaboration also serves to enhance communication and promote morale across the organization.
It is incumbent on the product manager to understand what their teams need. The discrete product manufacturing process is complex, as it relies on various materials and components to build the final product. The product manager must be able to respond quickly to disruptions in the supply chain and have alternative strategies in place.
A Successful Strategy Requires the Right Tools
While an ERP is a foundational platform that ties in all aspects of your company's daily operations, Product Roadmap Management software is a vital tool for your quarterback.
Assists in Strategic Decision Making
Product portfolio analysis is easy, with the high-level view offering insights and key performance metrics across your product matrix. This enables your product manager to identify gaps and opportunities within the portfolio, which allows them to develop and revise the product strategy as needed.
Detailed product line dashboards, product comparison charts, and competitive analysis tools provide unbiased views of your products and how they compare in the market.
The Roadmap Guides the Way
The product roadmap guides the manufacturing process, from concept development and testing to delivering a product to market. You can also set milestones that highlight performance and outline future updates to features across your full product line.
With roadmaps, you can outline your goals and projections for five, ten or fifteen years into the future so your teams have a clear vision of your company's direction.
An Integrated Communications Platform
Isolated text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations distributed using email applications are a cumbersome process. Gocious replaces these applications on one easy-to-use platform, where version control and outdated information are no longer a concern. Updates to documents are made in real-time and easily accessible to all stakeholders with automatic notices.
Reports Tailored For Your Audience
Key Performance Indicators can be utilized to tailor information to a specific audience. While the finance department and company executives are concerned with ROI, your marketing team will be more focused on sales figures and market share. Gocious removes the need to create separate presentations by allowing you to present data easily based on different metrics.
The PRM Software Your Product Manager Needs for Production Planning
At Gocious, we understand the complexity of the discrete product manufacturing process. This is why we have created a platform that delivers on your product manager's needs. Give your quarterback the tools they need to take your team to victory by booking your free personalized demo today.