Best Practices for New Product Managers

Posted by Maziar Adl
Maziar Adl
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Illustration: Line for trophyAs a new product manager, your role is to oversee the production of products that meet your company's business goals and fulfill the needs of your customers. If you've done your research, these two goals align. While product oversight is the primary goal of a product manager, their daily tasks encompass a wide range of activities. Here are some of the best practices product managers should follow to be successful in their field. 


Communicate With Your Stakeholders

Your product teams are integral in the product development process, so engaging with them throughout the production process is important.


Start Building Relationships Early

Building strong relationships with your teams helps to facilitate easy communication and encourages a collaborative effort. When outlining the product goals, it is vital to engage your product teams during the planning stage. This gives helps to boost morale and defines their value in the process. 


Align Your Stakeholders to the Goals

As a product manager, it is essential that you relay the company vision to your product teams. Where does the company aspire to be within five, ten, or fifteen years? What is the product vision that will work to achieve these big-picture goals? When your teams clearly understand these goals, they can align their activities to realize them. 


Building Great Products Takes a Collaborative Effort

As technology has improved over time, product development has become more complex. Software integration into hardware products has required companies to scale as new product teams and processes are brought on board. 

Promoting communication and collaboration between your product teams is essential to keep the process on track.

  • Involve your teams in the planning process. This promotes acceptance and alignment with the product strategy. 
  • Schedule regular check-ins with your teams to keep everyone updated. 
  • Work closely with project managers to better anticipate problems or delays.
  • Keep an open line of communication with your product teams.
  • Promote cross-collaboration between product teams. With resource, feature, and technical dependencies so closely linked, teams must communicate closely to complete tasks within specified time frames.
  • Create and update product roadmaps to keep your development teams on track.


Best Practices to Communicate With Product Teams 

  • Be accessible and approachable.
  • Promote two-way communication for valuable insights.
  • Be a good listener. Show patience and empathy.


Use Product Management Tools For Enhanced Communication

Illustration: Hammer and Screws, ToolsIf you want to build successful products, it is essential to get your teams on the same page. Tools such as text documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations distributed using email are common methods of communication. While these applications may have been sufficient for smaller operations, they are not adequate for today's complex product development due to problems of outdated information and version control. 

Product roadmap management software is designed to streamline communications and bring your teams into alignment. As your single source of truth, product roadmap tools provide several benefits to improve communication.

  • The software is housed in the cloud for remote access
  • Information is readily accessible to all of your teams
  • Visual product roadmaps that are easy to understand
  • Updates to the product roadmap are made in real-time
  • Teams always have access to the most up-to-date information
  • Teams can be granted customized viewing and editing functions for the roadmap
  • Teams can collaborate and work on a single document from remote locations 

When everyone has access to the same information, it is easier to coordinate tasks for a smoother production process. 


Make Informed Decisions

Illustration: Charts and graphs From product ideation to product launch and beyond, the product manager is responsible for making important product decisions. These include:

  • Which product to build
  • The type of features to promote
  • Feature updates after the product launch

Making an informed decision about the product requires drawing upon information from multiple sources. They are guided in their decisions by understanding the following:

  • The market - what are the customer's pain points?
  • The solutions - what solutions exist in the market, and how can we do better?
  • The ability to innovate - what new features will the customer value?
  • The benefits to the business - what are the costs and benefits of building a particular product?


Market Research 

Market research helps to inform product management on consumer trends, industry changes, and competitors in the market. By conducting surveys, interviews, direct observation, and focus groups, you can get closer to the customer and understand their challenges. This is an important resource for product ideation and getting customer feedback about a product.


Product Development Teams

Your internal teams are experts in their field and the key to innovation. They offer insights into what can and cannot be done, so it is essential to involve them in the early planning stages when determining the product to be built and the best features to include.


User Data

Software-integrated products offer valuable data regarding user behavior. It is important to gather that data, analyze it, visualize and summarize it to create useful information to guide product decisions.


Quantitative Analysis

Comparative analysis tools such as weighted scoring are useful to determine the performance of your product and how well it aligns with the product vision. Competitive analysis tools also help to promote an understanding of your place in the market and to identify gaps and opportunities that exist. 


Customer Feedback

Prioritizing the needs of your customer is essential when making product decisions. Customer success teams and focus groups can help to highlight features the customer values in a product; they can also identify areas where there is room for improvement. 

While prioritizing the needs of your customer is essential when making product decisions, it is important to align them with the larger business goals. Quantitative analysis tools are useful as they help to balance customer needs with the financial cost of following a particular strategy.


Update Your Roadmaps

Illustration: Roadmap to goals and successAs a product manager, you are responsible for a variety of roadmaps. You can create product management roadmaps to communicate the following information to your product teams:

  • To relay the short-term, mid-term, and long-term company goals
  • To outline the product vision and the expected trajectory of the product
  • To identify resources, features, and technical dependencies so tasks can be organized in sequence. 
  • To guide the day-to-day activities of your product teams

It is important to realize that product roadmaps are not made in stone. Industry challenges, new technology, and variations in customer demand require that your teams pivot quickly to adapt to change.

Product roadmaps offer a single source of truth for your organization, so it is important to update and adjust your product roadmaps over time. This ensures that the information is accurate and relevant and improves communication.


Improving Performance With Product Roadmap Management Software

Gocious Ebook A New Approach to Roadmapping
Effective leaders understand that strong relationships are the key to building successful products. When you invest in product roadmap management tools to enhance communication, your product teams are better equipped to collaborate and align their activities to meet product goals. 




At Gocious, we have developed product management tools that benefit all levels of your organization. To find out how Gocious can help you make product management easier, book your free demo today.  

Topics: Product Management, Product Development, Product Roadmap

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