Communication is essential in all aspects of the manufacturing business, from communicating with buyers, negotiating with suppliers, and leading your internal product teams. Irish playwright, Bernard Shaw, said: "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." His point is highly relevant when it comes to managing your product roadmaps and your teams. Clear, consistent communication with stakeholders is one of the most important factors of effective management. Let's discuss some examples of how better communication will impact your business.
Implement Product Strategy Across the Portfolio
The best product roadmaps are ones that align with the wider, long-term company vision. Knowing where the company is headed in one, five, ten, or even fifteen years helps product management teams make decisive choices on which products to develop over others or which components to source versus others.
Sharing the company strategy with your product teams helps to ensure that strategy is applied to every product in your portfolio, without exception. This alignment makes it easier to follow and accomplish those goals over time.
For example, if a smartphone manufacturing company sets a goal to focus on achieving the best battery life on the market, other plans will need to take a back seat, such as screen size, camera quality, or device weight. Instead, each product line will need to focus on attaining the most extended battery life compared to the competition on the market. The goals of the company can only be reached when all stakeholders are engaged with the plan.
Aligning your teams to your company vision is the first step to improving your portfolio strategy. The next step is to communicate the successes and opportunities. Product roadmap management (PRM) software, such as Gocious, makes communicating wins and opportunities with your teams easier than ever with shared metric tracking and configuration modeling. Product managers can inform their stakeholders when the products are on track, as well as communicate any urgent adjustments that may be required on other product lines.
Better Communication Leads to Better Collaboration
It takes a team to make excellent products. Actually, it takes many teams working together to make the best performing products in any market. The companies that lead the competition in any industry are the ones who foster and facilitate collaboration between their teams. The better your company can communicate internally, the better you'll be able to collaborate.
One essential asset to effective collaboration is having a single source of truth for your product data, progress, and performance. While many companies rely on multiple tools to house different data sets, using one PRM software allows you to centralize your information into one shared location.
Because your products involve many pieces and departments that are separated not only by purpose but often by distance, the right tools help make communication between them possible. Holding cross-functional meetings helps bring together the leaders of your teams to discuss ideas, share challenges, and offer solutions for your products. But in between meetings, communication is just as important to maintain.
Simplifying Ongoing Communication
Using a program with shared access that gives each team exactly what they need to see makes it possible to stay informed between meetings. File sharing using Office works well when everyone follows the version control guidelines. With software such as Gocious, your teams don't need to worry about naming their files correctly. Instead, shared files created in Gocious automatically notify the other members when changes or updates are made. And because those files and reports are hosted inside the software, where all other relevant metrics are tracked, it's easy to manage where your information is at all times.
Set Informed Milestones
When product teams are working together consistently, sharing the same accurate data, it becomes easier to set realistic timelines with the project managers as well as establish informed milestones on the product roadmap.
For example, a smartphone company that decides to focus on long-lasting batteries for its products needs to know whether its company vision is ambitious enough. Can the sourcing department and engineering teams find the required materials to build better batteries that can then be incorporated into their product lines within the next five or ten years? If not, what factors can be altered to make it possible, or, by contrast, does the goal simply require more time? Using powerful, innovative roadmap software, such as Gocious, allows manufacturers to see whether these milestones are achievable with accurate projections.
Software Features Made for Manufacturers
There are several roadmapping products on the market, but few have manufacturers in mind. Gocious has several features built into the software that is designed to make managing your roadmaps easier.
With Gocious, you can give different access to different stakeholders, so they see what they need within the roadmaps. Each user gets their own secure account, so they can view the information and dashboards from any location. Additional user access levels reduce the noise your stakeholders encounter so they can focus on the relevant data for their operation.
Multiple Dashboard Views
We understand that manufacturers have extensive product portfolios with several product lines and many makes and models within each line. Viewing your roadmap with other tools can get convoluted quickly. We created different dashboard levels so you can focus on different details. Use the high-level dashboard to analyze and monitor your entire product portfolio or give presentations to executives. When you want to focus on the details of a particular market, you can highlight one or multiple product lines. Then, when you want to get granular, you can view each product card.
You can also customize roadmaps to display relevant information for a target audience, such as your finance teams. While your finance team may not be interested in how many colors a product is available in, they will be interested in the volume of sales, the market share, and the profit margin of that product.
Improve Your Communication With the Right PRM Tool
At Gocious, we created our PRM software to help manufacturers communicate their company goals with their teams and align their vision to their product portfolio. We built features to make collaboration and decision-making straightforward and more strategic across the board and continue to launch new features and updates to meet customer needs. Book your free demo to see how Gocious PRM software can work for your company.