Product Management and the Need for Speed in the Digital Age

Posted by Maziar Adl on 6/10/22 8:00 AM
Maziar Adl
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Products are becoming more complex, and understanding different market segments and personalizing products for each segment iteratively is on the rise. Providing different variations of the same platform and modules for different market segments is a way to enable personalization. But segments are shifting rapidly in the manufacturing space and keeping up with the pace of change and controlling this complexity requires new ways of working and new tools to support it. 

We invite you to learn more by reading the post below. 

Product Management and the Need for Speed in the Digital Age 

 Today’s product development is  more complicated than ever. The desire for mass customization is increasing creating unique challenges on discrete manufacturers, who are finding it more and more difficult to meet market on time. 

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While manufacturers can lean on digital transformation, relying on information technology and agile processes to meet these challenges head-on, there are still a number of roadblocks. Product teams must be brought up to speed on the latest technologies and methodologies. And many of these technologies and methodologies are still fairly slow and prone to error. 

Below, we explain how teams can benefit from a secure, digital space where they can collaborate from anywhere to set their product line's direction.  
 

Agile Manufacturing and its Impact on Planning and Product Management 

 Agile manufacturing is about having flexibility and agility to introduce and test products in the market, then iterate rapidly to accommodate changing market demands.  

One of the challenges manufacturers face is defining products that can be built or configured into numerous variants.  

Having intelligent production tools can help overcome this challenge. But even in implementing agile manufacturing capabilities, there are a few specific obstacles for discrete manufacturers to be aware of. 

  • Reacting to product vulnerability. Products are vulnerable to the fast pace and frequent changes of today’s market conditions. Products that are either released or under development tend to face market changes at a more regular interval than ever before. 
  • The need for speed, creating efficient workflows. Iterating and introducing products at a rapid pace requires efficient workflows. Creating these workflows requires tools to support planning and communication between different stakeholders and decision makers. 
  • Overcoming data rigidity. Rigid data structures that are tightly coupled with BOM slow down changes to product line definitions; meanwhile, changing BOM data can be a slow, cumbersome, complicated undertaking. 

 

Benefits of Analyzing and Planning Product Line Roadmaps 

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Naturally, manufacturers benefit from high-level planning before they begin incurring production costs. As such, product managers must utilize technology that enables them to model dependencies between different modules and platforms overtime. There are several steps involved here, but aligning those steps can significantly reduce time-to-market. 

In brief, these steps include: 

  • Aligning multi-disciplinary teams around one common set of product definitions. Ensuring that everyone is working from one common definition of products, features, and dependencies can reduce inefficiencies and increase transparency on reuse vs segment differentiators throughout product lifecycle. 
  • Growing market share by defining the right products that meet the changing needs of customers. Rationalizing product lines based on internal and external constraints and requirements will reduce time-to-market, and also optimize the odds of product success. 
  • Controlling complexity to reduce waste and control costs. By carefully deciding what to share across and what to customize for a product line, product teams may be able to control the number of buildable combinations, controlling complexity for the entire organization. 

 

Challenges Presented by Today's Product Planning and Management Tools  

 A recent Gocious survey reveals that the tools that product teams use to define and plan products at the feature and portfolio level fall short of the capabilities needed to work with agility and flexibility. 

 

Problems with spreadsheets and emails 

Some organizations still do most of their product planning with simple spreadsheets and emails. Not only are these methods quite rigid, but they depend on a lot of manual data entry that can be especially prone to error. 

 

Problems with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software 

While PLM software can be exceedingly valuable, it tends to focus on engineering details. This leaves little room for product teams to collaborate on what features and products to offer to the end user. 

 

Problems with Product Roadmap Management (PRM) software 

 Product Roadmap Management software or PRM software is the best option, but traditional PRM can fall short on automation and insight on product content, dependencies, and platforms. 

 

Gocious Product Planning Software as the Solution 

 Ultimately, that is what makes Gocious different. Our product roadmap management software enhances product teams throughout different stages of the product planning process, including: 

  • Aligning the entire organization by defining and sharing products and content in terms that are understandable by the business and operations at large. 
  • Visualizing the product line and entire roadmap from a single source of truth. 
  • Creating product lines and tracking changes quickly and confidently. 
  • Using insights and analytics to make informed decisions and optimize the product portfolio. 

 Also note that Gocious offers a secure, cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, making it easy and relatively quick for product teams to implement this solution. 

 

Ready to Learn More About Gocious? 

 We’d love to offer additional insight into the unique ways in which Gocious helps manufacturers address their most pressing problems. Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly product roadmap software experts today.  

Topics: PRM, Roadmap Management software