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I help companies and individuals do GREAT product management and product marketing using my optimal product management process framework.

Product management is the organizational structure within a business that manages the development, marketing and sale of a product or set of products throughout the product life cycle. It encompasses the broad set of activities required to get the product to the market and to support it thereafter.

Another way to think of Product Management is the place where the buck stops. It’s the organization responsible for overall product success and is the central point for all aspects of the product. Product management drives
vision and strategy, the whole product, roadmap/requirements, and leads crossfunctional teams across the entire organization to ensure product success.

Without great product management your products are not as successful as they could be. Your revenues and profitability suffer and resources are wasted working on products that the market does not want and/or that are
difficult to market and sell. Great companies build great product management organizations. They know it’s a critical strategic driver of the business. And they know it ensures the company does not become completely engineering-driven (which may result in building products that don’t meet customer needs) and ensure the company doesn’t become too sales driven(which may result in building products based solely on the needs of only a handful of customers).

In fact, according the CBS Money Watch, Product management is the fourth most important job in corporate America, behind the CEO, Senior Execs, GM, and Product manager. One study showed that companies that empower product managers are 50% faster to market! Another study showed 58% of PM’s work directly with CEO, CMO, CFO and Vp Sales and Marketing.

In fact, 25% of CEOs have Product Management organizations reporting to them now. And it is easy to see why, executives get great benefits from great product management: increased profits for the company, reduced costs by focusing only on products that truly matter, long-term strategic advantage in each market to ensure the company remains competitive.

There are also benefits for sales people: product management ensure better products are delivered that meet customer needs and are easier to sell. They make sure that input is captured from sales reps and customers to
ensure it is prioritized and integrated into product plans. Product management results in more reliable and predictable delivery of products. And can also give leveraged selling tools to make it easy for sales reps to sell.

Engineering also gets lots of benefits from product management: Great product management will ensure that clearly articulated user needs are delivered to ensure engineers are working on what really matters to customers, they’re a central point of contact that the whole product is delivered and nothing falls though the cracks, and they ensure that the products have a well-thought-out strategy and the best possible chance of winning in the marketplace.

There are challenges in Product Management and below are strong recommendations for optimizing product management at your company.

Action steps:

  1. Calculate the ROI of Optimizing Product Management(program) at your company
  2. Assess your Product Management organization and build an optimization plan

Assess current product management organization
o People
o Process
o Tools

Build optimization plan
o Clarify roles and responsibilities
o Foundational then advanced training (people skills training)
o Standardized set of core product lifecycle documents
o Coaching to ensure skills and process changes stick

Approaches
o Do work internally (will require dedicated team for 6-12 months)
o Hire external firm that specializes in optimizing product management and creating plans
Statistics on rising importance of product management

A Few Key Statistics

  • 49% Half of companies do not use a consistent Product Management process
  • 21% One in five products being delivered fail to meet customer needs
  • 45% Indicated that the skill levels of the Product Managers at their company varied greatly
  • 70% In companies doing Agile, the majority of Product Managers are Product Owners
  • Recommendations for optimizing product management at your company
  • Benefits for sales people:
  • Better products are delivered that meet customer needs and are easier to sell
  • input is captured from sales reps and customers to ensure it is prioritized and integrated into product plans more reliable and predictable delivery of products.
  • Offer leveraged selling tools to make it easy for sales reps to sell.
  • Benefits for engineering:
  • Clearly articulated user needs are delivered to ensure engineers are working on what really matters to customers
  • Central point of contact that the whole product is delivered and nothing falls though the cracks
  • Well-thought-out product strategy and the best possible chance of winning in the marketplace.