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How To Succeed As A Product Manager

by Beata Green, Director of HeadChannel

product label

New technologies emerge daily and bring ingenious products to the world. It’s generally accepted to praise developers and designers for bringing these products to life but there is usually someone else behind the concepts and ideas. And this is the product manager who dictates the strategies and processes, controls the product’s lifecycle and ensures that it meets all the set demands.

“One reason product management is such an appealing career is you get to sit at the intersection of technology, business, and design.”
― Gayle Laakmann McDowell

The major responsibility of a product manager is to help the team (and the company) deliver a necessary product to its consumers. There are a few things to say about each component separately:

help the team.

Product managers need to ensure that their teams prioritize tasks effectively and make the right decisions based on the set goals. This way, all the team members understand what’s going on, why at this specific time and what the outcome will be. As a result, every team member will be able to influence the whole process and will thus feel involved in the project. It is necessary for you as a product manager to listen to everyone, take their ideas into account and share your product ideas with them.

(and the company).

Product managers should also understand the company’s goals. Ideally, they should motivate their teams to do what it takes to help the company achieve its final goals.

deliver.

It is one of the most important processes in a product development lifecycle to deliver the product. The product itself can be ideal and work faultlessly, but what really matters is how it enters the market. A good product manager should find the moment when the product is truly ready, even though this moment needed endless rounds of testing and revisions.

necessary product.

The quality of a product is decisive. From the earliest stages of product development, it’s vital for a team and, in particular, for a product manager to build creative and ingenious solutions.

“Only move forward with creating a product that will be “above the bar.”
― Brian Lawley, “Optimal Product Process

As soon as the product has been delivered, a good manager will cooperate closely with the customer or will analyse how the market has adopted this product to make sure it was developed as intended. If necessary, further cooperation with the team is required.

to its consumers.

The most difficult part of product development is understanding who is going to use this product. Ideally, product managers always represent the preferences of the consumers and always remind the team and other managers of the maximum usability intended for the product. It requires in-depth feedback analysis and concentration on UX.

Product Management Metrics.

But how to measure how successful a product manager is in his/her results? Despite huge efforts and seemingly good results, it’s important to use real metrics to arrive at a final verdict. Some of the most important are described below:

 

Marketing metrics.

This group of metrics covers numbers such as monthly unique visitors to the website and customer acquisition cost. Knowing how much it costs to get a new client will help your company to analyse and forecast its profitability.

Customer Success Metrics.

These metrics can be obtained through analysing a conversion rate. The easiest way to calculate it is to take those who signed up for a free trial of your product and then compare this number with those who decided to proceed with a paid subscription. The success of a product manager can also be measured by the number of support tickets generated. It can either show a usability problem or an increase in a number of customers. It’s also useful to measure the response time and how much it takes to close the ticket. Another kind of metric in this group is the churn rate which shows all the losses, e.g. in revenue, customers, etc.

Business Operations Metrics.

product management

With this type of metric, it is possible to count the percentage of active users of the product, lifetime value, monthly recurring value and annual recurring value.

Metrics are vital for any business. As soon as you learn to use them properly, you will be able to discover new trends, identify challenges and make smarter decisions. However, consider the factors that might affect the outcomes. (See the image left)

Finally.

As product managers often act like mini CEO’s in a company, the value they bring is enormous. Ideal product managers will always be passionate about the product they are working on. It’s said that they do not manage the product, they manage the problems that this product solves. Still unaware of certain product management aspects? Simply join the discussion in the comments and we will gladly share our thoughts.

 

beata green

Beata Green is Director of HeadChannel Ltd., London based bespoke software development company. She is responsible for overall strategic direction and overseeing the company’s continuing growth, building closer client relationships and maintaining best working practices. She enjoys brisk country walks with her red fox labrador and then relaxing in front of a TV crime drama with a glass of red wine.

 

 

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