In product management training, we spend a lot of time focusing on what we do. Adrienne reminds us that this isn’t enough, we also have to focus on how we do it, with her tips on how to be a better product manager.
Adrienne starts with an apology for her “new year’s post” being late. The Chinese New Year was more recent, and my new year starts on St. Patrick’s Day, so we think her article is perfectly timely.
Check out Adrienne’s list at brainmates.
#1. Develop Meaningful Relationships. This is true of any profession, but especially product managers. You need to understand your customers and markets, which is the obvious part of this tip. There is also a lot of value to actively building relationships with your peers and “competitors.” Brainmates has a great series of 5-minute interviews with other folks in the product management space (including an interview with me). In addition to getting new readers to their blog, it helps create relationships. That interview, combined with great followup and other discussions has helped create those relationships for Adrienne. I’m sure the other interviews they have done are just as effective.
#4 Spend Time With Your Support Staff. Everyone in your company is in a sales role, including support staff. Nurturing those relationships helps you help them to properly position and promote your products. As Adrienne points out, these are the people who are tapped in to your existing customers. What better source of insight into what’s working and what isn’t?
#9 Pay Attention To Your Performance Indicators. Feedback from existing and potential customers is important anecdotal data. Measurement of product performance, penetration and usage all provide systematic feedback. The combination of statistical and anecdotal data provides you with as much understanding as possible about your products, positioning, and markets. The key is to measure what you care about.
We like the other seven tips too, but if we shared them all here, some of you might not head over to brainmates to check them out. So, go check them out, and prove to Adrienne that tip #1 is working.