Product Management Practices start with a clear product strategy that assesses the business needs for tactical, incremental improvements against the longer term bold strokes of radical change. The role of product management is to actively discover, understand, refine, validate and communicate the business challenges in the market and the value of addressing them. It goes on to help delivery teams break down large business problems into smaller problems more easily solved, and then comes full circle to validate each increment of the solution as it is being built; making the necessary adjustments as the knowledge of both the problem and the solution evolve.
How well do you understand your customers' business problems and the value of addressing them? How well do you understand who uses your product and how they use it? How are your product needs prioritized? How often does that change? Does your understanding of requirements evolve over time? Do you focus on the minimum solution first?
These are just a few of the drivers that your product management effort should encompass to deliver the "right" solutions for your business.
If product management doesn't do its job, the other departments will fill the void. - Pragmatic Marketing Rule #1.
Too often for software development groups, requirements frequently fall to the delivery team and they end up building what they want versus what your business really needs to thrive. The first key to effective product management is that it has the sole accountability for putting the right solution in the hands of your customers. It is a business function; not a technology concern.
Learn to drive to your "right" solutions through a disciplined process that:
- Clearly communicates product goals and their value in the market place
- Presents a comprehensive product vision and roadmap
- Defines well understood release goals and business drivers
- Embraces emerging business needs and product requirements
- Engages with and works directly with delivery teams