That fact that we’re even discussing data driven product decisions is a monumental leap for the product management profession.

  • What features do customers use most & why?
  • Which features do customers struggle to use and why?
  • How quickly are new features being adopted?
  • What are the most popular features customers request?
  • How much time do users spend in my product?

And these are just a few!

The insights and measurements we’re now able to get about our products are endless, and pretty incredible. And that data certainly helps us make far better decisions than we’d otherwise make without it.

There is one big flaw however with data driven product decisions. They’re still product specific, and that’s a problem that grows with the size of your portfolio. Here’s why.

Let’s say that you and your fellow product managers are managing 10 products. All of you have solid data and insights on how to grow sales, improve retention, grow adoption, etc.

That means you have 10 product investment plans that are all spot on. What’s not to love?

But then the fun begins because you don’t have enough development, marketing and sales resources to execute all 10 plans.

You’ve seen this movie before, right? Your product may have even been the star (until priorities changed).

Investment priorities become emotional, political and highly subjective. There are a million ways to justify making any of those 10 products the #1 priority, which is why priorities keep changing.

When it’s all said and done, you’re right back to the peanut butter strategy where your development, marketing and sales resources get spread very thin across all products.

As an organization, that means you’re not making any significant impact in any one market segment or product category. Over the long-term, it’s a recipe for mediocrity. You’re trying to be everything to everyone!

Data Driven Product Decisions Through a Wider Lens

There’s one easy way out of this dilemma. Analyze your product data through a wider lens.

Before you get to the product data, there are a couple of key questions you need to answer at the portfolio level.

  1. Which market segments are most conducive to meeting our corporate growth and retention goals, in pecking order…1,2,3?
  2. What are the top business priorities of target customers in those markets?
  3. Which products in our portfolio are most conducive to helping customers execute on their priorities?

With clear answers to these questions, your product data will be invaluable because you can now focus on the departments and job tasks that are top priorities for your target customers.

Your product data combined with a little customer discovery will tell you exactly how to make customers better at various aspects of their business, the job tasks and workflows that have the biggest strategic value to them.

Here’s the bottom line. Each of your products make users better at their job in some way, shape or form. As an organization, you have to figure out which customer jobs and workflows are most critical to their success. Product priorities follow customer priorities.

It’s really pretty simple when you align your portfolio priorities with the business priorities of your target customers.

Product Management University is the only place to learn how to manage your portfolio through the lens of the customer and the business outcomes that are most critical to their success.

Contact us today to schedule a personalized workshop for your team or enroll in Product Management University On-Demand and learn on your own terms.