Every company needs to innovate. Innovation is not just about developing new products or services; it’s about process improvements, greater efficiencies, and finding new and better methods for everything from sales to internal communications. Innovation is about growing shareholder value.
Product management by definition is an excellent resource for innovation. It seeks new products, services, and enhancements to existing products and services. Its role is to understand market and customer needs and to manage the product portfolio across company divisions, silos, and functions.
As product management evolves from managing individual products to managing market portfolios, it needs to grow its understanding of target customers. Product Management’s involvement in strategy, and aligning marketing, sales, product, and operations along a single product roadmap and set of priorities gives the product manager a unique cross organizational perspective.
To optimize this perspective, product management first and foremost, needs a solid foundation of product management skills, a framework under which they can operate and bench mark activities. The ability to develop innovative, realistic, and valuable ideas (The Ideative Process), is built on this foundation provided by the product management framework.
There are three fundamental activities involved in high-value idea creation of The Ideative Process;
The activity of inundation requires product managers not just to understand their products and customers, but to learn and experience their portfolios so intensely that their products literally follow them into their dreams at night.
Can the product management objectively prioritize target markets? Does product management develop ideas for new products and services or enhancements in the process of segmenting markets, mapping core competencies to market strategies, or defining business requirements? Innovation opportunities exist everywhere.
2. Developing Beyond
To Develop Beyond, product management needs to add breadth to their expertise. This breadth should come from expertise in their industry and their customers industries, business skills including finance, economics, leadership, and project management. It also demands product management professionals grow in their personal lives as well; rich lives are catalysts to the mind.
3. Assembling Ideas
Assembling ideas can viewed as similar to the way in which children work with building blocks, toys and other objects. Product management assembles the bits and pieces of their experiences and knowledge into ideas. If an assembled idea is good, they keep it, if it is not, they pull the components apart and try something new. Here, the framework becomes a part of the raw materials used to assemble ideas. The boxes within the framework are the blocks that are used to build their ideas.
If your product management team needs a foundation for becoming the company’s innovation leaders, contact Proficientz for a framework that goes beyond managing and marketing products. Proficientz’s framework is a model for creating market driven product companies and growing them by determining the market segments most conducive to growing the company as a whole, creating a strategy to penetrate those markets, then delivering the best mix of products, marketing messages and sales tools to execute the strategy.
To launch a culture of innovation where product management and the rest of your organization regularly and proactively develop innovative, realistic, and valuable ideas, visit The Ideative Process , or contact [email protected].
Robert S. Siegel is a consultant, trainer, and writer on The Ideative Process and other cutting edge thinking tools for business leaders.