If your product management team wants to take its reputation and influence to the next level, here are three areas that will give you the biggest bang for your effort. The Playbook:

1.  Well-Rounded Market Knowledge

Product Management is the one function in the company that should have the most well rounded perspective of the market dynamics, target customer needs and their collective relationship to your business.

Stronger influence means taking the initiative to constantly socialize the market and business perspective to marketing, sales, services, engineering, finance, etc. to ensure it’s the foundation of everything you do as a company. It also makes life easier for product management if everyone has the same view of the world.  If necessary, brush up on your presentation and sales skills. You need to sell it!

2.  Objectivity

Product Management has to be the conscience of the organization because everyone else gets paid to focus on a slice of the business such as sales, finance, customer support, technology, investor relations, etc. Product Management needs to be the voice of reason since many of its constituents are on the highly emotional front lines.

One of the best ways to keep objectivity at the forefront of emotional decisions is to use customer business goals, priorities and outcomes as the basis for every discussion. Continue to reinforce the value of the current plan as it relates to quantifiable customer value. It’s a great way to keep everyone focused on the most important things from a value perspective.

3. Balance

Some people are great thinkers and others are great doers. Product managers need to be good at both, a key reason the great ones are so hard to find.

Product lifecycles have both planning and execution phases. Be more conscious about when to flip your switch from planning to execution mode. Great product management can be achieved by spending 20% of your time crafting and selling a well thought out plan and 80% executing it.  As distractions occur, refer back to point #2 above.

If your product management team wants to take its reputation up a notch, contact us to learn how portfolio product management training can help your product management organization lead from a position of strength.

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