Product development - what and how. From backlog management to organization that enables efficient product development. My vast amount of experience in product managing and development has helped me to achieve great things in my career and boost the performance of the companies I worked for. For over 15 years, I have been studying everything product-related from gathering a strong team to applying correct methodologies. And most importantly, I never forget to adapt to our ever-changing world and business environment, so my ideas are fresh and relevant.
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Good product management is a balance between three bigger skill sets:
🔹Craft (methodologies, decision making, prioritization, routines)
🔹Communication (Company, Stakeholders, Team)
🔹Commercial awareness (Knowing problem area, understanding users and potential impact to overall business)
This simple framework can actually help to structure personal development and help managers to guide Product people towards faster growth.
ℹ️ In fact, this framework can be used for almost any position (be it engineer, salespeople, marketing, …) however requirements and actual skills in those sets would be different.
One of the most common challenges I noticed in Product management is being able to plan, communicate, and get buy-in from different levels of stakeholders efficiently.
As Product Manager, you will have different levels of stakeholders:
▪️Your own team
All of them need a different level of detail and most likely from different angles. Knowing that you might want to organize your analysis, planning process, and communication in similar structure.
🔹 Insight #1. Starting your product development planning from the top will help to focus on the most valuable problems and get management buy-in before you even start development.
🔹 Insight #2 Limiting to right level information for the right stakeholders will improve communication clarity.
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Have you ever been in a situation where you tell a person what you need, he confirms that he understood and when he delivers it is not exactly what you needed❓
It is a common problem in product development when user needs and perceived needs are actually different. However, there are ways to avoid situations like this:
1️⃣ Identify user needs not only by asking what he needs but by observing and understanding what he needs to achieve.
2️⃣ Visualize the result before starting working on it and discuss (wireframes, user flow diagrams, simple drawings, prototypes) to confirm that this is actually what he wants, text might not be enough.
3️⃣ Iterate, get feedback, and observe your user with the new feature.
One of the methodologies to find a solution to bigger user problems is Design Sprints. There are more, and even these three points might improve the situation a lot.
▪️What scale do you use to measure an employee performance?
▪️Why 1 to 10 does not work?
It is all about finding/setting a clear and stable reference point. Agreed and communicated expectations is a good starting point 👌🏽