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A different way to think about Product…

Updated: Aug 17



Product Management is a hot topic for tech companies right now, and for good reason. There is a heap of evidence that shows that organisations that manage their products deliberately and have good product management discipline baked into their organisation grow more quickly than those that don’t. So why are so many organisations so bad at it?


Well, for a lot of Kiwi firms there’s the founder factor. Small founder-led firms generally already have a Product Manager in chief – in the form of the founder. Whether they’re a good Product Manager or not is generally irrelevant!


There’s the ignorance factor. Kiwi firms don’t realise they’ve got a Product Management problem – despite the fact that they often exhibit many, if not all, of the classic symptoms of low Product Management competency (eg poor ROI on dev, chasing competitor tail lights)


There’s also the overhead factor whereby everyone is far too busy being busy to adopt a new practice or stop, take stock and ask basic questions about the rationality of decisions being made. Changing how things get done is hard when busy fighting fires.


Adopting some basic product management practices doesn’t have to be onerous or hard, it just requires someone to decide to make some very deliberate choices.


At the heart of good Product Management is a simple framework that helps you make better, more considered decisions. At its most basic, a Product Management framework is just a set of tools, techniques and practices that anyone can learn. You don’t have to have a dedicated Product Manager to be great at Product Management, you just have to want to get better and have the will to try.


The first step is to identify a few product related things that you want to be better at eg justifying investment in new features, planning a feature roadmap or making more thoughtful prioritisation decisions. Then you need to find a framework that ticks those boxes; and there’s plenty out there to choose from.


At Proxi we’ve developed our own Product Management framework and we’ve open-sourced it. The framework is based on years of experience in lots of organisations and covers 10 success factors of Product Management we see Kiwi tech firms wrestling with every day.


It includes:


  1. Product strategy alignment

  2. Resources, structure and processes

  3. Product market fit

  4. Proposition development

  5. Prioritisation

  6. Product investment case

  7. Roadmap

  8. Product ownership

  9. Go to market

  10. Managing in-life products


Against each success factor you’ll find an explanation, a template and/or a technique that you can adopt immediately. It’s deliberately designed to be both practical and fast. The more the tools and techniques you adopt and embed in your business, the more joined up your Product Management thinking will become.


Of course, in an ideal world everyone would have been taught these techniques and practiced them before bringing them home, however that’s not generally the Kiwi way. We’re more of a ‘give it a crack’ bunch, and it generally works pretty well for us and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it’s properly supported.


To help you ‘give it a crack’ we’ve created Proxi ASSET, which is a 3-day (6 half days) coaching programme designed to give you a helping hand. Over the course of the programme we’ll help you get to grips with at least 6 of the pillars and get you to a point that you can make practical use of the Proxi template/technique. We’ll run alongside you, nudge you in the right direction and make sure you’re doing it right. It’s that simple.


It costs $3K, is run by an experienced Product Manager and is ultimately all about you and making sure you get what you need now.


Learn more about getting super-smart with your Product Management at our free Techweek webinar - details and registration here


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