Product Management Matters
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
Every tech company seems to talk a big Product Management game, but it turns out that very few really have any kind of Product Management structure or process in place. For most – particularly mid / late stage - the founder still plays the role of product manager and determines what gets created when and how. That’s OK to a point, but beyond a certain point it becomes a real pain in the roadmap.
The fastest growing tech companies take Product Management very seriously indeed (to the point that the best Silicon Valley Product Managers have their own agents). History has shown time and again that when you put the right person together with the right framework inside the right organisational design with the right remit, the results can be transformative. But it can also be scary, particularly if you’re the founder and you’ve got to give up the reins.
So, how do you know if you’ve got a Product Management problem? Well it’s not necessarily obvious from the surface, but if you look a little deeper you can see the symptoms in lots of places. Some of the clearest indicators are:
poor ROI on software development
lower than expected or forecast growth
lack of clear vision/roadmap across the organisation
confusion across the organisation of ‘what business we’re in’
continuous chasing of competitors tail lights
and the list goes on…
Great Product Managers are an interesting breed because very few people wake-up and decide they want to be a Product Manager. Very often they are ‘bred’ by an organisation through another discipline such as marketing, sales or even software development. They typically care deeply about the product and the company, have a low-level understanding of product functionality and are often the go-to person when things go wrong. It turns out that most organisations have a Product Manager on staff, some just don’t yet know it….
Having the right person is one thing, making sure that person has the tools, frameworks and mandate to drive real transformation is something else. That requires time, investment and training, but is money you will never regret spending. Trust us.
If you’re experiencing any / some / all of the symptoms listed, what do you do? Well, like any problem, the first thing to do is acknowledge it and start looking for solutions.