Product management: Delivering the right products at the right time
In today's organizations one of the most important factors of business is entering and exiting the market window with the right products at the right time (to the right segment) - taking market share with profit.
Now it's time for organizations to look into the role of the product management functions. Today, this is still very defused and we are constantly challenging ourselves with the dilemmas of what is the scope and what authority do we have to perform our daily duties.
What is product management anyway?
In reality, product management is living within the organizations cobweb where collaboration around communication, data, information, governance and decision making is demanding attention across the working day. The big question is, are we doing this effectively and are our decision made with accuracy? I would say that unfortunately in most occasions we don’t do things effectively and our decisions are not accurate or objective.
I say it's time to map out what the role of product management is, define what maturity levels and culture organization are striving to achieve.
In my mind I am clear in seeing the product management function needing to take a CEO role of the product portfolio. Some one has to take ownership of the business case and be held responsible for the outcome of the return on investment. If Product management don't own this, then who does?
Product management has to strive in building up the competence of individuals, organizations and communities to execute within an arena of focus. I see an arena of focus covering:
All these aspects are combined activities that need to be addressed across the life cycle, from Idea to launch, to maintenance and end of life.
The future of product management: A crystal ball?
My future vision is seeing a business command center for the product management function where predictable business analytics is providing real time governance over the portfolio in role based views and dashboards. Long gone will be the days of searching, gathering and processing information and data that provide us with historical view of how the portfolio has performed, I want the crystal ball that will help me optimize my actions to influence my decision to improve my future success .
What role do you see product management play when it comes to the success of your organization? How can you help in the transformation of the people responsible for your products, from being reactive and passive to becoming a vital part of your organizations success and a high performer?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below. If you would like to learn more on this topic, please join me in this webcast on the 30th of November where we'll talk about what you need to do and how can you reach "High Performance Product Management".
About the author
Colin Williams is a member of a specialized IBM Rational Tiger Team for innovation, product & engineering management. With over 20 years of experience in product development both as a line manager and as a consultant, Colin has captured the understanding of how to implement a change and drive operational excellence into the product mgt and engineering processes.
Colin challenges people to look at their business through a refreshing new lens. His insights into driving efficiency into time to market activities – the inextricable linkage between the engagement of customer, product mgt and engineering are thought provoking. Anyone who spends time with Colin, does not comes away without gaining new insights into how to achieve sustained performance for his or her organization. Colin is analyzing future Industry challenges and trends within Market Driven Product Development and together with his IBM fellows and networks is in the process of identifying best practices for increased performance.