Product management is a demanding, yet rewarding field. It requires individuals to maintain an acute awareness of all aspects of a product, while simultaneously maintaining a vision for the “whole”. With product managers responsible for each product, improving the product management team and creating winning strategies can vastly improve the overall performance of a company.
As we move into a new year, we offer 7 essential resolutions to improve your company, which are specifically aimed at product managers and the management strategy!
1. Taking Breaks
First thing on your resolution list should be to take breaks. Sounds odd, huh? Fortunately, it is all too necessary for a product manager to take an intermittent break. With constant sets of problems needing to be addressed at any moment, product managers often work straight through their lunches, breaks, and even after work. Those breaks are there for a reason: studies show that continuous work can cause your mental focus to lapse, your brain to become sluggish, and for people to become “burnt out”.
2. Improve Forecasting
Understanding how the market will be in the future is essential for a product manager; you can’t improve your skills without studying the market! So, take some time each day to read the news and stay updated on current events. This will help you a great deal.
3. Work on Recording
Massively streamline your visions, thoughts and ideas by recording them in a personal blog or a work journal. Taking a few moments each day to write a blog post or a new entry about an upcoming product is a great way to relax and find inspiration, while working through your thoughts.
4. Meet with Customers
Who better to give you feedback and new ideas than your customers? Make an effort to regularly meet with customers, discuss what problems they have, and learn how your previous products can be improved!
5. Always Listen First
As a manager, dictating becomes as simple as breathing, while listening becomes forgotten. Listen not only to your customers, but to your team and to other teams with whom you interact. Understanding the whole picture helps product managers successfully navigate through a company; it ensures as few bumps as possible during the production of a product.
6. Improve Presentation Skills
Product managers are constantly pitching presentations about ideas and products; however, public speaking is not everyone’s forte. Improving your presentation skills can drastically increase the effectiveness of the presentation and the assimilation of the information you provide.
7. Regular Meetings with the Sales Team
The sales team is often neglected during the production and design of a new product. Their knowledge and keen insight on how customers react to certain details, what features are easier to sell, and what are negatives features to customers represents a pool of untapped potential. Scheduling regular meetings with sales team representatives can provide crucial insight on another aspect of product management and drastically improve future productions.
To Sum Up
Start your new year off right: take breaks when you need them, improve your communication skills, and listen to those around you. Check back in a month’s time and make sure your resolutions are on still on track. Your role as Product Manager is crucial to the success of your company. Follow these resolutions to ensure that this is your company’s best year yet!