If you’ve worked in business for a long time, then you know how important a competent and solid product management team is to the success of your company. While you may not be a product manager yourself, you may have had to build such a team. If you are yourself a product remember that you’re only one person, and you know that it’s dangerous to go alone, and that you need a solid team to back you up.
So, when forming and working with a product management team, what’s important to factor in? What skills do you need to seek out in people, and what personalities are best suited to work in this difficult field? Well, let’s take a look at this, and figure that out.
#1 – People who Get eCommerce
E-Commerce has become and will continue to be a major player in how you handle business, be it marketing, advertising, publishing information or direct sales.
Product management people now must understand the special conditions of eCommerce, such as managing effective storefronts and shopping carts, as well as how to represent associated products and suggestions in a close linkage.
This isn’t easy, and despite the fact that well-handled ecommerce is convenient and easy for users, it’s a difficult thing to get right from a management standpoint.
#2 – People who Speak “Customerese”
I said to people many times that it’s really easy to get too clinical with terminology and representation in things viewed by customers. Customers are not unintelligent, but they speak the common, grassroots language, not clinical business language.
Product management people need to understand how customers speak and think, to be sure that the storefronts and support related to a product make sense and don’t frustrate or confuse customers. This also pertains to visuals and layouts, but that goes into user experience and usability, so I’ll just give that a nod here and not press this particular issue.
#3 – Solid Communication
This is more internal but it’s probably the most important thing of them all, because the other two points don’t work without it, in a team effort. Clear and multi-directional communication between all people in your team, be they specialists handling certain aspects, team leaders or management positions, is paramount.
Daily, after operations cease, your team needs to have a comfortable atmosphere where everyone is comfortable speaking out of their concerns, obstacles they have encountered and other such things, not unlike in a support department.
Make sure your people are not just good communicators, but that they communicate well with one another, and that nobody undervalues the input of their colleagues, or is uncomfortable speaking out among the others. Miscommunication or lack thereof can cause the whole team to unravel very quickly.
Your product management team is the first line on the warfront of business, so choose well the people you put in these positions. They, like no other field or profession in business, hold the power to make you successful, or to destroy you utterly.