Monday, April 28, 2008

Top 10 things for product manager to build the product right!

Below is my take on top 10 things a product manager should consider as part of product development -
  1. Understanding Market Competition & Needs: #1 thing for a product manager is to ensure that he understands the market space for the product, aware of the competition in the space to ensure that product features planned are couple of notches above than current players
  2. Road Map: Needs to have a clear Road Map for the product, if he is not sure - then should request a priority list from the entrepreneur or top guys & create the feature road map
  3. Product Specifications: Specs, specs... high level specs for each feature needs to be put in-place & where ever needed detailed set of use cases should be created
  4. Release Milestones: Product manager should work closely with engineering or dev manager to get a clear understanding of release milestones & ensure they meet the business needs
  5. Co-ordinating with other groups: Ensure all stake holders of the product, like end users, administrators, marketing etc are communicated & they are preparing the integration points
  6. Domain Expertise: If the product manager himself is not a domain expert, then he / she needs to ensure that required domain expertise is acquired or hiring is done for having an in-house domain expert
  7. Check-points: Product manager needs to have a constant check point with the dev manager to ensure that planned milestones are going to be hit (or slipped) & perform appropriate communication to other parties who are involved
  8. Integration API: Products in current generation mostly co-exist (or start like that) with some existing products to piggy back on the user base for the jump-start, product manager needs to understand the complimentary / associated products that could be used along with this product & look for integration points
  9. Consider focus group testing: One of the essential aspects to the success of the product is to ensure that end users "understand" & "get" how to use the product, it would be a great thing to perform one round of focus group testing before the "beta" launch of the product to get the quick user feedback & address them
  10. Avoid being greedy on features: Product Mangers should resist being greedy on adding features to the product, limit them based to meet the business needs & avoid going overboard & trying to add everything in first milestone or development iteration

Let me know your opinion.

Thanks
Bhaskara

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