Now What Exactly Is Product Management?

Let us first start with who is a Product Manager. The job of a Product Manager is “to discover a product that is valuable, usable, and feasible”.

Below is the intersection of the Venn diagram that explains a Product Manager. A good Product Manager must be passionate about all the attributes, experienced in one and practicing all three.

© 2011 Martin Eriksson.

Why do we need such a range of skills?

Because Product Management in itself is a wide concept and these skills will be used in your everyday work life.

When we start off a project, we do it with a Vision. Say you want to start a Donut making business. Your Vision would be to have an edge over the current Donut making companies in the market; possibly to serve Donuts which are not presently available, maybe with regional flavors like Lime and Mango.

“Your Vision is your North Star” said Rohit Talwar, Product Manager at TrulyMadly.

Make your Vision inspirational! Be dogmatic, dedicated, about the utopia that is your product. And if you don’t sense the passion for it, then my friend, you have to come up with a better vision.

What is the path that you are going to follow to reach that Vision?

Here your Short-term and Long-term goals are the most important. Identify your goals tangibly:

- Acquisition (P3) % user growth by DAU, MAU

- Activation (P1) conversion rate

- Retention (P2) by Lifetime Value, Churn

- Customer Health (P1) by NPS, Sean Ellis Test

For Acquisition, Facebook likes are a boon. Make your presence felt via clever emails, twitter and other social networking sites. Try to use English for usability. Not everyone understands complicated fancy icons; besides in different parts of the world, some signs are used for different purposes.

Micro-interactions make an App a delight to use! These are definitely must-haves!

Optimize your Funnel

Maximizing your conversion funnels happens when you conduct experiment with each element of customer interaction, dig into your analytics and finally optimize your design. A well-built funnel is the result of a well-tested one.

Call in that friend of yours who is a Normal guy, with Normal internet needs. Ask him to use your App/Website. Ask questions on how he feels about the usability.

Product Discovery

Principles

1. Obsess over customers, not competition — Who does my product serve?

2. Build products that are valuable, usable & feasible — How will I measure success of my product?

3. Design is the difference — What is my unique insight?

4. Get customers to core value proposition + “Aha” moment — What is the purpose/value of my product to the user?

Say No to lots of things. The last thing you want is to clutter.

Two models can come handy in the Product Discovery:

Waterfall Model VS. Continuous Model

Continuous

  • Ideas -> Discovery via MVP + Prototypes-> Delivery then check product market fit

Waterfall

  • Ideas -> Roadmap -> Requirements -> Design -> Build -> Test -> Deploy

Product Roll-Out Plan

1. Practice Controlled Exposure — identify which users to roll feature to

2. Marketing + Blogs — reach your customers — use FB pages to target

3. User tutorials and journeys — first impressions are very important

4. Backward compatibility — make app dumb let all logic reside on the backend giving you complete power

5. Control user’s experience on previous experience — users are not quick to updating their apps

6. Track user experiences and journeys and improve the flow

7. Habituate the user into using the feature — build cues and logic for retargeting users into feature flows into the app itself

Measure Impact

1. Build MVPs — test assumptions and validate your learning

· This should be low, don’t put too much effort into building MVPs

2. Measure NPS/Sean Ellis Test — Tells you about product market fit

· Can be Daily measurement or Monthly measurement

3. Prevent Leaky Buckets — track everything

4. A/B Everything

5. Frictionless experiences -> Content -> Design == Delight

User Tests

1. Customer Interviews

2. Build customer personas

3. Value test (will they give up something?)

4. Value Discussion (What will they take?)

Map customer journeys

Give users a free ride into your product and let them play with it and record their journey.

Product Team

Your Product Team must have the skills of Management, Design, and Engineering; Marketing and sales may be a part too on a broader perspective. Don’t forget that Engineers are the “bottleneck” of the team when CEO is being pulled in multiple directions.

If 10–15 members are the organization size, 6–8 must be engineers.

Have focused quarterly KPIs for each member and keep only 1–2 KPIs and direct all energies to improving them.

Finally what is the duty of a Product Manager? It is to be the-

· Voice of customer

· Bridge business & engineering needs

· Set priorities

· Collect stakeholder input/ buy-in

· Define the product

· Partner with Designer/Engineer to test & build the product

· Look at data — set A/Bs and test ideas

· Iterate to achieve product/market fit

· Iterate, Iterate, Iterate!

Ask yourself this GOLDEN LIST of Questions:

· What problem will this solve? (value proposition)

· For whom do we solve that problem? (target market)

· How big is the opportunity? (market size)

· How will we measure success? (metrics)

· What alternatives are out there now? (competitive landscape)

· Why we are best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator)

· Why now? (market window)

· How will we get this product to market? (go-to-market strategy)

· What factors are critical to success (solution requirements)

· Given the above, what is the recommendation? (go or no go)

These sources should be your Tech Stack-

Customer Insight — Survey Monkey, Crazy Egg, UserTesting.com, Optimizely

User Stories — Google Docs, Quip

Analytics — Google Analytics, Mixpanel, SQL, Firebase, Excel/Sheets

Design & Prototyping — Balsamiq, Axure, Invision, Proto.io, Sketch, Canva

Project Management — Trello, Jira

Roadmapping — Aha!

Flowcharting — Draw.io, lucidchart, coggle.it

It goes without saying that your reading material has to be A1. Keep your knowledge updated that is the trick.

· Marvel App

· Panda Weekly

· Product Hunt

· Dribble

· Follow product designers on Medium/Reddit/Twitter etc (facebook designer — Julie Zhuo is someone you should follow.

· Intercom blog + podcast

· A16z blog

· Read Hooked by Nir Eyal

· Mobilized by SC Moatti

· Design of everyday things — Don Norman and other works by him

· Objectified

· Inspired by Marty Cagan

And lastly, some hacks and tips ;) Thank me later!

· Use the customer’s NPS feedback (score 9–10) in your product marketing

· 0–6 NPS score to be used as backlog for your product

· Dummy buttons and track clicks

· Design FTUs first — Build with the start in mind — not in the middle

· Make a Styleguide (Look at Marvel’s styleguide)

· Portfolio Allocation — assign 2–3 resources to new features

· Keep code nimble — remove/service old code/features — remember to optimize app size and performance — especially in India

· KPI and Dashboards — see performance of your key metrics in open sight — use it for motivation!

Upcoming Workshops at HelloMeets-

Beginners guide to Chatbots | 25th September | 3 pm to 7 pm

Wordpress for Beginners | 25th September | 10 am to 4 pm

Bloggers meetup | 1st October | 11 am to 2 pm

Special credits : Sakshi Kaul, Content Writer HelloMeets and thanks to Rohit Talwar, Product Manager TrulyMadly (This was discussed at a session conducted by him at HelloMeets)