A product manager who thinks they’ve got an easy ride because their product is a cash cow is probably missing the point. While failing or unpopular products have a more obvious set of problems to tackle, successful ones have a different set of arguably trickier problems
A few months ago, I co-presented a short speaking slot at this year’s SatMetrix Net Promoter European Conference. I’ve reproduced an excerpt from their official blog of the event for posterity.
You can see the full article in its original form at Net Promoter – Blogs – European Conference Blog 2010.
There are many reasons why Sales may be holding back on your new product. As we all know, Salespeople are by nature shy, retiring types, who need constant reassurance. You need to encourage and nurture them, delicate little flowers that they are. Or at the very least, restrain the urge to run screaming at them with a baseball bat held aloft.
Ah, emails. How did we manage without them? Personally, I think quite well. Now we appear to be unable to tear ourselves away from them.
They taunt us in our inbox, begging for attention. They follow us on our mobile devices, so there is no respite. Most importantly, they’re categorically not suited to all situations. Move a bit closer to the screen – I have some valuable advice for you…
You expend a lot of effort getting people to buy your product and they’re happy with it.
You then go back to your satisfied customers and tell them what they have is now mediocre, so they have to move onto your latest and greatest product version. You see this everywhere, from washing powders to family cars, so it must work for enterprise software, right? So why are your no-longer-happy customers now chasing you with pitchforks and burning torches?
As a product manager, how do you know you’re doing your job well? This article outlines the problem with traditional metrics for product managers and offers some better alternatives for measuring success: communication, ideas, roadmapping, launch and end-of-life.
I remember once starting a product manager job where it took me two hours to establish where my desk was.
On the plus side, I gained a valuable insight into how NOT to manage a new starter. Here are three basic lessons I’ve learned, so that hopefully you won’t be the subject of a similar blog post some time down the line.