2. Hooray for you!
You’ve got a new product management job!
Not many people have formal product management
qualifications. And product managers tend to come
from diverse backgrounds.
It’s likely you may have some questions
5. Find the right people to talk to
Marketing Rejectors (Non-
Customer service Customers)
Finance Journalists & Bloggers
6. Ask smart questions
1. What are the biggest problems you’re facing? What
impact do these problems have?
2. What problems does our product solve for you?
3. What are the reasons that led you to buy our
4. What do you like most about our product?
5. What do you like least about our product?
6. If you could change one thing about our product
what would that be?
Hint: take lots of notes
7. Then ask more smart questions!
You’re new, so you
can ask one or two
dumb questions too
• Collate and review your data
• What are the key points?
• What comments were most significant?
• What’s working?
• What’s not working?
• What else do you need to know?
11. Sounds dumb, doesn’t it?
• You’d be amazed how many product managers are
unfamiliar with their product
• Take the time to interact, consume, use or play with
your new product or service
• Personal experience gives you depth of
understanding that cannot be obtained from
customer feedback alone
• If you’re getting confused – imagine how the
12. Describe your product
• List out the features
• What are its strengths?
• Isolate shortcomings in your product
• Don’t listen to those who say “We can’t fix that
• Think how this contrasts with competitors
• Keep an open mind – and remember it’s all about
14. Measure the right things
• Take a good hard look at the numbers!
• Combine qualitative insight with quantitative grunt
to create a clear view of the product’s performance
• Check these against your job’s Key Performance
Indicators – are these measuring the right things?
• Analyse trends and changes – a dip in sales could
mean many things: a price increase, new competitor,
seasonal demand drop
15. Square pegs, round holes
• If your product doesn’t generate revenue, don’t
assume you don’t need to measure performance
• Once you’ve collated and analysed your product’s
KPIs determine if the numbers have over or under
• If changes to KPIs are needed review with your
manager and refine accordingly
• Use the KPIs as guidance in all your initiatives to
ensure you’re working on the right activities
17. Dig around in the office
• Find existing material – market reports, product
plans, sales collateral etc
• Try to find up-to-date versions – and old stuff to see
how products have evolved
• Ideally you’ll want to find market requirements,
product requirements and product plans
• See what info you have on competitors too
18. External sources
• Go online and start researching
• What are people saying about your product? Is it
true? Or are there misconceptions?
• Find reports, white papers, blogs and other content
to help you shore up your industry and product
21. Putting ideas into actions
• Now that you understand your market, customers
and product it’s time to articulate
• Refine product requirements, defining where
changes and improvements need to be made
• Enhance in-life documentation
• Prepare different documents for different
• Keep these files secure and centrally located so that
they’re easy to find and update
23. You’re the product ambassador
• You’ve done so much hard work
• You know exactly who the customer is, what they
want and how your product delivers
• It’s your job to communicate this internally
• Go back to all the people you spoke to early on –
and share what you’ve found
• Give them resources and support – product
managers are team players
24. Pump up the resources
• Update collateral
• Refine presentations
• Train sales and service teams
• Engage with marketing communications
• Keep senior management in the loop
• Tell the customer – and converse with
26. Develop a reputation
• As a product manager, it is important for your own
professional development and for your customers
that you continually strive to be the best you can be
• You’ll find it easier to work with and influence
people and outcomes
• You’ll help keep the customer front-and-centre of
mind of the business
• This helps enhance recognition of the product
27. But what is “Best”?
• Understand your personal objectives – know why
• Align personal objectives to business objectives
• Create a plan to meet and exceed these
• Focus – work out what is most important and put
most of your effort here
• Deliver the best work for your audience
• Ask for help and feedback – be humble, and find
out what you can improve in your performance
29. Be better than best
• Plan to update your skills
• Continued learning helps to improve your
weaknesses and enhance your strengths
– Attend conferences and industry events
– Undertake short courses
– Take part in free webinars
– Join a professional association
– Read blogs, listen to podcasts and watch online
videos related to your field
– Teach others – often this is the best way to learn
31. Work should be fun
• Inject a bit of passion and fun into your role
• Encourage creative thinking, fresh ideas and
engagement throughout your team and
• Crazy ideas are sometimes the best so encourage
openness and experimentation
• Go into each day positive and think how you can
make a difference
32. In summary
Good product management is about delivering products that
Product managers use logic, insight and a degree of creativity in
defining, developing, deploying and maintaining these
Product managers must guide and collaborate with other parts
of the business and external stakeholders.
Product managers have a duty to deliver financial benefits to
33. Keep discovering
• There’s always new opportunities for your
• Keep the focus on your customer and
understand how they’re evolving needs can
continue to be met by your product
• Discover new opportunities and guide the
business to capitalise on these
• The product management discipline translates
well across industries so never fear taking a leap
of faith into a new role further down the track!
34. In summary
Good product management is about delivering
products that customers love.
Product managers use logic, insight and a degree of
creativity in defining, developing, deploying and
maintaining these products.
Product managers must guide and collaborate with
other parts of the business and external stakeholders.
Product managers have a duty to deliver financial
benefits to their organisation.
36. brainmates helps clients to define, develop and
deploy products and services.
Our insight and expertise ensures these are
compelling, competitive and profitable.
Contact us to learn how we can help you.