FINDING AND FIXING YOUR PRODUCT MANAGEMENT GAPS
Successful Industrial companies need innovative and distinctive products that drive growth. They aim to dazzle their customers, not just meet market needs. And they want a robust product portfolio with product offerings people want to buy.
To make this happen, product managers must have a clearly defined role, and spend their time being strategic, proactive, and market focused so they can develop a vision for the product line. They need to drive innovation instead of focusing on incremental updates and modifications. And they need tools, processes, training, and organizational support to improve product outcomes and boost the bottom line.
If your organization is facing stagnant or declining revenue, disappearing profit margins, shrinking market share, or product portfolios bloated with too many products, there are significant gaps in your approach to product management. These circumstances may also reflect your organization’s level of commitment to product planning and strategy.
Maximal’s GAP Discovery services are designed to help you find, fix, and bridge product management gaps. Our comprehensive, organization-wide approach will pay you dividends by enhancing your industrial B2B product management performance and maximizing business results.
Maximizing product manager strategy starts by eliminating organizational confusion.
In many companies, there is a mismatch, a disparity, between what they want from their product managers and what they get.
It’s not uncommon for an organization to long for product managers who can think strategically and who have a proactive vision and market orientation to go with their ability to manage a business. What organizations often get, however, is people who think in a more tactical way, who are reactive and product-centric and who are prone to managing projects rather than products. We call this disparity the “Product Management GAP.”
It isn’t always easy to understand why and where there is a Product Management GAP.
Too often, organizations are to blame. It may be that the company has structures and hierarchy that force product managers to focus on project management and product development rather than on the larger picture of product management. It could be a human-resource problem, or a time-allocation problem. Or, it could be something else deserving examination.
- Do you have a GAP in your product management?
- If so, how big is it?
- Where is it?
- And how can you fix it?
If you suspect your organization has a product management problem, Maximal’s GAP Discovery™ process can help you find your GAP areas, identify ways to fix them, and put your company on the right path to high performance product management.
Unleashing the power of product managers begins with having the right people properly aligned in product management roles.
Many executives make the mistake of thinking of product management roles as tactical functions, so they hire or promote people who are task-oriented and internally focused — doers and tinkerers, rather than thinkers and planners.
The best product managers are marketers and strategists.
Instead of asking, “What can I do to the product?” the right people in product management roles ask, “What can I do to capture the customer?” They are leaders who function as entrepreneurial CEOs of their product offering with the responsibility for managing revenue and profitability. And they are planners capable of managing the product portfolio throughout the life cycle from innovation to end of life.
Maximize market performance by keeping product management roles STRATEGICALLY focused
Product management is a discipline requiring product managers to be strategic in nature and to embrace long-term, market-based thinking and planning. It’s not uncommon for organizations to involve product managers in activities that are not conducive to their primary role. When this occurs, product managers may fall into the trap of becoming tactical, internally focused, reactive managers.
Maximal’s comprehensive Profiler PM™ helps companies and product managers develop the strategic skills required to stay tightly focused on product management strategy — avoiding the costly distractions that can bring good product management down.
Get the Max from your product portfolio management when you think “Strategy Integration”
Managing a product portfolio is like managing an investment fund.
Product management is more than simply managing individual products or product development projects. It’s about managing the entire mix of product investments the company makes with the ultimate goal of achieving a balanced portfolio. The principle concern is to develop a healthy portfolio, with the right balance in terms of existing and new products, long-term and short-term projects, high-risk versus low-risk projects, product diversification across markets, technologies, categories and product types.
Every product manager needs the facts about his/her business.
Successful product managers the discipline and techniques to take charge of their product lines, make informed recommendations and communicate product management strategy that drives business results. Better portfolio management strategy comes from careful and inspired market and customer analysis. Trends must be sorted from fads. Customer wants, needs, and unmet or latent needs must be clearly understood. And, competitive positions must be considered
Product planning and prioritization go hand-in-glove.
A lack of product planning can lead to too much time and attention paid to less important initiatives. And, in the wake of missing or inadequate direction and rationale, confusion reigns when it comes time to decide when and why things are being done. This is why lack of adequate product management planning is toxic. Product plans provide the reasoning for commitments. They also provide the focus for changes and modifications, which, when documented, add clarity and keep all the resources focused and on track.
Maximal’s Strategist™ software provides a comprehensive tool for ‘product portfolio management and strategy integration.
Only CUSTOMIZED product management training can maximize your business.
Rote, out-of-the-box training costs you money, but doesn’t make you money. Experience shows that generic seminars and workshop training with no specificity to your company’s unique competitive challenges, structure and culture have little chance of delivering any kind of measured success or lasting impact.
Customize to maximize…The “Maximal Way.”
Maximal recommends product management training customized to your business needs, training that is deeply immersive, measured and continuous. We tailor product management training to you and set up benchmarks that measure success.
Our comprehensive, customized product management training is designed to provide your organization with tools and techniques to enhance product management competencies in seven critical areas:
- Market analysis and segmentation
- Segment profiling, and competitive analysis
- Strategic marketing, targeting and prioritization
- Pricing strategies, sales and channel strategies
- Product line strategies
- Product life cycle and portfolio management
- Development of effective plans and road maps for communicating to stakeholders and managing outcomes