Closing your GAP
Maximize Business Results by Closing The GAPs in Your Product Portfolio Management
When it comes to product portfolio management, there is often a GAP between what companies want from their product managers and what they get. Quality organizations want their product managers to think strategically and have a proactive vision and market orientation to go with their ability to manage a business. Unfortunately, organizations often have product managers who think more tactically; they are reactive, product-centric and prone to managing projects rather than products.
This disparity that exists between what an organization desires in its product portfolio management and what it gets is what we call the “Product Management GAP.”
What Causes the Product Management GAP?
Organizations inadvertently can be to blame for the GAP in their product portfolio management. It may be that the company has structures and hierarchy in place that force product managers to focus on tactical and internal activities, such as project management and product development, rather than on the larger picture. When product managers aren’t able to focus on the big picture, too little attention is paid to analyzing markets, (existing, adjacent and emerging), understanding changing customer needs and adjusting applications, and developing strategies that enable companies to thrive in highly competitive markets.
Where Are the GAPs?
GAPs in product portfolio management often occur in more than one area of a business. Some typical areas where GAPs exist are:
- People – Product managers are too frequently involved in activities that are not their primary role. When this occurs, they may fall into the trap of becoming tactical, internally focused and reactive.
- Planning – Without prioritization, a product manager’s typical laundry list of projects can become chaotic, which leads to too much time and attention being paid to less important initiatives.
- Strategy – Failure to involve product managers in corporate strategy discussions creates missed opportunities. Product managers have a unique perspective that can help align corporate strategies with product portfolio management strategies.
- Processes – Product managers often go without the critical information they need to affect real outcomes. A lack of business intelligence and information systems may undermine a company’s success.
- Product portfolio management – Poor lifecycle management strategies often result in product proliferation, too many SKUs and surplus inventories, all of which strain resources and drain profits.
Filling your product management GAPs can lead to better and more profitable product portfolios that maximize your company’s return on investment and strengthen your competitive position.
Your investment in expert product portfolio management will pay dividends when you bridge the product management GAP. With the assistance of consulting professionals who specialize in maximizing your product management competency, you can convert product managers into marketers and strategists who focus on asking, “What can I do to capture the customer?”
Greg DiCillo, president of Maximal Product Management (and author of Dominate Your Space: Unleashing the Power of Your Product Managers) shares his research insights with companies that want practical steps to establish a culture of high-performance product portfolio management.