Do you ever feel like your technology project has taken over your life? Like there’s just too much to do and not enough time in the day? You’re feeling overwhelmed. These might be the signs that your project is in need of a product leader.
Product managers may be the most important part of your entire team. They ensure that the development team is on track, the client is in the know, and that the executives are in the loop.
The product development process can be a difficult one. Bottlenecks, bugs, and bureaucracy are just some of the things that could kill off a great idea or project.
Product managers know how important it is to spot early warning signs before these issues get out of hand. Sometimes the difference between success and failure may come down to catching and addressing problems quickly!
What makes a bad project turn into an award-winning one?
Our top product managers use these 6 proven strategies to mitigate most common challenges that will help you with your next doomed technology project.
You can’t make it if you don’t know what success looks like. Too often, projects fail because the project itself is poorly defined at first place instead of problem with tools or team who plan it out. This leads to confusion and inefficiency among team members, as requirements fluctuate wildly.
Product Managers understand that the more they invest in their skills, knowledge and abilities to define new ways of managing projects, the better a project will do. There is no “one right way” but they keep learning, and finding the right training that ensures robust Statement of Work as well as appropriate Requirements Documentation, realistic timelines, and appropriate processes and policies; all these are so important in order to stay ahead of their competition.
When projects drag on, it can be tough to keep the momentum. The problem is that slow progress can turn into complete inertia – then you’re in trouble! There are many reasons for it – the timescale may have been over-ambitious, resources might not be allocated correctly and staff members could leave with critical information on what’s going to happen next in a project.
Product managers can enter a stagnant project and immediately improve the situation with actionable plans and realistic milestones. They streamline the development timeline with in-depth road maps and well-researched market data. Most of all, they can stick to a plan and get the whole team on board. Product managers offer the development team guidance, strategies, and perspectives that can save a product and, ultimately, a company.
The best way to keep your project on track is by making sure that you set the right milestones. If those aren’t being met, it’s obvious your project has fallen behind and needs a little help getting back up again without causing even more problems in the process.
If a development team fails to meet crucial milestones, vague tasks may be to blame. Top product managers can turn this around by creating small, actionable steps for the development team. They clearly outline how to get from A to B and leave no room for confusion or misinterpretation.
Does the project manager seem uninterested in your reports on project progress? Are the executives less and less animated when you deal with them? Neither is a good sign.
Lack of interest can equate to lack of buy-in, which can mean that the leadership has doubts about the project that they haven’t shared with you. This is something that has to be met head-on as soon as the issue appears.
The best product managers are creative thinkers. They use lateral thinking, passion, and curiosity to motivate the entire product development team.
Why does sparking imagination helps failing projects? Simply because so much of product development relies on how people are feeling.
A product manager’s job is not only getting people on board, but also keeping them engaged and maintaining that sense that this project matters in some way.
Unfortunately, due to conflicting goals, a significant portion of the management and team is oftentimes uncommitted to the project at hand. Studies have shown that when a team lacks commitment, it often leads to the project being short on resource, which will eventually lead to failure
Sometimes all a project needs to succeed is just the right perspective.
Top Product managers make engaging the team an immediate priority. After getting to know them, great product managers will learn their quirks and preferences so that they can help enable the team members do their best work in a manner where they could be most effective.
Consumers have the power to change their minds. Where software projects take months, markets can dry up in a week.
The odds are higher that the marketplace will be entirely different by the time you’ve finished your code if your project is targeting a rapidly evolving market. Even in the most well-established markets, there are always going to be fresh entrants looking for their big break. Your company is only as strong as its ability to adapt and change. Without an adaptation plan, you’re already one step closer to the door!
Product managers collate market data, business intelligence, and ongoing product development metrics in order to keep the product competitive and the team effective. When a product is not connecting with the customer, it is usually due to a faulty synthesis of marketing data. Top product managers often consult existing market data or ask for new research when they encounter a major discrepancy between expectation and reality.
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Does your Project Need a Product Manager?