How to make your next idea at work a reality? Think like a Product Manager.

Ever wondered why that brilliant idea of yours fell on deaf ears? According to you, it seemed like the perfect feature or product your team should build. Yet, it failed to make a mark. You are not alone. But, next time you have a crazy idea like that, do your homework and make it a reality. How? Read on.

I see tons of engineers with tons of ideas but fail to take it forward for several reasons. Here are top 5 things that you should dive deep into to give your idea that real push.

1. Clearly define customer problem

Clearly, irrespective of the idea you have, there’s a customer problem behind it that led you to the idea in the first place. Understanding and defining the problem for your audience is key. Break up the problem, if possible for both new and existing customers. For example, if you are re-designing a search page, the problem could be “new customers see a blank page” and you may want to solve that by guiding them with popular content. On the other hand, existing users might see recent searches and your idea could be to show personalized content. If you have clarity, your audience will too.

2. List business value or impact

First and foremost, know your company’s success metrics. How does your company measure success? For example, if it’s customer engagement, then how will your idea help increase it. Think of other business values your idea brings — Maybe it’s a new way to discover content for your customers or perhaps brings flexibility for your marketing team to program content. Take note of it.

3. Support your idea with data

Data is king! Old saying, still holds true if you do it right. Once you have your idea, work backwards. Dig up data supporting your idea. Back to the example of re-designing a search page — Are there enough customer visits to the search page for you to invest in the idea? If yes, what are they searching for? What’s the frequency? Do you see a pattern? What are competitors doing? And so on. At times, it may be difficult to dig up the right data, be creative at finding ways around it by conducting your own surveys or researching the web.

4. Go through the backlog

Your backlog is an abundant source of ideas and it’s very likely your idea is somewhere on that list. It just did not get prioritized. That should not stop you, instead look deeper as to why it wasn’t prioritized and how your idea can help make a stronger case to justify its need. In fact, if you are out of ideas, start by looking at the backlog.

5. Think of the MLP

MLP — Minimum Lovable Product. How would you implement your idea with minimum resources and time and still manage to surprise your customers? Tough one to answer, but start thinking about the MLP as it will go a long way to get your idea across the board.

Next time you have a crazy idea, do your homework!

Technology and Product Enthusiast, Passionate about FinTech, Product @ Amazon

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