What Makes Product Management Challenging
“A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat.”
– Deep Nishar, Vice President of Product at LinkedIn
The product manager role today is one of the most crucial roles in digital product companies. They have to be the jack of all trades from technical to non-technical. Where they are expected to be tech-savvy on contrary they are also expected to be a good marketer of their product. A product manager has to excel all from having good leadership, soft skills, and negotiation skills to having equally good competitive analysis, marketing, and technological skills. We could not agree more with the statement that a product manager is an expert juggler.
With multiple responsibilities, there also comes the multiple complications which come in the way of product managers. The challenges don’t just stop here. The list of challenges is long and in this blog, we will try to address a few of them. So here are those few most significant challenges that a product manager faces. Let’s see these challenges in detail and figure out how we can make Product Management less chaotic and challenging.
1. Product management is unorganized
Organising the unorganized is the biggest challenge that a product manager comes across. The team suffers because of unorganized and messy processes. Project managers need to attend back to back meetings to take follow-ups. Most of the time is spent on calls and meetings whereas the process needs more focus. It is obvious for a Product Manager to get easily distracted with different work when multiple people draw his attention in different directions. It’s easy to lose the North with multiple things to do and multiple places to go about. The quality of work lacks due to these hurdles. A good rule to solve this problem is to dedicate 80 percent of your time to the 20 percent of activities that will materially impact your product’s success and your organisation’s.
2. Product management is Fragmented
Often it is seen that PMs are taking rough notes of their data and ideas. The data got fragmented in a way that few of the information is in the form of rough notes, few in the form of documentation, and few on slack and other design tools or Jira. So to ensure the quality of the data to be much more efficient and straightforward, we should have a platform that can pull all of our data into one place. This will make it easier to organize it and also will ensure the quality of the work. The data can be quickly analyzed and we can use it more effectively.
3. Organisational silos
We can't realize a team's full potential unless we don't involve each department in the process. It is essential to know about the opinions of other departments involved in developing the product. Product managers often take feedback from clients whereas it's equally important to take feedback from the other department heads. For example, a product team doesn't talk to the sales team. They would never know how the product is being portrayed or what are the reasons for a customer to buy that product or not buying the product. Seeking feedback from the clients who choose to buy that product is fine, but the potential lies in seeking the reasons for customers who choose not to buy. This way it's important to be involved with each department and break these organizational silos.
4. Changing market dynamics
Change is the law of life and Product management too. There is always room for change and new competitors emerge. Product progressions show up from new sources. Your users can have changing needs and demands. All these factors can have adverse effects on your product and company. This can be taken care of by regular watch on market trends and market research. That will help in retaining for long in the race of products. So it is always advisable to be alert and ready to take action for whatever comes across.
Product management is uniquely complicated. But we can always turn challenges into opportunities. Yes, it’s hard to do everything on their plate but knowing a portion of the top difficulties or challenges can assist you with envisioning possible hindrances.