You cannot deny that product teams struggle a lot to develop a great product and give excellent services to their customers. Sometimes, they feel to meet the demand of the customers. It is not that the team doesn’t have the required skills. But it’s the time when the product teams have become the victim of one or more product management dysfunctions.
Everyone in the field of product management has struggled from these dysfunctions at some point in their career. Thus, it makes it all the more important for group product manager and product managers as a whole to understand the concept of dysfunctions. Here is the list of product management dysfunctions and the ways to overcome them.
The Hamster Wheel
The hamster wheel approach requires you to run continuously. Sometimes you may not even get anywhere. Product teams focus entirely on output rather than the outcome in the hamster wheel. You can find the answer to these two questions to get the concept clearly –
- Have you shipped the feature on time? (focus on output)
- Have your customers got any value from the features? (focus on the outcome)
Now, what is the solution to this dysfunction? Create a product board to get an outcome-driven roadmap. Give importance to the product metrics you proposed and make the changes as needful. Measure these changes and ensure to deliver the right results. Communicate the information of the results to your team and make the needed recommendations.
The Counting House
The dysfunction of the counting house gives supreme importance to internal metrics and, surprisingly, no regard to customer success. Product teams show major interest in internal metrics like revenue growth and monthly active users. But here comes the truth: the internal metrics should not be the principal focus of Product management. Instead, you should have the strategies to follow to deliver the best value products to your customers. If you keep the customers in mind, you will surely create a good business model, and the metrics will fall into their place.
To address this dysfunction, develop a hierarchy that reflects the way your customers can think about what things you are working on. For instance – you can create a hierarchy of which jobs to be done. It will show how your work and tasks are helping the clients and users to do the different jobs. Looking at the answers of the topgrading interview preparation will also let you know some details about how to deal with the dysfunctions. So, do the needful.
The Ivory Tower
The ivory tower shows a lack of research in terms of finding out about the customers. The product teams build the notion that they know the customers better than the customers know themselves. As a result, the teams never really make an effort to know the customers, which is risky for the future of the product. It can lead to distrust between the department of product management and other departments. And when the product fails to fetch them the desired results, the product managers assume that the fault is somewhere else.
To deal with dysfunction, create an insight board. Link it to the insight and number of feedbacks of the customers. You can also form a portal on your website and collect feedback. It will clarify to the stakeholders the reasons you are prioritizing customer problems and how the solution will impact the feedback further.
The Science Lab
The science lab is the dysfunction where product teams put all their efforts into making superficial improvements to the product. But these small-scale optimizations don’t have much effect on the innovation of the product or do not add much to the customer value. Experts say that sometimes it is not the optimizations you need but the new solutions.
Create a roadmap to balancing the categories of innovation, iteration, and operation to address this dysfunction. The roadmap will help your roadmap audience to visualize the lift they can expect from multiple roadmap items. Moreover, it will help you know the capacity allocated to each category.
The Feature Factory
The feature factory is never done with building features. You always have something else to build. Product teams believe that if they add just one more innovative feature to the product, they will help retain their customers who might otherwise leave. Sometimes it tends to give positive results, but many times it doesn’t lead to the results you want.
You have to break the cycle here. Using insights to build a sustainable feedback loop can work wonders. It will help you gain feedback about the new feature that is being added to the product. Besides, you can integrate it with the analytic product.
It is crucial to sit back and develop the process to pay attention to the product development efforts you are making. It will help you create the path to successful product development.
To sum it up
It is imperative to say that many product managers have to deal with the above-mentioned dysfunctions at some point in their product management career. So, try to tackle them as suggested, and you will be good to go.