As a newly minted product manager, you’re starting with a clean slate. No one knows your company’s products better than you. Your enthusiasm is contagious, and your ambition is admirable. You have many ideas for improving your company’s customer experience, but where do you start?
This blog post will give you tips needed to hit the ground running in your new role as a product manager: identify key customer needs, prioritize features, create a roadmap of user experience improvements, set KPIs to measure success, break down roadblocks into tasks with actionable next steps, track progress using an agile project management approach.
It is true to claim that a product manager has multiple responsibilities. For product market fit, product managers must possess exceptional leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. It is a position that suits a select group of individuals, but it fits like a glove when right.
However, when switching jobs as a product manager, there is a great deal to learn immediately. The position needs an in-depth understanding of the organization you work for, the team you collaborate with, and the product itself.
It can be difficult but do not be concerned. In the past several months, we’ve asked product managers for advice on how to hit the ground running in a new product manager position. Palarino Partners have compiled some tips into helpful ideas.
1) Centre the User and Customer
First and foremost, take time to dive into your customer’s feedback. Understand what they like, dislike, or are confused about with your product. Take note of where the product needs improvement and areas of strength. Understand their pain points and what would make their lives easier or more convenient.
Prioritise your customer’s wants and needs as a whole before you begin to make changes. Put together a list of priorities – order them by importance and write out detail for each – from top priority to a lowest priority user story/feature set based on how it will benefit the customer.
3) Develop a user flow map
You need to know your product’s inner details and features to make it better for your customers. Make notes about all the features current users encounter on their way to completion and the additional features they don’t use. Take note of any problems or issues that arise along the way and how new/updated features would solve these.
4) Create personas
Personas are fictional characters that represent a specific set of customer needs. You can develop different personas, each representing different customer types, or create just one person who reflects your ideal target customer.
5) Create a roadmap
Map out the features you would like to include in your new product. Create an aggregated list of all the features you want to add. Prioritize them by listing your top tasks and creating a rough timeline for completion.
6) Speak With Stakeholders
Take time to speak with prospective customers and stakeholders in your organization. Speak with current customers and understand how they use your product. Seek out different types of users in your organization that fit a certain persona or represents a specific group of customers.
7) Conduct user research
Collect user feedback, gather real-time feedback, engage current users by asking open-ended questions and stick around after the session to see if they have any questions or comments.
8) Be Curious and Inquisitive
Learn as much as possible about your customers, competitors, and industry. You’ll be surprised by what you can learn and how helpful it is to be interested.
Hitting the ground running in a new product manager in NYC job means starting at 0 – but you’re already well on your way to success. Just keep learning and engaging with those who need to know the most about the product.
9) Get the Lay of the Land
Take time to speak with current employees. Find out what is working and what isn’t, and determine the type of person you want on your product team. Discover if there are any skills gaps or if there is an underutilized talent that can be utilized.
10) Get to Know Your Team
Find out where they are in their careers and whether or not there’s space for growth at your organization. Let them know what you want from them and why they would be a great fit.
11) Explore the Technical Environment
The technical environment will change over time, and it’s important to know how this can affect how users interact with your product. Take time to speak with developers and product engineers and learn how your product is made.
12) Understand Product Marketing
The product marketing team has the knowledge you will need to market your product better and drive growth. Find out how best to use content marketing, advertising, and social media and build your marketing strategy.
13) Learn How the Product Is Made
This is essential information for a new product manager. It will help you figure out if your team needs help in certain areas or if there are gaps that need to be filled – or if you should look elsewhere within the organization.
Wrap It Up!
The best product managers know their customers better than anyone else. The main ingredients of a great product manager are empathy and customer insight. Your colleagues will always be your best source of customer feedback.
Following the above tips will quickly learn everything you need about your new role. Remember, it’s important to speak with everyone who knows about the product and build a strong team for success.