A Little Product Manager In All Of Us

This short blog is inspired by the Product Talks event that was held at the Brainmates office yesterday (28 July 2011) on Turning Ideas into Business Cases.

We were fortunate to have Jen Armstrong from Lexis Nexis, Kees Kwakernaak from Bank of America and Nicholas Muldoon from Atlassian speak about how their organisations generate ideas and use Business Cases to support ideas from conception to launch.

I want to bring attention to and elaborate on a point that was made by the speakers yesterday. Jen Armstrong said that in an ideal world everyone within the organisation should do Product Management. I have been leaning towards this position for quite some time and it was heartening to hear someone else voice a similar opinion.

Product Management thinking should not be isolated to Product Managers. Everyone within the company from Finance, Sales to Engineering should be encouraged to deliberately incorporate Product Management thinking in their job.

What do I mean by this?

The success of Product Management to deliver successful products and services lies in its ability to nail 2 key principles:

1. Understanding what customers need

2. Delivering a solution that satisfies the need better than the competitors at a price that makes money

If people working within the business are mindful of these principles and make business, sales and technical decisions that incorporate the customer, wouldn’t products be more successful in the market?

Sure the Product Manager may be required to carry out most of the activities of Product Management but the formula for market success should be a shared responsibility.

There should be a little Product Manager in all of us.