“So You’re a New Product Manager…” Part 5

The advice to New Product Managers in Part 5 is simple.

Tip 5: Locate and Review All Documentation on Your New Product

It may seem obvious but sometimes we tend to overlook the fact that there is existing product documentation available throughout the various departments of an organisation. Seek out all documentation and find the most up to date versions. Start with the documentation available within the product group. There should be a Market or Product Requirements Document for your product. Business Analysts and Solution Architects tend to write and will therefore have comprehensive documentation. The Customer Service Team may also have a training manual or training sheet that you can review.

Tip 5.1: Write a Product Requirements Document

If a Market or a Product Requirements Document was not created for your product, write one.

Your knowledge of your customer and product will grow exponentially as you write this document. The Product Requirements Document will also form the basis of any future documentation that you will prepare as you enhance your product. It will be difficult making any changes to your product if you do not have a baselined Product Requirements Document.

Tip 5.2: Persist with the Product Requirements Document

If you are partway through the document and you feel that writing a document may not be the most productive use of your time, I recommend that you persist. Your efforts will be well rewarded.

Preparing such a document, even though your product is “in-market”, has many advantages:

  1. Information about your customer and product is contained within one document
  2. The document can be shared by others across the organisation
  3. Any assumptions previously made about your product are either substantiated or negated
  4. You become the Subject Matter Expert and can converse fluently about your product

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