New in product management? You probably have received a few basic tips to help you survive your first six months as product manager. The usual advice for new PMs is to observe and learn everything you can about your product, your market, and your teams. This is quite helpful, but there is one thing you need to make sure you achieve before anything else – that all teams in your company and your customers see your product the same way.
Before you get into more product management tasks, you will need to discover any discrepancies as to how team members within your company and your product users perceive your product and fix these. As product manager, you need to ensure that your company and your customers are aligned when it comes to describing your product.
Here are the first three things a new product manager needs to do as soon as they start their career in product management:
Try the Product Yourself
You don’t have to attend a product management training course to know how important it is to personally experience your product. Get to know your product as a customer and sign up an account for yourself. Use the account as a new user and take notes as you go through the features. If there are any confusing or frustrating steps as you navigate through the product, make sure to document these. If you are experiencing any issues, there is a great chance that your customers are having problems as well. Take screenshots and add notes.
Assess the Product
As you use the product, observe how it actually works and assess if this matches how it is communicated to your market. As product manager, you are responsible in making sure that marketing and customer service are in sync, and that your customers get the right message. At this point, don’t worry about changes in product features just yet. Focus on assessing the product from your user’s point of view and comparing your experience with what is communicated to your customers.
Conduct 1-on-1 Discussions with Your Teams
Now that you have actually experienced the product yourself, you are prepared to have one on one discussions internally with your team members and your customers. Talk about product vision with your teams and ask them what they think the product vision is. You might find that the product vision may differ from team to team, and it is your responsibility to clarify this among all teams and keep everyone aligned if you want to be able to launch your product successfully.
Talk to Your Customers
Ask your customers how their experience with your product has been going, what are their frustrations, and what they wish was added or changed to improve their user experience. Take note of every feedback and share these with your marketing and customer support teams and plan ways to ensure that your customers the right message about your product.
The role of a product manager is a tough one, but starting on the right foot will ensure that you perform well in your field and succeed in launching a great product your customers will love!
Michelle Rubio has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on product management training such as those offered by ProductSchool.com.