With fall comes the time to set goals for the coming year and think about what you would like to have accomplished when you look back on those goals. There are KPIs to achieve and roadmap goals, but there are also behaviors that product managers must guide to ensure growth in the years to come. Below are three recommendations to consider when developing your annual plan.
Encourage product managers to take a holistic view of customer issues
Product managers and executives often go into problem-solving mode before they really understand customer issues. However, the first solution to a problem – or an opportunity – is rarely the best, and a more in-depth analysis can often yield better solution options.
We recommend that teams take a more structured approach to understanding complex situations by first describing the problem and clearly explaining what success will look like once the problem is resolved. Both should be done from the customer’s point of view, ideally from the buyer’s and the user’s point of view. A complete problem statement includes a description of the problem, including evidence and examples; the audience to which the problem applies; the impact of the problem; and the positive and negative business outcomes that may result from resolving the problem. It is important to note that the customer’s problem statement must include the value – both economic and non-economic – of solving the problem.
Consider elements of the larger product experience when discussing issues and opportunities
With a deeper definition of customer issues comes a broader definition of the product. Forrester recommends that product managers analyze customer data and engage with customers on a regular basis to identify the barriers they face in deriving more value from the offering. Practice continuous product discovery to try out new ideas beyond those related to the offering itself, including value-added products, customer education, and other support opportunities that will generate value .
When product management teams take responsibility for the broader product experience, including testing, integration, and support services, they are likely to deliver more customer value. For example, if customers aren’t getting the full value they expect from an offering, adding new features or capabilities might not necessarily be helpful. A closer look at the problem and an understanding of what results customers are looking for might reveal a better option. For example, improving customer adoption through the addition of enhanced integration services, such as usage analytics and user adoption monitoring, are better options for delivering faster, greater customer value.
Make sure product managers are data driven
Product teams are often disconnected from the organization’s strategic goals and driven by metrics that track activities rather than results. The value delivered to customers, not the number of versions of the offering, should be the focal point of product management goals. Forrester recommends that product stewards strive to align their initiatives with the organization’s strategic goals and creating customer value.
This can be done by selecting success metrics that link use and engagement of the offer to customer outcomes and ultimately revenue and retention. If this data is not readily available, product managers should be empowered to work cross-functionally with revenue operations, sales operations, and finance to assemble the data. Product managers should sponsor efforts to mechanize the process of creating product scorecards that track both lagging and leading metrics to deliver value with an understanding of how this leads to success. commercial.
In 2022, product managers should seek to define and measure buyer value and focus on measuring and celebrating the delivery of positive customer outcomes.
Learn more about Forrester planning assumptions. here.
This post was written by Vice President, Research Director Lisa Singer and it originally appeared here.