Capability Five – Building Product Management Excellence
Learn How to Influence
Generally, Product Managers have responsibility without authority; they can be measured on product profitability, revenue, customer satisfaction, delivery dates, etc. But they control none of these.
Effective teams recognise this lack of authority, perceive this to be a benefit (they don’t have to manage the team, deal with personnel issues, pay rises, etc) and instead develop influencing skills to get more done. Key to this is building an evidence-based approach in recognition that groups work better and harder when they believe their efforts are worthwhile – we would all struggle to find the motivation to put in the extra hours on projects if we don’t believe our customers really want the features we’re building.
Leadership for this habit focuses on the value of evidence, the traction that that evidence generates in development and delivery teams, and the credibility it offers at an executive level.
Test the evidence behind all product manager propositions “Who have you spoken to in the market”, “What quantitative research have you done”, “Show me the customer insights that support this”. Make every market research review about the evidence rather than the idea.