Product management equals big business. Worldwide, in 2021, SaaS (software-as-a-service) products spent more than $145 billion dollars on software application improvements. Experts project the year 2022 will experience an 18% growth to approximately $172 billion. Product managers are responsible for managing these billions of dollars in product innovations to benefit customers.

Product managers, or PMs, identify issues in software applications that need to be addressed. Issues needing to be addressed often result from changes in market conditions, new technology, or a change in product use. The goal of product management is to provide product features that serve the customer’s goals by enabling and driving digital innovation. 

Key Takeaways

  • What are the absolute best practices for product management?
  • Discover methods PMs use to discover what new features customers require for short- and long-term success.
  • Find out why PM’s partnering with design and UX is critical for customer and product acceptance.
  • Learn the importance of the product management role to business success.

This article discusses the absolute best practices used by PMs to create effective, innovative, and productive applications that meet the customer’s needs. 

What are the absolute best practices for product management?

There are 3 primary and absolute best practices for effective product management: 

  • Know thy product
  • Develop a product strategy and practice continuous discovery
  • Collaborate effectively with Design and UX team members to keep the project customer-focused

Before developing a product strategy or even discussing new features with a customer, the PM must understand the product. Understanding the product is knowing more than how to log in. PMs need to use the product and understand how the current functionality works. 

Creating or refining a product strategy plan means organizing the project and understanding risks, possible issues, and realistic expectations. Give customers the best possible features by planning the strategy before new features are developed. 

Collaborate hand in hand with UX team members who understand from customer research what the customer goals include.  Take the UX research and have the designer work to create a design that’ll make the product work for the customer. Combining PM, UX, and design into the PM strategy helps the product fulfill the customer’s needs. Without a solid understanding of the functionality or active and ongoing collaboration with design and UX team members, the features or innovations in development will likely miss the mark. 

Additionally, make use of continuous discovery methods. Continuous discovery means keeping the lines of communication open and active with customers as well as internal UX, and design team members. Get feedback continuously to ensure the product meets customer expectations. Continuous discovery ensures PMs remain connected to current customer needs to make sure their goals and problems are solved.  

Best practices for product management also include: 

  • Prioritizing feature changes strategically for the customer’s benefit
  • Performing customer interviews and letting the customers speak
  • Using behavioral analytics to uncover unrealized or unexpressed customer desires
  • Practicing senseshaping for increased innovation

Put your best product management foot forward to meet customer and business goals by providing a useful product that’s in line with current and evolving customer needs.