Product management new year resolution for 2020!
December 31, 2019
December 31, 2019
As we come to a close of 2019, it is a great time for product managers to look over the key metrics for their product and business and reflect on what has worked and what needs improvement. Hopefully by now you already have your 2020 product roadmap defined and are ready to hit the ground running but before you do, stop and look back on the year you just completed.
The end of a year is a great time to do a few key things as a product manager:
- Show appreciation to your team. Around a product manager are developers, business analysts, marketing, sales and all other areas that make a business run. Without a team, a product manager cannot accomplish any goals. At the end of the year, take the time to lay out all of the major accomplishments that were completed in 2019 and make sure your team knows how much you appreciate their help in making that happen. Your customers show appreciation by converting at a higher rate and churning at a lower rate. As a product manager, you need to convey appreciation to your teammates by really going out of your way to show them what they accomplished and ensuring your teammates, not you, get some recognition for the work they did.
- Focus on your high touch points. Every year is a chance to start over and we always recommend starting over with your on boarding flow and exit flow. Make sure you are removing all barriers for a new user to sign up and get setup. Go through your on boarding flow over and over to make it as streamlined as possible. On your exit flow, make sure you are capturing why someone is leaving and are attempting to save them as a user. You can have great features for a product, but if it is hard to set them up or find them, you will convert less and churn more. Always refresh your on boarding and exit flows to make sure you are maximizing each lead you get.
- Take a tool timeout. Review your tool set as a product manager to make sure you have what you need to be successful. How are you tracking your product roadmap or feature backlog? Do you have visibility into how your customers are using your product with someone tool? Are you collecting customer feedback using feedback widgets or getting team feedback to learn what others think of the product? Make sure you are using the tools you need to be successful. If you are paying for a tool you are not using, cancel it. If you need to find a new one, go find it. As a product manager, there are so many tools available now to make your job easier but you need to invest the time to get them setup and running.
- Always check on your support. Throughout a year, many changes can be made to a product. The larger ones get noticed but some can go under the radar. You can make small changes to workflow, user interface or flows which seem small and insignificant but can cause many videos or guides to become out of date that your users use to learn about your product and get ramped up. Take time as a product manager to review your support guides and videos and ensure they align to where your product is at today to ensure your customers have the best experience as possible. If you get too far ahead of the support artifacts you will still lose out as your customers depend on them to get setup and learn your system even if you simplify the interface.
As a year goes on we keep our heads down and focus on moving the ball forward. We work on planning out the future and balance the strategic roadmap with the execution of the day to day sprints and plans. Use the time at the end of each year to ensure you are still a well oiled machine for the next year and adjust as needed to make sure your 2020 is even better than your 2019 was!