Product Management Exercises – Workout Wednesday #2
November 14, 2018
November 14, 2018
Last week we started a new series of posts to help product managers take a break from the day to day to step back and complete product management exercises to keep their skills sharp. Most people find great ideas come in the morning shower because they are not focused on their problems and letting their mind wander. Take a break a spend a few minutes to complete this week’s product management exercise to keep your mind focused and hopefully pick up a trick or two to help with your product management.
Product Management Exercise – Back Seat Driving
The classic back seat driver has a great seat when telling the driver what they should have done or letting them know they missed a turn a few minutes too late. Call it a Monday morning quarterback or a back seat driver, in either case sometimes when it is not your job to do something, you approach the problem with a different lenses. This is the same reason it is good to stop and read a book, work on product management exercises or take a walk. If you stare too long at something, you start to miss the details.
With that, let’s start this week’s product management exercise:
1. Select a product you use on a normal basis. This could be software or a physical product that is part of your every day life.
2. Think about how you use the product especially the pain points the product solves for you personally.
3. Now think about what you wish the product could do that it does not do. What features is it missing to make it an even better product for you? Are there parts of the product that you find confusing or don’t use? Was it hard to ramp up and learn the product?
4. Pretend now that you are not only the user of this product, but the product manager of this product. Create yourself a backlog of features that you would add to make the product better to solve the pain points you experienced and make the product even better for you.
5. Once completed with writing out your feature backlog for the product, try to take a stab at prioritizing the features. Which of those would be the most important and impactful as a user but also as a business. Create a product roadmap for the product which would deliver a better product for you using your own backlog to drive it.
A large part of product management is focusing on understanding customer pain points and identifying solutions to create the best possible outcome for users interacting with the product. To do this, product managers often need to put themselves in the shoes of customers of their product to see the pain points. From there, laying out the features that are needed to solve those and prioritizing them to deliver the most impact is key to driving a successful product roadmap. This product management exercise can help you with understanding the customer perspective and how to be a customer driven product team.