Why it is always important to remember Product management is about solutions, not features
July 9, 2019
July 9, 2019
Too often in conversations with product managers I hear about the product they support and the various features that were released and planned in the product roadmap. When I hear the product manager describe their product roadmap they go into great detail about the implementation of a feature and requires me to ask many questions regarding what problem does it solve.
When you think about your product, you should always think first what problem does my feature solve and then the features are naturally extensions of that. If you look at your product roadmap as a feature based product roadmap you are looking at it the wrong way. You should be looking at your plan as what are the pain points you need to solve for, what solutions do you need to implement and therefore the following features will delivered.
Focus on problem solving. Focus on delivering a value to your customers that makes their life better, more affordable, easier, name any other adjective that can define a value that your product provides and focus on that. If you focus on the customer and the pain points they experience, you remember that you are a solution provider. Therefore your features improve your offer, your solution to their problem. No one wants features for feature sake. No one wants a beautifully created product that is designed beyond expectations but fails to really solve any problems. Product managers need to balance all of the pushes and pulls on any product to ensure at the end of the day, the deliverable is a solution to a problem and make it easy to use, easy to learn and contains the features needed to solve the problem.
Too often product managers get feature focused and figure that if they continue to deliver feature after feature they will just stay ahead of the game. The reality is that the product may only need 1 feature that is really done well to be successful; instead of dozens of features which get water down and only half realized. At the end of the day your customer is not using your product for its capabilities or features, they are using it because they need a solution to a problem. The quicker you can identify how you add the most value to your user base you should rally the rest of your resources and effort on making that part of your product the priority. Forget the rest, in product management it is more than okay to be a one trick pony when that one trick is a solution to a real problem that users are willing to pay for.
Early on with a product be prepared to pivot and change often as you need market validation to confirm and validate the solution really solves the problem or perhaps you are solving a problem you did not realize for a different market segment than you expected. Whatever it is, as product manager stay aware of what you solve and your solution. Ensure that at all times your solution is your priority, not being feature focused but solution focused to alleviate the pain point that created your business and user base in the first place.