The Need for Product Management in Organizations

More often than not, organizations spend a fortune on marketing and product development separately. This is the case with many companies that have different departments dealing with marketing and product development without any coordination. It is left to each of the departments to try and understand what the others are saying to form a cohesive and a coherent strategy.

In the corporate world, it is common for the delivery teams to say that marketing is exerting pressure on them to reduce the time to market times and it is also common for the marketing department to say that the delivery teams do not understand what it takes to drive a product into the market. This leads to a general sense of dysfunction within the organization with teams at loggerheads with each other.

The solution in such cases is often a pragmatic look at what is causing the friction and have someone to liaise with the different departments. This means that there is a need for a product management team that tracks the entire product lifecycle starting from the conception and incubation to the marketing and after sales phases.

The need for such a product management team is often felt more in technology companies that have a laissez faire culture and there is no holistic and integrated approach to the need to develop and market products. This has resulted in spectacular failures in the mobile technology market with leading players like Nokia and Blackberry getting dethroned from their preeminent positions because they did not sense what the market wanted from them and at the same time did not intuit what makes for a great idea.

The two terms introduced above, market sensing and market intuition have entered the lexicon of management in recent years. Thanks to the profusion of companies and products in the business landscape, it is no longer enough to have a great idea or a great sales strategy. The important thing is to “sense” the market signals and “intuit” the market mood in such a way that brilliant ideas are turned into workable and marketable products. This brings to the fore the need for a product management team that can rely the information from the marketing department to the product development team and ensure that the end-end product management is done in a professional and organized manner.

Companies that fail to read market signals and at the same time discard innovative ideas because they do not see the market potential often fail to achieve success in the marketplace.

The point here is that great ideas should be translated into products and great products must be marketed appropriately. Since it is the responsibility of the research and design and the delivery teams to come up with great ideas and make products respectively and it is the responsibility of the marketing team to market this great product in a befitting manner, the question arises as to who is going to make them talk to each other and understand each other. Of course, even in companies that do not have product management teams, marketing and research and delivery teams do communicate.

But, what if there was a coordinating team that sees the potential in new ideas from the perspective of the marketing team and at the same time intuits and senses what the market wants from the perspective of the research and delivery teams. So, this is where the product management team with its coordinating and liaising responsibilities comes into the picture. Hence, there is an acute need for a product management team in any organization that wishes to conquer the rapidly changing marketplace. In conclusion, there is a need to reduce the dysfunction within organizations and make them adopt a comprehensive strategy towards products and product management bridges this role perfectly.

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