3 Key Activities a Product Manager Needs to Perform Daily
Before I begin this article, I want to ask a few questions to all the Product Managers out there. Take a moment and think how many hours you had spent last week on the following activities:
- Worked with developers to get your product features built
- Spent time with DevOps/Operations team to get bugs fixed in your application
- Positioning your product based on user analysis, market research and competitor analysis
In case Point 1 + Point 2 > Point 3, then you need to pause and take a hard look at what your priorities should be as a PM.
The 80–20 Rule
As the above diagram shows, the primary job of a Product Manager is External Focus. This entails the different tasks included in Product Marketing.
Based on where your product is in the life-cycle, there might be slight variations. However the main focus remains the same.
3 Key Areas of Focus for a PM
1. Market and Trends
Let me be very honest with you. If you as a Product Manager lose focus on the extraneous factors, your product will be severely impacted and soon become obsolete.
So what are the key topics to focus on?
2. User and Demographics
Let’s not forget the users. After all they are going to use our products (and maybe pay for it).
When focusing on the users, it all starts with the High Level Problem. This is the point where a PM defines the high level problem. If already defined, then move on to the next step (2) making sure that (1) is achieved through the remaining steps.
In case of existing products, a PM needs to revisit these steps to understand how users are using the product to solve their problem. Many times a thorough analysis might lead to identifying new problems that a PM needs to solve to enhance the user experience.
All the steps will lead to the Product Roadmap. A roadmap is an effective tool to communicate to the stakeholders what is the end goal. It is an effective way to share information to the marketing team for creating collateral.
A detailed overview of the roadmaps can be found here.
3. Product Execution
It’s not just focusing on the Product Strategy. A PM needs to dedicate time on the execution as well. Although this should never be more than 20% of your daily time (unless there is a major release or testing planned).
Despite the 80/20 rule, there might be variations that we mentioned at the start of this article. The 80/20 rule is to emphasize on the focus areas of a PM. This is done to ensure that the “External Focus” of a PM is always present.