I love technology and I live to build. Even if it’s just software requirements documents. Or workflow diagrams. Maybe designing user interfaces for your product. But someone has to have the ability to see the long term opportunities and be able to evangelize to everyone, from layman to rocket scientist, what the ultimate vision of this product will be.
I’ve been developing web sites and software interfaces since 1996, conducted user testing, and overseen quality control. I know how much time development takes (because I’ve done it myself!) and create milestones that identify who is handling what parts of any product, where they are in the process, and when it is expected to be ready. I am an expert at managing scope creep and when best to bring in extra resources to launch on time.
Product management requires feedback loops to keep your product relevant, and at MicroE Systems, we built a shared database between the Sales, Marketing, and R&D teams. Every month, we’d look at trends and feedback and forecast new models and features. This enabled us to see markets the competition did not see (for example, I once advised a textile goods repeatable design software company to take their software to other industries, such as vinyl flooring, wallpaper and other long sheet goods manufacturers). What we also began to see were what clients and prospects were looking for that none of the competition had either. Taking that long view while focusing on the day-to-day enables good product management to build a solid foundation that requires as little waste as possible in the product roadmap pipeline that will keep the product relevant and desirable for years to come.