Why all organisations need a product mindset
Product managers (PMs) come from a variety of backgrounds, from software developers, user experience designers to marketers. But while their backgrounds might be diverse, as a group we are actually a unique bunch and it’s for that reason they are hard to come by.
Although the role is increasingly becoming more common and being given more credence, that are still plenty of organisations where being a PM might feel isolating , and where we might yearn to be surrounded by a team/s of PMs. But that’s not the answer and not what businesses and organisations actually need. It’s the lack of understanding of the approach and mindset of product managers that can sometimes make us feel isolated and like we are speaking a different language.
What makes us a unique bunch is the way we think about a business, the approach on how problems should be viewed and addressed and that’s essentially a product mindset. I am modest enough to know that many of the skills and capabilities that I have, plenty of non-PMs also possess, but’s its the ability to bring it all together that makes a product mindset so powerful and product managers, such a critical role within an organisation.
So what is a product mindset? I am going to try and define it as simply as possible:
- Become outcome-based, rather than focussing on the activity or output
- Think about the value created for customers and business
- Put yourself in the shoes of customers
- Test, measure and validate the hypothesis that really matter
I am not one of those people that thinks product management can save the world. But if we can get our organisations (public and private) to think and act with a product mindset, we will go some way to re-engaging customers and citizens and making every day life just a little bit better.