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Symptoms of Product Management Gaps

Company leaders often recognize opportunities for improvement, but sometimes it is difficult to know which ones can be solved by exploring better approaches to the product management process.  Here are some common problems that best practices could address.

Low Margins & ROI

  • Building cool things customers will not pay for

  • Investments cover a 'little bit of everything'

  • ROI decisions made within 'product line silos', not company-wide

  • Weak business cases to support priorities, if any at all

Weak Product Roadmap

  • Not strategic, no data, loudest voice wins

  • 'Treading water' with customer requests

  • No objective way to evaluate & prioritize roadmap requests

  • Custom development commitments dominate roadmap

Pricing Not Value-Based

  • More functionality, pricing unchanged

  • Sales objections handled with discount, not value

  • One-size fits all, regardless of segments' willingness to pay

  • Assume price structure is correct, but nobody knows why

Not Market-Driven

  • Value tied to features, not problems solved

  • Product managers seldom talk to customers

  • Inconsistent marketing messages, with no clear differentiation

  • Sales targets whoever they can find, without clear strategy

Poor Cross-Functional Coordination

  • Chaotic product launches

  • Unclear accountability

  • Frequent & unplanned product delays

  • Lack of cross-functional participation in full lifecycle

Tactical Product Management

  • Short-term tactical view, not strategic with GM mindset

  • Mostly fighting fires, trying to do what everybody wants

  • Internally focused, weak understanding customers & market

  • Each function has a different understanding of PM's role


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