No one sets out to fail at managing their business projects, but it happens all too often. Product managers don’t have the insight to know when they’re making mistakes and, as these failings accumulate, the project as a whole may fail. To avoid this fate, it’s important to recognize common pitfalls and to know how to avoid them.
Getting Everyone on the Same Page
The biggest impediment to good product management is failing to ensure everyone has the same understanding of the product being designed and brought to market. This leads to misunderstandings and errors in judgment that can derail the entire project. Instead of assuming everyone understands the objectives of the product, it’s a better idea to conduct a presentation spelling everything out. Take advantage of product management software and roadmap tools to drive home key points and provide a definitive vision. Afterward, continue to use the same product management applications to form a consistent message as the project takes off, while also giving yourself room to make adjustments as trial and error take effect.
Try Not to Bite Off Too Much at Once
Presenting the ultimate goal to your team can overwhelm them and flustered team members are more apt to make costly mistakes. Instead, break the project down into smaller and more manageable tasks. When you break down a larger objective into individual tasks, you can better assign those tasks to the best-qualified individuals. This can help you ensure each phase of the project is completed as efficiently as possible and makes the successful completion of the product that much more promising.
Be a Leader
Poor product management often results from a failure to properly manage the team, while placing too much focus on the product itself. The product manager can fail by either neglecting his people or by micromanaging to a fault. In either case, the manager isn’t giving his team members the direction they need to be successful in their tasks. When the manager takes the time to lead his team members and to ensure they have what they need to produce quality results, breakdowns in the process and increased costs are far less likely.
Setting the Right Priorities
Teams can also get overwhelmed when they have too much on their plates. They will likely have their own regular duties to perform, or they may have other projects they’re pursuing simultaneously. By establishing which projects take priority, you can ensure your team is meeting the most important deadlines first. Often, employees may be focusing on tasks that can wait or just aren’t as vital as the project you’re managing. Setting specific priority levels for each task gives them the information they need to reorder their work routines more efficiently.
Don’t Let the Project Get Out of Hand
Often, a failure to keep up with the project’s progress or failures can cause things to get out of control rather quickly. A small mistake that goes unchecked can create a bigger problem down the line. To avoid this type of snowball effect, conduct regular progress meetings with your team. In addition to helping you catch errors early, this can also help you evaluate the overall progress. You may recognize areas that need more work or be able to capitalize on early successes to boost the effectiveness of the project.
Overseeing a successful product development and launch relies on involving the right number of professionals, while also ensuring those involved possess the required expertise. In many cases, the success or failure of a project is more largely determined by the people involved, rather than the merit of the product itself. Taking the time to lead your team in a manner that builds confidence and promotes efficiency will determine your product’s ultimate fate.