SOS: Mistakes That Every Product Manager Should Avoid!

So last week, India witnessed four new unicorns — and there is always a new product getting out in the market!

There is so much competition and options to choose from. The industry is loaded with ‘kinda similar’ products with their ‘own’ USPs and offerings. Then what makes them unique? What keeps them in demand?

In the pre & post-pandemic world, product management has been constant (and yes, it’s going to remain the same way). Just that with every new day, every product demands a new change and a new variation. 

So the humans behind this, aka the product managers, ought to be efficient, focused, and smart to make the product a boom in the market.

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Now, this could be really subjective — everyone has their own way of thinking and implementing ideas. But what remains common is their thought process — the decisions they make and the mistakes they commit.

Given below are some of the common yet ‘non-negotiable’ mistakes that product managers end up making in order to make their product BIG!

Working towards a preconceived goal 

A product manager’s job calls for a person’s ability to ask the right questions at the right time. This implies that you should be able to analyse the data provided efficiently, test it and get in touch with your customer/team for valuable insight. 

Working on a preconceived goal is great. However, sometimes it clouds the judgement of a person. As a consequence, the ideas of the product development team are bound within a box. This acts as a corrosive action against the basic idea of innovation.  

Focusing only on customers’ needs

Focusing on customer’s needs is important for every company. However, you must realise that your customer doesn’t possess the creative thinking and enhanced ability your team does. 

If you keep trying to satisfy your customer’s needs, you won’t be able to innovate a revolutionary product. This might keep your company running for now but will lead you to failure in the long run.

Misidentification of features as benefits

Every product has its features and specs. Sometimes, a company creates an amazing product that might work great for techies or the Millenials who want to keep up with modern-day technology. 

But your everyday consumer might not be amazed by the same. This is why you have to analyse your consumer groups separately and keep that in mind while creating a new product.   

Ignorance towards communication gap

One of the major reasons for any product failure is the communication gap between the different levels of the organisation. 

Any product manager should understand, an organisation is just like a bicycle, where you need to keep paddling to move forward. With proper planning and tech by your side, you can keep your team constantly informed and motivated to achieve the desired goal. 

Misidentifying the end-user and consumer as the same

This is one of the common mistakes that most product managers commit. Since their dealing is primarily with the customer or the person with the money bag, they are not able to address the pain points of the end-user. 

To cure this problem, the sales and marketing team can come in real handy. Their expertise and knowledge regarding the customer and his users can help you address the barriers to your product’s success. 

Setting unrealistic timelines

As the competition rises every day, each company wants to deliver their product as soon as possible. This forces a project manager to set unrealistic timelines for his team. This, in turn, affects the quality of the end-product. 

When you are setting up timelines, you should ensure that they are feasible and realistic. Also, don’t forget to consider the different factors that can affect your project’s timeline, for example, the number of resources, number of working hours, time-taken by different processes, etc.!

Obsession with Novelty

A large number of companies are obsessed with the term “new”. They believe that their novelty might create an irresistible temptation in the mind of their users. However, every year, only 5% of the newly launched products see the dawn of success

Quite low, huh?

This is why one should realise, sometimes innovation isn’t enough. A product must be able to add value to the life of its customer. Your everyday user relies on value, and this is what propels the engine of your organisation forward. 

While there are many points that one could share from their own learning and experiences, these are the ‘highlighted’ ones — the ones that need to be bridged. 

If you are a product manager and have got some ‘gyan’ to share with us, drop us an email or say ‘hi’ on our social media platforms. Let the world hear what you have to say! 🙂

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