What is at the core of every company out there? It’s what that company offers to its customers and gets paid for, the Product.
It doesn’t matter what the product is. If it’s a service or a physical object, software or hardware… it’s what customers buy from you. It’s your reason of being as a company. And there are plenty of important questions that surround the product.
Questions like: What new products do I need to develop? What products do I launch? Which products do I invest or divest? Which products make money and which don’t? Which products need to be renewed or retired? What customer segments value what products, and why? How do I further delight my customers? How do my products compare to competition…
These questions are some of the most difficult to answer but sit at the heart of all organizations out there. Fail to answer these questions and your company will have a hard time surviving the future.
Many companies don’t deal with these questions in a structural manner. That doesn’t mean they don’t deal with them but responsibilities are scattered throughout the organization. And issues are treated in an ad-hoc way through informal networks. Not necessarily an ineffective way if the company doesn’t offer a lot of products.
But companies that offer a myriad of products, have a hard time surviving without some form of structure. In comes the army of knights on white horses, a.k.a. the Product Managers or PM’s (*). The specialists who make sure your organization has the best products possible to serve your customers with. Delighting them along the way.