• Bulking Up Product Manager Skills

    19 February 2012
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    stand-outProduct Managers require a number of skills to succeed, but many have gaps in such critical areas as business savvy, market expertise, operational know-how, or entrepreneurial ability.  As a result, the leaders of product management groups have to spend a great deal of their time coaching individual product managers on day-to-day tasks, frequently at the expense of other strategic priorities with longer-term implications.

    Many leaders of product management departments address the issue in one of two ways: either by trying to hire a product manager who brings the full set of needed skills to the job, or by re-assigning products around the strengths of their product managers. But both approaches carry their own sets of problems: first, it can be difficult and costly to find experienced product managers with all the skills and market expertise.  And second, moving people around doesn’t get rid of their weaknesses, it just masks them.
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  • Near-term, Mid-term, Long-term: Where’s a Product Manager Supposed to Focus?

    1 January 2012
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    Revenue from every product will decline some day – encroached by competitors, eclipsed by newer technologies, and disrupted by changes in the market environment. The Three Horizons Framework – initially espoused in The Alchemy of Growth by Baghi, Coley and White provides a simple way of thinking about balancing a company’s attention to, and investment in, the near, mid- and long term cycles of a business.  Since its publication a decade ago, their framework has become a popular tool for strategy development at the corporate level.

    However, we’re finding that product managers are also applying it to product line management, helping them sustain growth by balancing the pressing needs of current products against the need to make the most of emerging product opportunities and maximize their potential for future growth.
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