- They create a clear sense of project goals early on.
- They nurture a strong project culture in their workplace.
- They maintain close contact with customers throughout a project's duration.
Keeping it Focused
I find that while it's easy (as a product manager) to get a small group of people (the product management or the development team) focused on the goal, but very challenging to get all the other stakeholders to focus on the same goal.
Key reasons - misalignment of interest or the so called "KPI". If the sales & marketing team have different KPIs, your product development might not get enough attention (unless it's a money making machine). If the customer service team has a different agenda in what they tell the customers, your product might not be used in the intended way...
The article says it all: "When people with critical skills become overburdened, they often decide on their own which of their many projects is the most important, a decision best made at the management level."
And I thought good project management is very much about making sure the project delivers the intended result, but often we see project teams merely aiming for "completion of project" rather than "getting the result" itself. How many "projects" created in your organization is actually geared towards the desired result? And does everyone agree on what is the desired result to begin with?
Talk to the Customer
"More than 80 percent of the top performers said they periodically tested and validated customer preferences during the development process, compared with just 43 percent of bottom performers."
Validated customer preferences during the development process? Wow.. that's pretty much unheard of in Malaysian context. Correct me if I am wrong.
I have personally done that - though one could argue that I actually released a beta version of the product to do market testing so it's not technically in "development" anymore. I can testify that it is indeed a valuable process to minimize risk and increase chances of success when the final product is launched.
Ref: McKinsey Quarterly - The path to successful new products