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The art of balance – How to make a successful product?

How to make a successful product? This is a question that most of product managers think about for every moment.

“Do the right thing” and “Do the things right,” these two elements are both important for a good product manager, “do the right thing” means taking the product direction and roadmap; in some companies, this work is responsible for the company’s product line manager or director. But in reality, this is often the product manager to complete in most of the Chinese IT companies. For product manager, how to “do the right thing”?

Product demands

If you want a product to do the right, we must grasp clearly the demand for this product. For some companies, the customer demand is the first place, because they know one thing, if the customer is not satisfied, there is no any users at all, if the product can not meet customer demand, itt is unlikely to come out. So the needs of customers is particularly important. Therefore, when product managers make plan of product roadmap, they must find out what customers want and know the requirements of customers, how to reflect these requirements in this product, and make a perfect combination between the customer demands and product. If the idea and direction of your product get the recognition from customers, you will get more attention and support from them in the production promotion.

Company’s internal demand

Product manager must be clear about the expectations of company senior management, what kind of expectations held in the company’s strategic planning, the direction of your product and what are the milestones? How do you design products to bring maximum benefits to the company? Whether the product is designed in according with senior management’ expectations? These question should be answered by product manager, through constant communication with the high-level, product manager must find out the deep-seated high demand for the products, when the product plan is agreed by the company management, it means a great progress.

The needs of the company’s operating divisions, after product built, it should be moved to the company’s operating divisions, and they are responsible for a series of market and operational matters. Because after your product complete, it is to give operating divisions to operate, whether your product design is reasonable and whether your product reducing operating costs , there is an important indicator, which is the increase of related conversion rate when operational stuff use the product. Product managers must figure out what kind of operations needed to solve the problem? What kind of goals to be achieved? Your products are designed to reduce the problem of operating divisions, which is particularly important.

The demand for technical support department. Some people may think the product is for operations, is it necessary to take the demand for technical support departments into consideration? Here the answer is yes. Technical support department often have their own ideas about product design, sometimes to reduce product development costs or improve the product reusability.

Effect of stakeholders

The following figure shows the suffering of the product manager because of the various requirements from different people.

Product managers should balance the interest between different people and different departments; they also need balance between product maintainability, testability, usability and other aspects. Making a good product is an art of balance and trade-off.

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