Have you ever left work feeling like you worked nonstop all day, except you have absolutely no idea what you did? It was like you were there, you were working, but nothing worthwhile actually happened.
How about the constant interruptions all day? You sat down at your desk this morning knowing generally what you needed to get done, then the phone rang, or your boss walked in, or your buddy down the hall chatted you up all morning about his weekend at the beach. Now it is four thirty, and just like before you have nothing to show for the day’s work. Continue reading
I have recently been thinking about the importance of having a high quality product. I understand that different products have different target markets. I also understand that in some instances, the market sector you are targeting dictates the price point. This in turn influences the quality of the product. As a product manager I would rather sell a high priced (i.e. high quality) product than the opposite, but I’ll go ahead and save that topic for another blog.
In the last post we talked about some of the positive and negative impacts that variation can have on your products. In this article we will be looking at the opposite of variation, which is uniformity. Some of the ways product managers can create uniformity is by standardizing on systems, product features, and pricing schemes. There are people who dedicate their lives to mastering the subject of standardization (think six sigma and lean manufacturing). What I hope to express is that just like variation, standardization can be a double edge sword. Continue reading
Mapping your operational processes can be one of the most painful and difficult things to do. It is also one of the most essential and beneficial tasks a product manager can work on. You can’t really set a strategy or create effective systems without having a comprehensive understanding of the way your team gets things done. Continue reading
This is a rule I strive to live by as a product manager. As I work to improve my product line, I ask myself, “Is this the simplest version of the product that I can create?”
As my team and I create the controls for our product line, we are always asking, “Are these the simplest systems we can create?” We use this question to review all of the product design standards, sales strategies, and manufacturing processes that are in place.
As the demand for our product has grown, our team has naturally had to grow as well. We continually ask ourselves, “Is this the simplest organizational structure possible or are we creating layers of bureaucracy that inhibit us from future growth?” Continue reading
As an engineer, I really enjoy this part of my job. Creating and implementing systems is at its core an engineering function. You have to understand the tools and materials available to you and design a machine that does its job both efficiently and effectively. The simpler the system, the easier it is to understand and maintain.
Systems Development Cycle
When you are taking a new product from research and development to market you will experience the full systems development cycle. I have broken this cycle into what I believe are six steps. Many product managers are tempted to stall out on step four, while many others will likely never make it past step two. Continue reading