The Way Product Managers Save Money

BLG01x - edited feature imageProduct managers save businesses money in the long run by being intelligent, calm, and capable. They keep the development team unified and the executive staff calm by creating product roadmaps that paint realistic pictures of the development timeline. They use statistics and probabilities to keep clients’ expectations in check while also curbing scope creep, which can exhaust the budget and drain the developers.

Overall, great product managers are a tremendous help to development teams and businesses. As the unifying figure on most development teams, product managers are typically the ones who keep everyone together and focused.

Hiring a product manager saves businesses money by not wasting any money or time on runaway development or inordinate demands. Product managers ensure that they bring the best intel available to the teams so that they might be better informed and stay on trend.

Gather Business Intelligence

Product managers don’t just keep the team on track, they conduct research. They use every avenue available to them to collate relevant market data and business intelligence. Product managers then leverage this information to create a preliminary marketing plan.

Gathering important marketing data is extremely important for product success. However, many startups and other young organizations looking to cut costs gloss over some of the most crucial details.

By gathering data and synthesizing it into an actionable plan, product managers help the team save time and resources and avoid unwelcome surprises during the product launch.

Craft Precise Product Plans

Many companies, especially bootstrapped startups, dive into development with gusto. But it takes more than just courage to get a product from prototype to profitable.

Software development, for example, is an extremely volatile process fraught with pitfalls, bottlenecks, and bloated budgets. It takes an experienced captain to weather the unexpected and keep the ship on course.

The product plan is a detailed document that defines the product vision, the development timeline, and the marketing plan. It is an essential document that helps boost efficiency and productivity by giving the team both a high and low-level view of the product development process.

Check Client’s Expectations

You always want to make sure the client is happy. However, there are times when keeping the client happy is detrimental to your bottom line. In fact, some requests from clients are simply untenable. Instead of grinning and bearing it, top product managers will be honest, transparent, and frank about what they can and cannot do.

While sowing discontent isn’t the job of a top product manager, facing contentious issues with grace, courtesy, and professionalism is often requisite.

An inexperienced team may not know how to interact with a client. Furthermore, being saddled with such a responsibility might breed resentment. A product manager, however, can handle these kinds of tricky situations with relative ease.

Prevent Scope Creep

One of the biggest killers of stellar products is scope creep. When a team is excited about a product it can be easy for the project to grow wildly. Adding a feature here and implementing a new database there can lead to uncontrolled growth.

As the number of tasks balloon, so too does the product development cost. As the budget runs wild, the team continues to tweak, add, and refine. The timeline is thrown out of the window. Now the product is past due and over budget. It can be quite a nightmare. In fact, scope creep can not only kill a product but an entire organization.

Product managers reign in scope creep. Indeed, they’re ready to do some pruning to make sure the product is delivered on time.

Conclusion

The product manager serves best in this scenario by keeping a flexible working environment to ensure that transitions are smooth, and nobody gets lost. It is this unifying trait of product managers that helps companies save so much money in the long run. A team that stays on the same page is a team that will launch a successful product.

Business intelligence can extend much further by providing teams with information on what the expected budget should be and how long it should take. This is all unified in the product roadmap which details how the product will develop and what it will cost.

Furthermore, it provides a step by step guide for the developers to help them assign tasks and delegate responsibilities. This product roadmap also serves as a guide for the client as well so that they might know what a change might cost or how long a pivot might take.

Keeping these expectations in line helps to avoid scope creep or the process of extending features beyond initial planning. The development period can be lengthy and filled with turnover, which may result in confused roles or conflicting ideas.

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About Diane Keller

Dr. Diane Schleier-Keller is a business strategist and finance columnist. She has 3 years of experience in M&A and has been traveling the world to help train entrepreneurs to succeed in their business. You may also connect with her on Twitter at @DScheilerKeller.

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