Do you find yourself lost in day-to-day activities that soak up your time and derail your good intentions and goals for the day?

Welcome to product management. The reality is that there will always be a range of activities that eat up your time. But even in the thick of product development, a few key strategies will help you be more effective.

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Do what you do best

As the saying goes: no one can be all things to all people. As Product Manager, while you might feel responsible for every aspect of your product, you can’t really do your job while also being the ever-present “go to” person for issues or problems that arise. While troubleshooting is inevitable, it’s important that you keep your eye on the bigger picture, seeking patterns and insights about product performance that serve the bottom line.

See the forest and the trees

While reporting product numbers will always be essential to your role, you may be missing the bigger picture. There are always key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you monitor your product’s performance in the market. Over time these numbers reveal patterns and trends in the product’s performance in the marketplace.

Also track the timing of any marketing, sales or PR activities, and the details of these events. This data will help you track behaviors over time and assist in forecasting and decision-making.

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An example of a project management dashboard made with ClicData. Click on the screenshot to interact with it!

Engage with real people

While we often engage with customers at the beginning of a product development cycle, it can be quite valuable to do more than that. If you can spend time with your customers personally — observe their work habits and expectations — you’re in a better position to understand their issues, inefficiencies and workarounds. The time you spend will help you tease out the valuable insights that may not appear in their survey answers. Some of these insights can lead to significant and valuable improvements in your product.

Of course, getting to know your customers more fully will also empower you to speak about your market more intelligently.

Compare and contrast

As Product Managers, we should regularly analyze our markets and our competitors’ activities and performance to ensure that our product’s pricing and promotion strategies are still competitive and effective.

Communicate to be heard

Communication it your best leadership tool. A leader must be heard to be followed. Make your internal communications as clear and compelling as your external communications and you will get support throughout the organization.

Take care and Happy Dashboarding!

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