Add digital product management to your value stream

Companies that don’t traditionally treat software as a primary focus of their business can benefit immensely from adding digital product management (DPM) to their value chain management.

This may seem like an extraordinary statement at a time when, over the past decade, with the era of app development, every company has been hailed as a software company. However, digital is now determined to translate into new ways of managing products and services.

So let’s take a look at the types of companies that benefit the most from DPM and the steps they have taken to augment their value chain management with it.

According to Gartner, product teams need to respond effectively to customer experience insights, changing pricing and delivery models, and new drivers of digital transformation within their customer base. This can apply to any/all sectors.

However, when it comes to prioritizing technology initiatives, more than half of companies say they rank digital transformation as the number one goal.

DPM offers a principles-based approach to making technology investments. It allows businesses to finance their most valuable investments and prove the return on investment to the business. As such, DPM is beneficial for any company that invests heavily in technology.

This does not mean that an organization’s products or services have to be high-tech. Indeed, banks, investment firms, and government organizations have some of the largest investments in technology, but are not necessarily considered high-tech companies.

It is important to understand that using DPM is not technically difficult.

DPM is becoming an important part of every business – from the smallest family store to the largest companies in the world – because every business now has to struggle with digital offerings and the ability to interact digitally.

Additionally, businesses of all sizes can benefit from DPM; however, it should be noted that in most cases it works best for companies that have more than one product or service.

start the trip

It is important to understand that using DPM is not technically difficult. The hardest part is navigating the culture shift necessary for people to stop thinking in terms of projects and instead realign their thoughts with products.

Product management is a real discipline that requires strategic thinking to determine why a product has value and how the value of that product will increase or decrease over time.

This is something project management simply doesn’t have because projects are tasks that are set to accomplish specific challenges. Once completed, the project is complete.

This complete shift in mindset explains why culture change is so critical to the success of managing a company’s value streams.

Managing cultural change − some tips

First, I would recommend using planning roadmaps. Many companies already know this, but for DPM, roadmaps are essential. They should be created in a roadmap tool that the organization’s stakeholders can see and share.

They must be located in a common place so that people who need them can access them. Additionally, to ensure consistency, all stakeholders should be trained on how to create a roadmap and the format used to do so.

Guidelines should also be established regarding how often stakeholders should review roadmaps – which serve as the main accountability vehicle in the world of DPM.

The next step is to establish the roles and responsibilities of product managers. It is essential to confirm their responsibilities and identify the skills they need.

Product managers face outside the company and are primarily responsible for representing the product to customers. Although they interact with engineering occasionally, the majority of their time is spent engaging with customers, so customers feel they are getting value from the product.

Next, you need to determine the roles and responsibilities of Product Owners. It often happens that companies mistakenly believe that product managers and product owners are one and the same. They are not.

They are two distinct roles with very different requirements that are both equally important to DPM’s success.

Product owners are primarily challenged internally within a company, as they work with research and development teams to ensure the delivery of the functionality needed for customers to gain value.

As a reminder, product managers, on the other hand, are the people who identify the customer’s need and the broader business goals that a product or feature will fulfill, as well as its likely success in the marketplace.

Now is the time to recognize that product strategy matters. One of the most important things to embrace about DPM is the importance of product strategy. Product managers need to focus on product strategy. This strategy can take the form of identifying what customers expect from a product and its future evolution.

The strategy should also consider that customers may not need a product for a year and should describe how to phase out the product, communicate the changes to customers, and transition them to different products.

If you realize that DPM is a good decision, the last thing you need to do is not be afraid of the transition. It will be difficult to move from project management to product management, but once the company gets through it, everyone will realize that this is how things should have been done from the start.