Is product management essential for improving IT performance and productivity?

By Vinay Konanur, Senior Director, Emerging Technologies, UNext Learning

If we were to illustrate the fundamental aspects of the software development life cycle in a Venn diagram, product management would definitely be in the middle. Product managers are central to all operations of a software development company, taking on multiple tasks and wearing various hats to ensure that a product not only sees the light of day, but also meticulously fulfills his goal.

LinkedIn VP of Product – Deep Nishar – shared, “A great product manager has the brain of a manager, the heart of a design, and the speech of a diplomat.” An ideal product manager can get things done faster, seamlessly implement agile and DevOps strategies, optimize product performance, and all while simultaneously ensuring their teams are challenged in interesting ways.

Statistics also reveal that an ideal product manager can increase an organization’s profits by around 34.2%. Although there are challenges in the product management spectrum, there is no doubt that product management improves the performance and productivity of teams and ultimately the organization.

For organizations still unsure if product management can redirect their business to optimized performance and profits, here are some compelling reasons why it can.

Product management is inevitable to increase IT performance and productivity

Move away from siled operations
One of the frustrating challenges in business operations is stagnant, redundant, and unorganized data between teams. Siled operations significantly reduce team performance and also lead to poor end product performance. However, product management creates a single point of truth, where the crucial data and pieces of information that multiple teams need to perform their tasks are available as interoperable sets.
Collaborative development is one of the most important aspects of agile and DevOps methodologies and product management stems from this practice, ensuring unified understanding and access to data for all team members.

The overview and the pixels that make it up
A team can achieve its full potential when it knows both the big picture and the micro-tasks leading up to it. An equal understanding of goals and the translation of individual efforts are key to driving meaningful productivity, and product management achieves this seamlessly.

With product management, team members have a clear roadmap of the path ahead of them and best practices to keep them aligned at all times. The best part about product management is that it adapts to even last minute changes, revisions and modifications to this roadmap and the teams will still be able to deliver without major issues.

Consistent process optimization
A well-designed and well-established process can sometimes be too rigid for team members to follow. The tasks, their challenges and their respective intensities tend to evolve at different phases of the software development cycle. This is why a one-size-fits-all procedure often acts as a limiting factor to team member effectiveness.
However, product management is flexible in the sense that processes can be revisited and changed at any time so that inefficiencies at all scales can be eliminated seamlessly and just as product teams grow collaboratively, processes and workflows are also constantly changing.

Final Thoughts
At this point, we are far from wondering if product management is essential to increase productivity and performance. It has become part of the culture and a collective subconscious memory for teams in all organizations.

Product management yields incredible results if teams are led by skilled and knowledgeable product managers. So, if there’s anything that needs to be revisited, it’s the skill and experience of your product manager. Do they have all the skills necessary to achieve your business goals?