Ten tips for the successful product manager

Ten tips for the successful product manager

成功产品经理的 十大法则

Your company is instituting product management as a strategy to gain a competitive advantage in the market place. Management selected you, from a pool of very qualified engineers and technical sales representatives, as the first Product Manager (PM) to launch the new PM program because you’re an achiever, with a strong track record. The assignment starts in the morning, your mind is racing as you try to fall off to sleep, wondering what it takes to be a successful PM. Jim Carlton, an international Consultant and Trainer in marketing strategies and sales techniques and a regular speaker on Management Centre Europe’s programme ‘Product management for the newly promoted product manager’provides ten tips that will help.

你的公司正在建立产品管理体系作为在市场中获得竞争优势的一种战略。 让你从一大群非常合格的工程师和技术销售代表中选择,并作为第一个产品经理去发布新产品经理计划,因为你是合格的,有着不错的业绩记录。早上得到任务,你就辗转反侧,不知道如何才能成为一个合格的产品经理。Jim Carlton,一个营销战略和销售方法的国际咨询和培训师,在MCE项目中发表的“新产品经理在产品管理中的提升”演讲中有十个提示对你是有帮助的。

  1. Know thy customer

1、了解你的客户

The best PMs always know more about their customers than they know about the products or services that they manage. I’m not saying product knowledge isn’t necessary or important, that’s a given. As a rule of thumb, research the customer first, then the product. Customer “learnings” will better define the product and/or service. PMs need to know: What do customers value and why? What’s the decision making process & timeline? What are their goals & cost structures? What new technologies are they exploring? And more.

最好的产品经理了解自己的客户永远比了解自己的产品或者服务更多。我并不是说了解产品知识是不必要或者不重要的,那是必须的。一般来说,首先要对客户有研究,然后才是产品。对客户的“学习”将更好地定义产品和/或者服务。产品经理需要知道“客户价值是什么以及为什么是这样?”“决策的过程和时间是什么?”“他们的目标和成本结构是什么?”“他们期望的新技术是什么?”以及更多。

  1. Understand the territory or country

2、理解地域或者国家差异

No two customers are exactly alike, let alone two cultures or countries. No PM ever heard a customer say, “Just give me the same thing you give everybody else”! PMs must think globally, but act locally. This requires a clear understanding of the company, and of cultural and national differences. Visiting and working in the local territory helps the PM differentiate products/services more accurately to fit the local needs and values. The development of a differentiated “marketing mix” for each company, area, culture and/or country will help the PM focus and hit the target.

没有两个客户是完全类似的,更不用说两种文化或者国家了。没有一个产品经理听到一个客户说:“给我一件与别人一样的东西。”产品经理必须放眼全球,而不只是基于本地。这需要对公司、文化和国家差异有清晰的认识。在当地考察和工作有利于产品经理更准确地区分产品/服务的不同,从而适应本土的需要和价值。为每个公司、地区、文化和/或者国家开发差异化的营销组合将有助于产品经理聚焦及达到目标。

  1. Set clear and focused goals

3、设置清晰和专注的目标

Goals are “dreams” with numbers attached; if there’s no way to measure the goal, it’s just a dream. Professional PMs establish “SMART” goals, three or four at most. SMART is an acronym for; Simple (sales revenue, market share, pre-tax profit, return on net assets, etc.), Measurable (expressed in numbers, percentages or monetary units like Euro or Dollars), Attainable (resources are available to attain the goal), Realistic (goals are linked to an external index and/or research) and Time framed (near term or long term).

目标是基于数字的“梦想”;如果无法测量目标,那就仅仅是一个梦。专业的产品经理要建立“SMART”的目标,最多三或四个。SMART是一个缩写:清晰的(可以是销售收入、市场份额、税前收益、回报或者净现值,等等);可测量的(量化的,百分比或者货币单位,例如欧元或者美元);可实现的(可以实现目标的资源);现实的(和外部索引和/或者研究关联的目标)和有时间限制的(短期或者长期)。

  1. Have a plan

4、有计划

The PM is responsible for developing strategic (long term) and annual plans. These are the “road map” that will be followed to reach the “SMART” goals mentioned in tip 3. Plans include a positioning statement defining customer values and a competitive comparison of other market offerings. Additionally, the objectives, strategies and tactics are operationally defined and detailed for all support staff.

产品经理要对发展战略(长期的)和年度计划负责。这些就是紧随着去实现上面第三点提到SMART目标的roadmap。计划包括定位说明,定义客户价值和与竞争对手的竞争比较。此外,目标、战略和战术都需要切实可行的确定以及分配给所有的支持人员。

  1. Learn how to access the resources available to you

5、知道如何获得对你有用的资源

It’s the PM’s responsibility to know exactly what resources are required to get the job done, and more importantly, how to access and negotiate for those resources (people, time and money). The PM must sell senior management and departmental staff on the benefits they and the corporation could gain by supporting the PM’s product and/or service efforts. Clearly linking requests to goals and objectives increases the resources the PM can capture.

确切知道哪些资源是你的工作所需的是产品经理的职责,更重要的是要知道如何利用和协调那些资源(人、时间和金钱)。产品经理必须向高层和部门说明通过支持产品经理的产品和服务,他们能够从中得到哪些利益。清晰地和目标和目的的关联增加了产品经理获得资源的几率。

  1. Develop excellent “soft skills”

6.开发卓越的“软技能”

“Soft skills” (people skills) are a measure of the PM’s ability to work with and through others to deliver product/service goals. Product knowledge won’t help here, the PM must be able to lead and convince others not reporting directly to the PM, to support his/her efforts. Asking, rather than telling, others what you need will improve your success. Also, a PM must know exactly what they’re requesting of others in terms of a time, people and/or money commitment.

“软技能”(个人能力)是产品经理在实现产品/服务目标过程中和他人共事能力的一种测量。产品知识对此是无助的,产品经理必须能够领导和说服那些并不直接向产品经理汇报的人去支持他/她的努力。询问要比告诉他人你需要做什么更有助于你的成功。同时,一个产品经理必须确切地知道他们在时间、人力和/或者金钱上需要什么。

  1. Avoid surprises (keep management informed)

7、避免意外(随时了解产品管理的进展情况)

Give senior management a “heads up” in advance. This should take the form of regular reports, for example: monthly report, field trip report, project report, tech team report and forecast report. Also, be prepared for surprise enquiries from management by having a fact book. This is a portable information source for the product/service with all current “top line” data available for immediate access.

给高层一个“预警”。这可以表现为定期的报告,例如:月度报告,实地考察报告,项目报告,技术团队报告和预测报告。还有,通过对fact book的管理为意外做好准备。这是一种针对所有当前可用于立即访问的top line数据的产品/服务的便携信息来源。

  1. Learn to sell your ideas to senior management

8、学会把你的想法兜售给高层

Management will approve programmes and projects that they agree with, especially those that deliver corporate goals and objectives. PMs must be very specific when requesting support for their ideas. State objectives up front; don’t assume they know what’s needed. Communicate current and future needs, imparting the full impact of the request. If your request requires a group decision, lobby in advance to identify the supporters, detractors and “fence sitters”. Detractors objections must be uncovered, do not assume you know what they are, ask and address them. Also, use supporters to help pull “fence sitters” onto your side.

高层将批准他们认可的方案和项目,尤其是那些利于实现整体目标的。产品经理为他们的想法寻求支持时必须要非常确定。前期的目标:不要假设他们知道需要什么。沟通当前和未来的需要,告知这个需要的完全影响。如果你的要求需要群体决策,主动去游说并识别出支持者、批评者和“左右摇摆者”。反对意见必须被说出来,不要假设你知道他们是谁,询问并确定他们。还有,利用支持者来帮助“左右摇摆者”占到你这边。

  1. Accelerate up the learning curve

9、加快学习过程

New product development is vital to long term survival. PMs must leverage existing resources (people, plant and facilities) to accelerate development and speed development. Products that require little or no fixed cost investment reach “break even” quicker and pay back faster. Simply put, you must get to market NOW! Tomorrow is too late.

新产品发展对长期生存至关重要。产品经理必须以现有资源(人、物和设备)为杠杆来加速开发并使其成功。产品需要较少或者没有固定成本的投资来快速达到“收支平衡”,并尽快收回成本。简单来说,你必须现在就进入市场!明天就为时已晚了。

  1. Say “thank you”

10、说谢谢

Learn to say “thank you” to people for their support. No one enjoys working without recognition. A “thank you” is a small but powerful tool, if used correctly. For example, a manufacturing engineer supports your efforts and delivers ahead of schedule. The PM immediately sends a “thank you” note, something like: “As a direct result of your efforts, we’ve beaten the competition and hit the market early. It looks like the product will exceed projected profit goals for Q1! Thanks, we couldn’t have done it without your help”. Send copies to your manager and the managers of those who supported you. Why? It reinforces “team” effort and increases chances for support on future projects.

学会对那些支持你的人说“谢谢”。没人喜欢无认可的工作。一句“谢谢”虽然很短,但是如运用恰当的话,却是有力的工具。例如,一个制造工程师配合你的努力,提前完成了工作。产品经理立刻示以“谢谢”,比如像:“因为你的努力,我们已经击败了竞争者,并提前上市。这会让产品超额完成Q1的收入计划!谢谢,没有你的帮助我们将无法做到这点。”然后发给你的经理以及给你提供了支持的经理们。为什么呢?这样会加强“团队”的努力和增加日后项目中的支持的机会。

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