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Insights / Professional Development / What Does A Product Management Consultant Do?

April 27, 2015

What Does A Product Management Consultant Do?

3 mins read

Prospective clients will sometimes share with me that it seems counter intuitive to hire a product management consultant.  If you are in the business of creating software, web apps, or mobile apps, whether it’s B2B or B2C, product management should be core to what you do.  “Our product is awesome on its own,” these same prospective clients will sometimes say.  Cool.  All the more reason to hire a product management consultant.  There are all kinds of really awesome products out there in this world that just don’t take off in the market, or take off but can’t handle market innovation and disruption.

What it comes down to is that product management consultants fix problems.  Here are some sample problems that we solve:

“We have really good ideas but are struggling to get traction in the market.”

Product management consultants help you understand why.  Are your product features missing the mark?  How well are you scoring in user experience?  Does your product marketing plan match your product?  Has a recent innovation disrupted your business?  Product management consultants can assess the current state and help you develop strategies to raise your revenue.

“We spend too long developing features that our customers don’t like.”

Statements like this tell me that you aren’t getting to your customers soon enough.  Developing strategies to get feedback earlier in the development process from your target market will help improve the quality of what you deliver.  We all make product mistakes — that’s the nature of product management, but the objective of good product management is to validate your assumptions sooner and develop strategies for continuous re-evaluation of how well your product is meeting market needs.  Strategies they help you design include:

Focus groups:  When to hold them, what to ask, how to ask it.

Operational Feedback:  What data to collect, what to do with it, how to make it useful.

“Our customer satisfaction scores are lower than industry benchmarks.”

Do you know what your industry benchmarks are?  Are you measuring your customer satisfaction?  If so, product management consultants help you identify and prioritize the features that will improve your product.  If you don’t even know what you don’t know, then they help you get to a place where you can make measured decisions based on the plethora of data available to you as a product manager.

 “The customers we serve are so diverse that we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”

IT products would be great without all the users, right?  Product management consultants help you create user personas and scenarios in order to better identify features that will navigate your user conflict more seamlessly and write better requirements that address vastly different users in both content (Feature A vs. Feature B) and timing (early adopters vs. change adverse).

“Our customers’ expectations for feature upgrades are faster than we can deliver, and if we don’t do something about it, we’ll lose market share.”

Product management consultants can navigate the business and technical sides of a situation with ease.  They are able to identify technical problems experienced by the business and are able to recommend solutions that can improve top line revenues and decrease your costs.

So there you have it.  Product management consultants are problem solvers.  Got another product problem?  Let us know!

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