Four Ways ProdPad Will Help You Make the Right Product Decisions

Posted by Matt Payne
June 17, 2020

A product manager doesn’t need to have all the answers, but they do need to help teams make the right product decisions. After all, you don’t want to waste time working on stuff that isn’t going to make a difference, right? 

During one of our popular Product Success Sessions (seriously, check these out – they’re super useful) we ran a poll asking viewers to answer questions around effective decision making. Breaking these results down meant we could identify solutions to help solve the biggest pain points product managers face when making decisions. 

Whether you’re wanting to show why you went in a particular direction, or learn from previous projects – we’ve outlined how ProdPad helps you to make the right call.  

Avoiding bias or opinion when it comes to making a product decision

We get it, there’s often a lot of cooks circling around the product pot, particularly at large organizations. A product manager needs to make sure they’re putting the user first, not company stakeholders or those paying the wages. 

The ProdPad way: Our ideas feature provides a space to call out that bias. All ideas going into ProdPad arrive in the ‘unsorted’ section, giving product teams the time to nurture and develop ideas before deciding what to push through into the product backlog.

Aligning your decisions with other teams

Product managers need to be transparent with what they’re working on so everyone is on the same page. For example, your development team will want to have some idea of what’s coming up, your marketing team will want an idea of what content needs to be created, and the leadership team will want a broad view of the progress being made.  

The ProdPad way: We’re advocates of lean roadmapping which helps you explain the why to various teams. It highlights your agreed objectives, outcomes, and the problems your teams will solve. Publishing multiple versions of your product roadmap to various teams will align them around what you’re working on.

Image: ProdPad's product roadmap
A product roadmap in ProdPad.

Defending product decisions

Once you’ve aligned your teams around the decisions you’ve made, you may need to prove why – especially to investors, who probably think they’ve got more of a say in product management than they actually have. It’s your responsibility to deliver the product strategy, but it’s also important to show your rationale.

The ProdPad way: Our impact and effort scoring within the ideas section of ProdPad can help you. After scoping out ideas in your product backlog, you’re then able to award each idea an impact and effort score. When triaging, you can identify which ideas are going to provide the most value before making the decision on what should be worked on. The in-app conversations feature on every idea can also help illustrate your reasoning and document your conclusions.  

Measuring and learning from past decisions

It’s important to make sure you have an idea of what good looks like before you begin building new features. Ideally, you’ll want to measure the success of stuff early, perhaps even when you’re testing hypotheses. It’s important to remember that sometimes planned ideas won’t deliver the desired result.  

The ProdPad way: Working lean means that you’re able to build stuff quickly, measure its impact, and iterate based on what you’ve learned. But how do you measure success in order to learn, you ask? Our Objectives and Key Results feature helps you to determine what good looks like and set criteria to benchmark against it. Once you’ve completed a project you can record whether or not you’ve met your objective, based on the key result. There is space to reflect on your original intent and whether or not your decisions helped you to reach your goals. There is also space to record outcomes in the completed roadmap sections. You can replicate success or avoid failure on future initiatives based on what you’ve learned.

Image: Completed key result
A completed key result in ProdPad. With space to record the outcome.

Our team of product experts are always happy to jump on a call to talk you through ProdPad in more detail. Why not sign up for a demo and we can go from there? 

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