How to Involve Executives in Product Management Decisions

June 13, 2014

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Product Management sits at the intersection of customer, technology and business. The product manager’s role is a continual balancing act between each of these areas, which means involving the right people, in the right ways, at the right times.

In this post, we take you through how to bring your executive team into product management in the most effective way, using good processes and ProdPad tools.

Channel and qualify new ideas transparently

Your executive team is the focal point of your product vision and the source of many important ideas for the future evolution of your products. But no matter how high they come from, ideas need to be properly validated before you know whether they should be built. Channeling all that executive inspiration into a proper idea management process, where progress can be easily tracked is key. Ideas in ProdPad can even be given an alternative idea ‘owner’ to their author so that your executives know exactly what’s happening with their most important suggestions.

Build a business case for development work

If you’re to commit to a new product or iteration, it’s important that you can prove its worth to your executives – particularly for anything that requires significant resources. ProdPad idea canvases allow you to document business case and user requirements for every potential idea. An adapted Fibonacci scale allows you to plot expected impact versus effort for a new development, to combine qualitative reasoning with real statistics when deciding whether ideas should be built.

Make roadmapping visible and realistic

A roadmap is your most important tool when it comes to communicating product strategy with your executive team. At ProdPad we have a new approach to roadmapping that abandons unachievable dates in favour of current, near-term and future developments. A simple drag and drop interface allows you to demonstrate interactively the impact of any changes to development priorities. From high-level master roadmaps to individual product roadmaps, these dynamic tools allow you to show how you’re going to meet the product vision without getting bogged down in the detail. Roadmaps can be shared directly with executives via a ProdPad login, exported into your next board meeting presentation, or embedded in a live site to be referred to at any time.

Get your roadmap up in front of execs’ eyes

If you’d like to find out more about using ProdPad tools to involve your executive team effectively in product management decisions, get in touch with us here.

If you missed the last article, catch up on using ProdPad across several different product teams, and stay tuned next for how to open up product management to sales.

Janna Bastow is co-founder of ProdPad, software that helps product managers plan and deliver better products. Janna also organizes ProductTank events around the world, including Mind The Product, a global community of product managers. She likes to inspire great product conversations by asking: “What problem are you trying to solve?”

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