Accelerate the Time to Market for Your Products

October 11, 2019

Contributor: Jill Beadle

Six steps help product managers move away from basic, ineffective productivity tools and toward software designed to accelerate product management processes.

There’s a problem with productivity.  Product managers need to bring their products to market at the right time and in the right way. And they can do that if they have the right tools on hand — those designed to solve product management problems, make data-driven decisions and accelerate end-to-end product management processes.

Yet, 80% of product managers surveyed by Gartner say they rely on basic, and oftentimes ineffective, productivity tools to do their jobs. Very few reported using commercial software specifically built for their role. While the reasons vary — from lack of understanding of available options to lack of budget for adopting more suitable solutions — using the wrong productivity tools delays product time to market, affects product quality and hinders the overall effectiveness of product processes.

Gartner's product management survey shows product management tool usage by tool type.

Take the time to understand and invest in the right product management tools for your organization. Start by assessing the current state of your product management processes and related tools. Then follow these six steps to ensure you have the right solution in place:

  1. Identify process gaps and any existing tools that inhibit critical product functions such as requirements management, roadmap development, wireframing or prototyping.
  2. Evaluate commercially available solutions that will augment or replace existing solutions and processes. 
  3. Create a business plan and budget for adopting new tools and solutions. Be sure to include estimated ROI for process improvements and develop a plan for obtaining needed approvals.
  4. Build a coalition of product managers and stakeholders to help evangelize the adoption of new tools.
  5. Implement new solutions by validating that they work as expected and training product management teams and key stakeholders on the tools. 
  6. Measure the effectiveness of the solution using clearly established key performance indicators, objectives and key results.

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