New Year’s Resolutions For Product Managers

Yesterday we summarized “Amélie” In 10 Screencaps Or Less™. Now, let’s see what this shy, quirky waitress can teach us about product management.

As 2008 draws to a close, we’re looking at a new year set against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty and a very challenging, competitive business landscape.

Here are three new year’s resolutions, inspired by Amélie, that every product manager can utilize to help prepare for the challenge…

Listen. Aggressively.
Amélie’s life starts to change when she starts tuning into the real world around her, rather than the fantasy life that cocoons and insulates her. Listen–not passively, not actively, but aggressively. To your colleagues, to your customers, to the market. Really hear what they’re saying and strive to give them what they need to succeed.

Create A Climate Of Trust
Amélie wants to help people, but always does so from a distance because she’s not comfortable with people. As a product manager, you must be in the mix, helping your team, sharing your knowledge. Communicate openly, with purpose and meaning. Maintain people’s confidence. And keep your sense of humor.

Take Calculated Risks
Amélie’s biggest personal success comes when she makes herself vulnerable. In tough economic times, everyone is vulnerable. Resist the urge to batten down the hatches: Don’t skimp on product development and product marketing–that can only trigger fewer leads, fewer customers, and inevitably less income. Take calculated risks. Promote the quality of your products, and make sure the features live up to the hype.

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5 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions For Product Managers”

  1. I would add customers to that “circle of trust”. For example, maintaining an open, honest dialogue with customers via social networking sites or a blog.

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