Shared understanding and smooth collaboration are essential in product management. Product teams that listen to each other are more likely to create high-quality, usable products that reflect real customer needs. And the one person responsible for establishing and maintaining a high level of collaboration is the product manager.
The product managers’ job is to understand the needs of the end-users. But it is also their responsibility to incorporate some of the business objectives into their operations and manage the needs and ideas of different professional areas.
Focus on collaboration within the product team and beyond
Good communication is crucial for product teams, especially remote ones. There are many methods, channels and tools to create seamless, effective team communication.
Benefits of effective communication
- Increased collaboration among the team members
- More flexibility at a team and individual levels alike
- Increased productivity, focus, and confidence that you are developing the right product
- Learning potential for all stakeholders
Every product development project starts with discovery. Kick-off meetings, brainstorming sessions with people from different fields of the organization, representatives of the client-side, other decision-makers, etc.
As a product manager, you need to communicate with everyone involved in the product development process. The product team’s effectiveness depends on whether all the members are ready to share their ideas and opinions and understand the objectives and milestones of the project.
Product management is – more or less – the same as facilitating successful cooperation. Motivated and well organized participant share, discuss, organize and prioritize their perspectives and suggestions. It is also the product manager’s task to provide the conditions, framework, and tools for this.
Improve collaborative teamwork in product management processes
During the development process, as much knowledge and as many relevant perspectives as possible should be represented in the team. What could be better than using the right tools and methodologies to facilitate collaboration?
Then comes StoriesOnBoard to help you collect and sort ideas, create user personas, and put out user stories. A story map is an effective tool for product managers to easily track business requirements during the product discovery phase while providing an opportunity for open discussion and valuable feedback.
Product roadmaps provide stakeholders and customers with an overview of the current iteration and the overall product plan. This way allows executives to track the current iteration using the status reports updated in real-time.
Overall, by using a story map, feedback management, and roadmap throughout the project you can build stronger, more direct, and long-term relationships with your customers.
Once the team is aligned, colleagues come together around the story map to brainstorm, organize feedback or hold prioritization meetings. This process also provides an amazing learning opportunity on how to solve issues together and create a new product.
Align cross-functional product teams
Product management is a cross-functional role by nature. Features make customers happy, so product managers tend to pay a lot of attention to building features and lose focus on building shared understanding throughout the product team and customer. This is where cross-functional collaboration can holds stakeholders and teams together.
An essential part of the product manager’s role is to work effectively with colleagues in different fields without formal authority. It’s the product manager’s job to smooth the cooperation and remove roadblocks. The PM must ensure that the whole team is working towards the same goals. In addition, product teams need to work with a variety of partners.
- Product Managers
- Design & UX
- Data and insights
- Client-side managers and decision-makers
- Business development
- Senior company executives
Product managers work with a variety of people with different skills and working styles. It is by no means certain that the workflow between engineers, designers, and marketers will be smooth, especially if many of them come from different countries and cultures.
Each of these people and teams has its strategies and goals. Blending them into one shared vision can be challenging, but also very rewarding.
In short, how can you foster collaborative teamwork?
Take collaboration to the next level using story maps. Story maps allow team members to leave useful comments or add valuable ideas, gather best practices, and engage your team through increased transparency.
Keep your customers’ up-to-date building trust and transparency
One of the challenges of the cooperation process is to draw the line between collaborators and stakeholders while ensuring that a common understanding is maintained.
When customers can track product development and discover the features, they can better understand the product manager’s dilemmas. It’s easier for them to understand the epics, goals, and features on a story map.
Product managers are constantly getting feedback about what’s resonating with customers and what they want to see in the product. To collaboratively communicate with teams, it’s important to establish a clear product roadmap. So teams can communicate with each other and with external parties on this basis.
Product management with StoriesOnBoard creates more value for the customer, and viewers can review progress and leave feedback. Understanding a story map and tracking the current iteration through card statuses is significantly easier and more engaging for non-dev stakeholders than showing them a flat backlog.
With story maps and roadmaps, your customers can keep up to date with the development process. Online sharing and collaboration save time. By leaving comments, adding ideas, and attaching documents, customers can leave feedback or ask questions, so issues are resolved efficiently and transparently.
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