Once you have product vision established and strategy set, you need to implement and drive success. This requires leadership and management. Product managers have to play both these roles. Management is about coping with complexity, while Leadership is about coping with change.
As Product managers, you have to lead by setting direction, aligning people to that direction and inspiring people to achieve the vision.
Product managers need to be change agents and be able to implement their strategies, implement them through other individuals. There are three key aspects that product managers need to consider to be effective change agents.
1 People must agree that change is necessary
Status quo should not be acceptable and the people must see that the strategy is real, attainable and consistent with the overall company’s strategy.
The gain from it should outweigh the pain
2 Product managers must overcome barriers to change
Product managers should consider turf barriers, personality issues and any other factors that could impede a successful implementation. Product managers will need to think of ways to minimize the negative impact of those factors
3 People must understand the personal or individual implications of the strategy
As one implements the strategy through individuals and teams, product managers should address critical questions for those individuals or teams such as
How is the change relevant to what I do?
What specifically do I need to do?
What’s in it for me?
How will I be measured?
What consequences will I face?
As one goes about executing the product strategy, the product manager needs to monitor the underlying assumptions of the strategy are still viable.
Lastly as product managers implement this change, care should be taken to ensure there is a system of feedback and learning so that the strategy is not static.