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Five ways a product management consultant can improve product development strategy

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Product Management Consultants are in high demand today, both in the private and public sector, for a myriad of reasons. A 2021 online summit targeted at Product Management Consultants, The 2021 Product Meetup, was an event created by leading product management experts to be specifically geared for recognizing the value they add to businesses. 

It identified 5 key factors that proved how beneficial product management consultants have been in particular to development strategy. These were the event’s key findings:   

  • Only 25% of existing businesses have longevity of more than 15 years if they did not invest in a comprehensive Product Portfolio.
  • Product development is often not aligned with financial objectives
  • Product marketing roles lack clarity
  • Products are taken to market late due to last-minute changes
  • Product managers and teams experience burn-out after the initial design phase
Product Management Consulting: What is it, exactly?

Product Management Consulting is the process of developing a customized product strategy for an organization. In most cases, a product management consultant is hired when a small business is doing well and recognizes that being product-centric to achieve product-market fit is a competitive edge. 

Becoming a product leader is what sets a business apart from its competitors and to achieve this level of performance, an organization needs a well-crafted product development strategy. The risks of having a bad strategy are many; if a company needs to evolve and develop new strategies, it often comes at extra cost, with a need for ample research into competition and a clear understanding of evolving markets. This is where hiring a consultant can be super beneficial. 

From chaos to cohesion: Lessons learned 

The 2021 Product Meetup drew on lessons shared in the book From Chaos To Cohesion, a collection of essays from leading Product Management Consultants around the world. These lessons can be summed up in the following 5 ways to improve product development strategy:

1. Gather, analyze and share customer insights

Understanding who your customers are and having insight into their real needs is essential to effective product management. Organizations can gather insights through emails, social media and Customer Relationship Management systems but may still need a Product Management Consultant to analyze and report on the data.

2. Prioritize product portfolio objectives

Reaching sales targets depends on how well an organization prioritizes investments in new products or services. A Product Management Consultant uses the best product management practices to rank product development projects according to how much customer evidence has been gathered. 

Investing in product development cannot be based on the product manager’s opinions; it must be backed up by relevant data and this is where Product Management Consulting is often required.

3.Create product roadmaps

To manage a product portfolio effectively, the product development roadmap must be integrated into day-to-day planning. An added advantage of product roadmaps is that they help leaders articulate and communicate the organization’s vision to product teams. A visual tool is the best way to show the relationships between products and overall performance of the organization. In short, roadmaps provide all stakeholders with the big picture.

4. Increase the capacity of product managers

Once a business is doing well, the organization naturally wants to take it to the next level and further enhance business processes. The key to all strategic thinking is good technical product knowledge, which is the function of the product manager. It may be more worthwhile to train product managers rather than hiring a Product Management Consultant, but this decision hinges on an assessment of the current product management function.

5. Get help from other Product Management Experts

A Product Management Consultant conducts a thorough assessment, customizes solutions and develops strategies for your product categories. These expert inputs are guaranteed to generate more revenue for new products, exceed sales forecasts, improve profitability, increase innovation and foster an agile environment.

Improving Product Development Strategy 

Product Management Consultants build great products by leveraging design thinking with a  focus on innovation. They are responsible for aiding in the planning and managing of a firm’s activities from revenue generating strategies to actual implementation. 

A good product management consulting firm will work cohesively with key executives in their strategic planning stages so that product development is simplified, fast-tracked, and optimized for ample business growth, as well as taking into consideration any future outcomes. 

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