For a technology company delivering products, the product manager sets the vision and strategy for the deliverable, manages and leads a diverse team of designers, engineers, testers, and marketers, and strives to launch the product into success.
Countries all over the world outsource app development to India. The country is rich in resources and infrastructure needed for outsourced product development. Along with those, product managers are also easily accessible for startups who struggle to maintain a diverse set of products in-house.
To deliver a robust and high-value product to the market, product managers need to be user experts. They need to constantly analyze user needs and gauge whether or not the product meets them.
For tech startups, product management takes on a critical role. They can seamlessly outsource this role along with outsourced product development to countries such as India, as it could be hard for them to hire full-time employees dedicated to one function.
Product Development Challenges for Startups
In today’s shaky economic climate, business owners and startup founders are becoming more cautious regarding their bottom lines, reorganizing and leveraging resources to minimize any redundancy and reduce costs.
Product management holds sense for startups as much as it does for enterprises. In a nutshell, product management reaches across teams to design and bring better products to the market that appeal to customers, targeted buyers, and users at companies in target market segments.
Product management is a critical discipline that startups often struggle with in many ways:
- Aligning Product Strategy while Scaling – As startups grow and expand, they face challenges such as steep growth periods, bugs, culture shifts, and new office locations. Product managers are the ones responsible for keeping the product afloat and in good shape when a steep scaling up happens. As new hires join a growing organization, product managers align them with the product vision and strategy- being the glue that holds a product team together.
- Management of the Development Process – Often, when startups fire up, they rely on lean strategies such as DevOps and Agile methodology. However, as these companies grow, they increasingly find it hard to stick with these practices. It is then the job of the product manager to see that the frameworks are consistently followed for better product management.
- Customer Retention and Acquisition – No company wants to acquire new customers at the cost of the ones already on board. When startups grow and scale, product managers get pulled in all different directions. It is, however, their job to satisfy existing markets while expanding into new ones.
- Wearing Many Hats – Product managers at startups have many responsibilities. As a product grows, the team needs to expand. Otherwise, the product manager could get overwhelmed. Growing teams is another challenge that product managers face as it is not easy for them to find product or UX engineers fast enough.
- Balancing Sales and Product Revisions – Often, startups are all about sales. Sales peers will ask product managers to integrate a feature in an existing product fast so they can close a whale of a deal. In early-stage startups, it is, therefore, a challenge to balance a product and its subsequent revisions and sales- which comes first?
Since startups often lack the resources to hire an in-house, dedicated product manager, it is a good idea for them to outsource product management just as they outsource app development and avail outsourced software product development services.
The Key Responsibilities of a Product Manager in a Tech Startup
A product manager can help a tech startup in the following ways:
- Understand and analyze the audience and the target market to gauge the users’ current and future needs. This insight can be gained by conducting interviews, surveys, and testing prototypes.
- Gain an in-depth understanding of the target market and the competitors to devise the right positioning for the product.
- Devise a product strategy that is in line with the business model and generates the desired revenue.
- Communicate the goal of the product, its mission, and vision with the teams working on designing and marketing the product.
- Monitor analytics for the product by gathering customer feedback and analyzing where the product can be improved in the next revision.
Why Product Management is a Critical Component in Software Development
Product management is vital for your startup since it helps you learn more about not only your customers but also your competitors. Without sufficient knowledge about your competitor product, you cannot devise the right positioning for your product and might end up losing out in the market.
Product management can also help in defining the roadmap for the entire product journey, so you head in the right direction. A good product roadmap is a clear, visual, accessible picture of how a product might evolve and sustain the market.
Any startup willing to grow and expand through its product needs to have a comprehensive understanding of the customers. Only then the product can solve their pain points and succeed in the market. Product management helps you gain that insight into the customer.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs juggle with a lot of the tasks at the same time. As time passes, some high-priority task might fall off the priority list, leading to inefficiencies in the business and negative repercussions. A product manager ensures nothing mission-critical gets stalled. So that business owners can focus on everything else, resting assured that their product is taken care of.
Since it is evident that product management is unmissable for startups, you can choose to insource or outsource product management. However, there are few things to keep in mind before choosing a company to outsource product management to. Here is a simple checklist to help you make the selection.
At Pratiti, we offer outsourced software product development services to startups all around the world. Our outsourced product development services are sought by startups struggling to define, manage, and launch their products in the market.
After successful 5 years stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 19 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.