New market opportunities or a new company strategy is typically good news! But both initiatives typically boil down to a lot of work to be done by the product management team. And the product management team is typically overloaded already. What to do?! How do you make room for more deliveries?
To recruit a new member can take months! How to find good people that can start delivering from day one? – who has the time for introductions anyway? An urge to stand up and scream comes to mind, but is rarely considered as productive. It is time to think outside the box – not so easy…
Making room for more deliveries
I have been working with product management in high tech companies within B2B for many years and this is to my experience a common situation. In most cases it is possible to reshuffle the workload in the team – possibly delegate or off load to some other department. But what to do when that is exactly what you did last quarter?!
There are three alternatives that I have seen used that I will describe below. It is not unusual that they are used in combinations.
Redistribute the workload
Change the workload within the team. Maybe it is time to review who is doing what anyway and let the newer members step up a bit. This solution can be combined with a harder prioritization of the projects – delay or kill some of the projects or products that you work with. This approach is relatively quickly in place and needs no budget discussions. It’s all about using the existing resources in a different way. The downside is that it doesn’t add any capacity – not short term nor long term.
In some cases it is possible to let other parts of the organization take care of things done by your team. Product management is not a religion, so if it is possible to get somebody else to do the work that has to be done – do it! The product management goal is to design and launch successful products. To use this alternative is more cumbersome and may take longer time to implement. You will also be more depending on deliveries from parts of the organization that you have no formal authority over.
Product Manager Interim Specialist
Bring onboard an experienced product management specialist. If this is done based on a concept for the delivery – the experience is that this will bring more capacity with a short start-up time but also bring in new knowledge and experience to the team. A Product Manager Interim has proved to be very successful in a number of projects and can be combined with the other alternatives in a suitable way. The downside is that it will need a budget - but on the other side an increased delivery capacity as a whole and new knowledge quickly is in place.
There are a few ways to strengthen the team when you need to be able to deliver more. As always there are different pros and cons related to the alternatives – the trick is to choose the one most appropriate. And product manager interim may be the one.