Product Management for the Enterprise comes with its fair share of challenges, especially when it comes to decision making. Here are three common hurdles I’ve been thinking about recently, with some solutions.
Balancing diverse stakeholder needs
Enterprise products often have a wide range of stakeholders. Internally, Sales and Marketing teams, engineers, support / CX, the C-suite, and more. Externally, people that will use the product, sign the contract, or assess your product to name some. And they all have their needs and priorities. Deciding which problems to tackle first can be daunting.
To overcome this challenge, engage in proactive and ongoing communication with stakeholders. Conduct regular feedback sessions, involve them in the product roadmap discussions, and prioritise functionalities based on the overall impact they have on the business and end users.
Balancing short-term wins with long-term goals is critical: while the former will prove to prospects and customers that your product is proactively managed, keeping them informed on the latter will confirm that committing to your product for years to come is the right choice.
Involve technical experts early in the decision-making process. By understanding the technical landscape, constraints and dependencies that impact decision making, you will be able to make informed decisions and plan accordingly.
Handling market uncertainty and rapid changes
The enterprise market is dynamic, and customer needs can evolve rapidly. It’s crucial to make decisions that anticipate future trends while adapting to the current market landscape.
Invest time in market research, competitor analysis, and customer feedback mechanisms to stay ahead of market trends. Adopt an agile mindset that embraces iterative development and allows for quick pivots based on market insights.
Managing risks and trade-offs
Enterprise products often involve significant investments, and decisions on the customer side need to consider long-term impacts and potential risks.
Conduct thorough risk assessments and cost-benefit analyses for major decisions: prioritise decisions that align with the strategic vision of the product and the organisation, and ensure that your prospects’ risk assessment on your product as easy as possible.
Your product or platform will likely integrate with existing systems in some way shape or form, so stakeholders on the customer side will want to take a good amount of time to evaluate whether using your product comes with unnecessary risks related to e.g. compliance, permissions, data protection, et cetera. Regularly review and reassess decisions to adapt to new circumstances.
What are your experiences with decision making in Enterprise Product Management? Share your insights and thoughts in the comments below.