How to Make Product Decisions: Tips from Product Management Team
Published at April 20, 2023

When it comes to running a business, making product decisions is one of the most important tasks you will face. From choosing what products to sell to deciding on pricing and packaging, these choices can make or break your success.

One research from Harvard Business School showed that every year, over 30,000 brand-new products compete for consumers' attention. Nearly 95% of them, though, are likely to fail if they happen spontaneously.

Poor product-market fit, unmet customer needs, or fierce competition, to name a few, are some of the many reasons why new product development can fail.

So we need some steps and product development strategies to make our goal succeed. 

Our product management team share the strategy to make product decisions. Before we learn about that, check out the definition of product decision below.

What is a product decision?

One article from The Investor Book explained that in product decisions in marketing, the term "product decision" refers to the company's deliberate choice even big or small about its product. 

The 4Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) in the first place. These choices are made by organisations to achieve their goals and generate long-term profits.

At many levels, it is crucial to make product decisions in marketing. These decisions generally deal with the following:

  • Development of new products; Modification or removal of current ones.
  • Variations and graphical components
  • Product Line, Mix, and more.

Tips for Making Effective Product Decisions

Our product management team talks about product decisions. As a product management team, we understand that making product decisions can be challenging. So here are what we need to consider.

1. How to set priorities when making product decisions?

There are some factors to consider, including quality, cost, and speed. If we want to maintain a certain level of quality while keeping the cost within the budget and launching the product quickly to stay ahead of our competitors, we need to strike a delicate balance.

One of the most essential aspects of product management is ensuring that the product meets the minimum quality standards. 

We believe quality is a non-negotiable factor, and we strive to maintain it in all our products. However, there are times when we may need to prioritise cost and speed over quality.

For example, if we are working on a project with a tight budget and a short timeline, we may need to reduce production costs and speed up the launch. In such a scenario, we still need to ensure that the product meets the minimum quality standards. 

2. How to set product goals?

Our goal is to create a product that meets the customer's needs while also being cost-effective and delivered quickly. To achieve this, we take a data-driven approach, leveraging customer feedback, market research, and other key metrics to inform our decisions.

We understand the importance of balancing quality, cost, and speed. We believe that quality is essential, but we also recognize that sometimes we need to prioritise cost and speed to stay ahead of our competitors. 

By taking a data-driven approach and evaluating trade-offs, we can make informed decisions that result in a successful product launch.

The Steps of Product Decisions Making

1. Conduct Market Research

Before making any product decisions, it's essential to conduct market research to understand the target market's needs and preferences. 

This research may include surveys, focus groups, and analysing of competitor products to determine what features are essential to the customer and how they differ from current offerings in the market.

For example, let's say a team is developing a mobile app for a fitness-tracking product. The team may conduct market research to understand the target market's needs and preferences. 

The team may also analyse competitor products to understand what features are currently available in the market and how they differ from what customers are looking for.

2. Define Product Goals

Once you have a clear understanding of the market's needs, you need to define the product goals. These goals should align with the company's overall objectives, including revenue targets, customer acquisition, and retention goals.

By defining product goals, companies can focus their efforts and resources on creating a product that meets the needs of their target audience and helps them achieve their desired outcomes. Additionally, product goals can help measure the success of a product and make informed decisions about future development efforts.

For example, let's say a team is developing a website app for an e-commerce company. After conducting market research, the team may define product goals such as achieving a certain number of daily active users, increasing the average order value of each customer, and reducing the website's bounce rate. 

These goals align with the company's overall objectives of expanding its customer base, increasing revenue, and improving the user experience on its website.

3. Brainstorm Product Ideas 

With a clear understanding of the market needs and product goals, the team can brainstorm ideas for the product. This stage may include ideation sessions, where team members can propose different concepts for the product.

The goal is to come up with a diverse range of ideas that align with the product goals and meet the market's needs. 

Brainstorming also encourages creativity and innovation within the team, as members can build upon each other's ideas to generate even more possibilities. 

Once the team has generated a list of potential product ideas, they can evaluate them based on factors such as feasibility, viability, and desirability to determine which concepts are worth pursuing further.

4. Evaluate Product Ideas 

After brainstorming potential product ideas, the next step is to evaluate them to determine which ones are viable. This evaluation process involves assessing the ideas against the product goals and market research gathered in the previous stages. 

The team will consider factors such as the product's feasibility, cost, and potential impact on the target market. 

Feasibility involves assessing whether the idea is technically achievable and whether the team has the resources to execute it. Cost considerations include the cost of developing the product, manufacturing it, and bringing it to market.

5. Prioritise Product Features

Once the team has evaluated the product ideas, they must prioritise the product features based on their importance to the customer and alignment with product goals. 

Prioritising features involves ranking them in order of importance and considering factors such as customer needs, market demand, and technical feasibility. This process helps the team focus on the most critical features and ensure they deliver a product that meets the customer's needs. 

6. Develop a Product Roadmap 

After prioritising the product features, the next step is to develop a product roadmap. A product roadmap is a plan that outlines the product's development milestones, including design, development, testing, and launch. 

The roadmap serves as a guide for the team, outlining the necessary steps to bring the product to market. It provides a visual representation of the product's development journey, including the timelines, milestones, and objectives. 

Developing a product roadmap helps the team stay organised and focused, ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goals. It also helps stakeholders understand the development process, provide feedback and make informed decisions.

7. Test and Iterate 

Testing helps identify any issues or bugs that may have been missed during development and ensures that the product functions correctly. Gathering feedback from users is also crucial, as it helps the team understand how the product is being used and identify areas for improvement. 

This feedback can then be used to refine the product and make necessary changes to ensure that it meets customer needs. Iteration involves repeating the testing and feedback process until the product meets the requirements to achieve the desired outcomes.

8. Launch and Monitor

This monitoring includes tracking customer feedback, usage metrics, and revenue. By monitoring the product's performance, the team can identify areas for improvement and guide future product decisions. 

Customer feedback can be used to understand how users are engaging with the product and whether it is meeting their needs. Usage metrics, such as the number of downloads, active users, and time spent using the product, can provide insight into how the product is being used and where improvements may be needed. 

Revenue metrics, such as sales and customer acquisition, can help determine the product's financial success.

Wrapping Up

Making product decisions is a critical task in running a business, and poor decisions can fail. 

To make effective product decisions, companies must consider factors such as quality, cost, and speed, while also defining clear product goals that align with their overall objectives. 

The steps involved in making product decisions include conducting market research, defining product goals, brainstorming product ideas, and evaluating them against the product goals and market research. 

By taking a data-driven approach and evaluating trade-offs, companies can make informed decisions that lead to successful product launches.

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