Inspired- Book Summary

The product managers main responsibility is to look at all the opportunities and to find or define product that fit the opportunity.  They take the product from a concept through to production.  To be a great product manager, one needs to be “bilingual” in both design and technology. He needs to have skills not only practically but also in communication. He needs to take full responsibility for the design and have a strong work ethic to get deliveries done.

A product manager cannot work alone. He needs a team of people who know what their roles are. This team comprises of user experience designers, engineers, product marketing and delivery management.

Among other things, user experience must be a priority. There are four essential roles in a UX design team. An interaction designer works on understanding what the customer wants and then creates a design based on that understanding. Next, the visual designer brings the look and feel of the user interface to the table. The two final role are the rapid prototyper who quickly creates prototypes of the product and the usability tester who has users test the product.

On the way to product discovery, the product manager needs to test a minimal product to validate that your product is valuable, usable and feasible as they are the three most important criteria for a successful product. Once you’ve validated the product, you need to make a mindset shift from product discovery to execution.

One of the responsibilities of a product manager is to bring accurate product specifications to the engineering team. He needs to build a high-fidelity prototype: a prototype with little functionality but a realistic user experience. In doing this the prototype allows product managers to immediately test the products with real users thus a faster road to fixing problems the product may have.  Break the work into MVP (Minimal viable products) is the best approach when trying to learn from your customers.  Have a clear MVP that you want to get feedback on, release it into production and then assess the results to learn.

A great way to gain customer insight is to use a charter use program. You put it into play by finding 8-10 customers who are dealing with the problem your product aims to solve. Then you work with the customers till the said problem is solved using your product. This will help you test more and refine more resulting in a better product.

When you make changes to your product, you must understand what your goals are. After the product launches, learn your lessons and address those issues you may have.

This book could be worthwhile to read if you are a product manager, however if you are just interested in the concepts I would recommend many of the other books on this site that I have reviewed over this book.

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