Product managers are manifold employees capable of executing a number of tasks across a spectrum of disciplines. Most importantly, they keep the development team on track and on target. They use their technical skills to find errors and encourage direction during development.
Product managers also use their experiences to create an identity for the product which helps maintain focus for the marketing staff and the development team.
They do this by creating exceptional plans, typically called roadmaps, that detail every part of the development process from inception to launch. Product managers can also fix a range of issues and boost team morale because it's what they do. Here are 5 ways product managers boost morale for development teams:
They craft a solid product plan
Product managers don’t just have to rally the troops, but they also have to create the battle plan. Before delving deep into product development, they have to do the hard research work required to create a well-crafted product roadmap.
What does this do? It serves as a template for the entire product development project. It helps collate vast data sets related to the target market, competitors, and sales projections.
How does this serve to strengthen team morale? It makes a colossal, intimidating, high-level product idea into a tangible project with concrete steps, allaying fears, boosting confidence, and decreasing confusion.
They encourage communication
The product manager isn’t just talking everyone’s ear off. They are wonderful communicators, communicating the product vision to high-level management, the product plan to clients, and actionable steps to developers.
However, product managers are sure not to dominate the conversation. Great product managers encourage active engagement and communication. They are open to being challenging, hearing concerns, and digesting constructive criticism.
They promote curiosity
The top product managers undertake quite a lot of responsibility. They take responsibility for the development, for communicating to the c-suite, and for actively engaging the client and customer.
However, the best product managers aren’t just crunching numbers and spitting out orders. They promote curiosity and collaboration. By allowing developers to have some room, make some of their own creative decisions, and present the team with their own ideas, curiosity and passion on the team are increased fivefold.
They are great mediators
The number one killer of team morale is miscommunication. Miscommunication can cause blunders, bottlenecks, and (worst of all) resentment. Making sure to mediate peer-to-peer confrontation is a key responsibility of product managers.
The best product managers are excellent communicators, listeners, and non-judgmental mediators. They go out of their way to clear up miscommunication, smooth over contentious interactions, and address any issues with existing communication channels.
They challenge assumptions
Great product managers are content with challenging assumptions, even when it ruffles a few feathers. The best product managers will give the c-suite and the development team their honest feelings about a request.
If a client asks to include a feature that will simply cost the company too much to implement, an expert product manager will let the client know in a courteous, respectful, and professional manner.
In addition, they are willing to challenge assumptions within their own organization, unafraid of upsetting the apple cart in the name of innovation and efficiency.
Product managers account for financial requirements and employee constraints when crafting the plans. These considerations and the plan itself leads to team morale being boosted. This comes from the calmness that developers feel when there is a plan with set milestones and achievable expectations.
When a plan is shared between all of the members of an organization it can assuage fears and provide a sense of clarity to those who feel lost. Essentially, the plan is a lot more than just a plan. Fro the developers it can be a sign of consistent progress and for the executive suite, it is seen as a definite conclusion. Product managers also use their communication skills to keep everything even and nice between the development teams and the administrators, a herculean effort of their own design.
They accomplish by always communicating clearly and not leaving anyone out of the loop. In poorly managed work environments, development teams tend to create groups of tightly knit employees that work independently from their coworkers. This can be a highly destructive environment because, though they most likely didn't mean too, it creates an exclusion from the rest of the team. Product managers allay fears, dampen resentment, and nip these issues in the bud to create a healthy team environment.