Product Management is More Human Science Than Computer Science: How to Conduct a Product Health Check

Aviral Vaid

Aviral Vaid

Oct 01, 20233 min read

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Product Management is More Human Science Than Computer Science: How to Conduct a Product Health Check

Introduction:

Product management is a complex and multifaceted discipline that requires a deep understanding of both human psychology and technical aspects. While computer science provides the technical foundation, it is the human element that truly drives successful product management. In this article, we will explore the importance of reasoning, independence, and team collaboration in product management, as well as the significance of conducting regular health checks to ensure the success of your product.

The Importance of Reasoning and Independence:

The best product teams are those that make reasoning their glue and key to every piece of work they touch. By encouraging team members to think critically and make their own decisions, without being controlled or micro-managed, you create an environment that fosters engagement and innovation. Independent teams are more likely to take risks, learn from their mistakes, and come up with creative solutions. Syncing across teams is crucial for seamless collaboration and the overall success of a product. By designing a playground that is empowering and encourages a healthy level of risk, you allow teams to push boundaries and explore new ideas. This not only makes work more enjoyable but also leads to continuous learning and innovation.

Conducting a Product Health Check:

To ensure the success of your product, it is essential to conduct regular health checks. This involves evaluating various aspects such as overall user numbers, active users, paying users, and the hardware used by customers to access your product. Understanding these metrics allows you to identify any potential issues or areas for improvement. Additionally, as companies age, they accumulate decision debt from past decisions that may no longer align with the current value proposition. Conducting a health check helps you identify and address any confusion or bloated mess that may have resulted from previous decisions.

User Experience and Task Completion:

In the realm of product management, user experience (UX) plays a pivotal role in the success of a product. While some may focus on the number of clicks required to complete a task, this metric alone does not provide a comprehensive picture of UX health. Instead, task completion rates serve as a better indicator. By understanding what percentage of users can complete their tasks without unnecessary friction, you can make informed decisions and improve user satisfaction. Identifying points of friction, especially in critical user journeys, can have a significant impact on revenues. Usability testing is not limited to new features; proposition and pricing testing with users is equally valuable in optimizing a product's success.

Actionable Advice:

1. Foster a culture of reasoning and independence within your product teams. Encourage critical thinking and decision-making, allowing team members to take ownership of their work and explore new ideas.

2. Regularly conduct health checks to assess the overall performance and usability of your product. Evaluate user numbers, active users, paying users, and the hardware used by customers. Address any confusion or bloated mess resulting from previous decisions.

3. Focus on task completion rates rather than the number of clicks required to complete a task. Identify points of friction in critical user journeys and strive to improve user satisfaction.

Conclusion:

Product management is a delicate balance between human science and computer science. By prioritizing reasoning, independence, and collaboration within teams, and conducting regular product health checks, you can ensure the success and continued improvement of your product. Remember to focus on task completion rates and usability testing to optimize the user experience. By incorporating these actionable advice, you can navigate the complexities of product management and drive innovation and success.

Resource:

  1. "Product Management is More Human Science Than Computer Science", https://bootcamp.uxdesign.cc/product-management-is-more-human-science-than-computer-science-289739b7c2db (Glasp)
  2. "How to Conduct a Product Health Check - Department of Product", https://www.departmentofproduct.com/blog/how-to-conduct-a-product-health-check/ (Glasp)

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