“Opportunities don't happen. You create them.”

– Chris Grosser

Why do you need a story to boost your social currency?

Everyone wants to be recognized and appreciated. Product managers are no different. They want to be the life of the “product” party:valued, sought after, respected, and most of all, understood. For that, you need to differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd and develop your own “Product Manager currency”.

Not sure where to begin? Start with a compelling Product Story and a Storyboard.

A product concept and proposed roadmap needs to be clearly communicated and even the best innovative ideas can be ruined by bad or incomplete product story. Storyboard is a graphical organizer that provides a high-level understanding of the product and helps to make your ideas and vision more observable.

Product Stories and Storyboards could resolve communication problems and provide quick and easy way for people to acquire knowledge about your thinking process behind the product. It explains why the product ought to be successful. By aligning product goals and objectives with expected benefits and showing how development activities will respond to it, a Storyboard makes Product assumptions explicit.

Here are 5 ways to develop your Product Manager currency:

 1. Boost awareness of the strategic value of your product

Are you really sure how well product idea is understood and accepted by the rest of your community? You need to help people understand the strategic value of your proposal and how you intend to achieve it.

Your story should also communicate your values to your customers, your suppliers and the public, all of whom will respect you more for upholding those values.

What are the business objectives? What motivates the need for change? This can be expressed as the problems or opportunities that the product is going to address. A high level benefits management strategy will help you to think through the practical steps that need to be in place to realize planned benefits.

2. Share your product vision and roadmap

A good, consistent story will put your product strategic vision in context and give it meaning. Sharing the product story will help you not just present your strategic vision to your stakeholders, but help them understand it. That means you will get better buy-in and acceptance from everyone to achieve common product goals.

3. Don’t get bogged down by details

When your stakeholders know, understand and support your product story, they focus on meaningful suggestions that will enhance your product rather than bogging you down on small, unimportant details that detract everybody from real objectives. As a result, the ideas you receive are more relevant and strategically focused, which means that they are more likely to be implemented and succeed. That is what innovation is all about!

4. Make your story visual and generate interest around your product

Break a pattern your stakeholders have come to expect. Make stakeholders feel as insiders of your product by presenting a well-organized visual Storyboard. The product story you will present will give meaning to your proposed roadmap and activities in the eyes of your stakeholders.

5. Improve communications and prevent potential conflicts

The Product Story should be a structured and visual representation of your product approach and should serve as a great communications tool that comes a long way to developing and communicating a shared vision and understanding for all your stakeholders.Many conflicts and lost productivity will be prevented by using clear, concise Storyboards.

Help them understand your ideas and they will support you in implementing them!

1. Analyze the Problem Statement and Stakeholders Impact

The flip side of the problem or an opportunity is a benefit: what will be delivered to the customer to solve the problem or attack the opportunity?

We have to understand why project was initiated in the first place and what customer problem it is going to solve.

  • What part of the problem are you trying to solve?
  • What value do you deliver to the customer?
  • What will make your customer happy?

Above all, value focus and value delivery is a key. Without that, it does not matter how well we plan and design our processes, align to the organizational strategy, goals, etc.

The value needs to be very clearly defined and understood by the project team as well as stakeholders.

What are tangible and intangible benefits are going to be delivered by the project? How is it going to impact each group of project stakeholders?

2. Formulate Goals and Objectives for Your Project

Do you have a goal or do you have a strategy?

Goals are not strategies. Each goal should state exactly what needs to be achieved. The strategy is how is the goal going to be implemented. During this phase each goal is identified and supported by the strategy to achieve this particular goal and roadmap how to reach your objectives is created.

This step will help you to understand company capabilities and balance and transform company resources into products and services.

Use your currency to succeed!

If you have a good, well understood and accepted Product Story, people will want you to succeed, not fail. They want to be winners as well. They want to be associated with a good story. Customers and stakeholders are likely to become loyal to your product if they can understand it and can positively relate to it. Product business cases are more likely to be approved and partners and customers will better understand your direction if they know your story.

Make your product a remarkable story and it will generate a lot of buzz about your product.

Start boosting your Product Manager “Currency” today!

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