The Virtual Product Manager
The importance of managing your company's key products should need little explanation. As soon as you can afford to have a full time Product Manager on each of your strategic products you will probably want to do so.
The challenges of this role are significant. First and foremost there's the business perspective. You need to know exactly what you are offering now and in the future and be sure you know why and to whom. Then there's the issue of what is technically feasible to do and a need to work with engineers to determine how long it will take and how much it will cost to build and maintain the features you need. When that's all done you need documentation, a launch and supporting marketing programs. In addition, it's crucial to have a good development process where the right trade-offs can be made to get the right product in the market at the right time for the right cost.
It's often difficult to find the right people to fill these kinds of roles, even when you can afford them. To fill the gap you may have to give these responsibilities to people with other jobs and perhaps without the background to be able to fulfil the whole role, especially the areas like process which are apt to be deferred too long.
An interim manager can be useful in filling this kind of gap. Someone who has experience of the role, understands your business and is available part-time to affordably supplement your existing resources.
The Virtual Product Manager is available to help you out. Initially this may involve participating in product planning and reviews and setting up and documenting the your overall process. Like any good interim manager, this person should be looking to put himself out of a job as quickly as possible.
To find out more please contact the Virtual Product Manager.