Product Managers: How to Make Products & Features Happen

I recently read an excellent book – “Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky.

The book has a lot of great ideas that are very beneficial to those of us in product management – whether you’re a VP/Director of product management, or a product manager.

The book covers the general topic of “How to make ideas happen” and innovation. In this post, I’d like to share with you a really cool equation in the book – it’s directly applicable to product managers…

How to Make Products (or Features) Happen – *THE* Equation

Here’s the equation from page 14 of the book (get your copy here) that I’ve adapted for product managers:

Making Products/Features Happen = The Idea + Organization and Execution + Forces of Community + Leadership Capability

Wondering what each of the factors in the equation mean? Here’s a brief summary.

  • The Idea: This is easy. Any product/feature starts with an idea. A product manager must have an idea before he/she can make it into a product or feature.
  • Organization and Execution: Scott emphasizes the importance of having an organization (group of people) and being good at execution as key factors in turning ideas into outcomes. For PMs, this means: a) the ability to effectively leverage the resources of your company, and b) focusing on execution. The importance of execution is repeated throughout the book – I agree 100%.
  • Forces of Community: For PMs, this means getting feedback from customers as well as internal teams such as Sales and Support on their idea for the product/feature – and iterating to improve it, before getting started with the execution.
  • Leadership Capability: As we know, a big part of being a product manager is leading effectively without authority. PMs who are good at leading the project team will have more success at turning ideas into products/features consistently.

I will expand on these items further in a future post – with a list of actionable, practical tips. Until then, I wish you successful products!

Editor’s Note:
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Michael Shrivathsan

I'm your author, Michael Shrivathsan, an expert in product management with successful experience at several innovative companies in Silicon Valley, USA over the past two decades. I'm also a USPTO patent recipient. For my day job, I'm the VP of Product Management at Accompa, we make the popular requirements management software used by Product Management, Business Analysis, and related teams.

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