⛳ Let’s look at the main areas of interest when discussing an effective dive into a product, organized from smallest to greatest.
FeatureA field that takes up the majority of the PM’s time; this is where he or she works out the scope of the work that lies ahead, schedules the team’s tasks and interacts with developers on a day-to-day basis until the feature is released. You should examine all existing product features and understand what they were made for. It’s recommended to “break out” to higher levels from time to time, especially if the PM has just come into a new company.
PlatformFirst of all, the PM should “come up” to the level of the platform: is the product implemented on the web and/or mobile devices? If it’s only on one platform, then it’s necessary to find out why this is so and not otherwise. The answer will provide a better understanding of the product.
ProductThis is one of the most important areas. Essentially, the product is a set of features, platforms and users’ tasks, for which the product was created in the first place.
BusinessThat means the company’s structures, service units (sales, marketing, support, logistics, etc), including top- and direct managers, the PM’s team and other PMs. It’s important to communicate and share the experience with everyone: to get to know how the company works, what management actually does as well as how colleagues usually come up with work plans, how and which KPIs are set, how often they meet with teams, etc.
Market, users, competitors and partnersThis is a key area of expertise for product development. It’s necessary to realize the market design, users’ tasks (ideally, with a direct survey) and how the company’s competitors solve them. You need to also know how your partners can help you (for instance, to boost traffic) and vice versa. It is recommended to identify Top-3 competitors, then to click through their applications and become a secret shopper.
Foreign and similar marketsThe list cannot be considered complete without international expertise. Great insights can be discovered there: foreign colleagues tend to have a diverse product vision and a completely different outlook on how to solve users’ tasks. It is also helpful to have an idea of what similar markets and products exist. For example, you make a service with advertisements about cars, so a similar product would be any service with job advertisements. A parallel may be found in the interface, monetization models, or in something else.
What is more, it is useful not only to get to the bottom of the other people’s products on the whole but to study their components. Disassemble your product into logical parts and ask the question “who could make this better than anyone else in the world?”.
For example, while integrating payment screens into your service, you can take the relevant examples from Alibaba and Amazon, the leading eCommerce players. They have already done hundreds of tests to improve these screens for you.
If you decided to implement video content or live stream, try to study how this is made — and ask the question “why exactly so?” — at YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Bigo Live.
🔥 So, while diving into the product:
- Examine all existing features of the product and understand why they were put into life.
- Get on the level of Business to understand the needs of the entire company in a better way.
- Disassemble your product into “spare parts” and find the best teams in the world (don’t forget to go through competitors or related businesses) that have already invented these components for you.