Product Managers: Get Used To Good Enough

I’ve been a Product Manager (by role or by title) off and on for the last 20 years.

In all my roles, I’ve always thought deeply about how much data is ‘good enough’. Like most things in life – choosing a plan for your smartphone, selecting an item off the menu at a restaurant, taking the quickest route home from work – you are never guaranteed success.

As a product manager, waiting for everything (customer insight, competitive data, pricing modeling, market analysis) to line up perfectly is a futile exercise. Get used to it, Product Managers: you are dealing with a world of ‘good enough.’

Don’t get me wrong. I am not prescribing that you can’t aim for perfect. Always strive to collect as much data/insight as you can within the boundaries of your project or product. Realize, however, that you’ll never get to perfect.

You may want to validate use cases for a new product with 10 customers, but only 5 are available. You may want to analyze competitors and read research reports until you understand the complete picture, but your development team is eager and ready to start building a prototype. You may desire to conduct a few more usability sessions, but that key trade show, where you plan on releasing ‘The Best Product Ever’, is looming just down the road.

Product Managers: get used to being informed and enlightened about your customers, segments, markets, opportunities, but don’t get anxious if you don’t get every ‘t crossed and i dotted’.

Go with what you have; it’s good enough.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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