Business Cooperation & Product Management?
When you enter a Business Cooperation, there is a natural place for the core handling; e.g. Your Product Management Function. However most of the company will be involved so your Operational Model must be able to cater for the Business Cooperation.
Let’s explore some of the key aspects you need to consider as a Product Manager.
Bring on a Business Partner?
You want to bring on a Business Partner to support your Business? As a Product Manager there are a number of things to look into to secure the success.
There are pros and cons with a Business Cooperation. You will through your partner leverage innovation and speed to get a better position with your customers and on your market. The Drawback is the risks involved that can impact your customers as well as your company brand.
However if you have a structured approach you can reduce the risks as well as maximizing the benefits. The Structured approach means that you prepare your company for business cooperation. Secondly you prepare each cooperation opportunity according to what you need. Thirdly you scan and explore possible candidate companies against your cooperation opportunity before putting them on the Candidate List.
Furthermore a structured approach from a Product Management perspective involves handling key core functions such as:
- Positioning of the product into the offering to the Market is crucial to avoid confusion or cannibalization
- A Pricing Strategy that will offer a simple and straight forward offer to the customers.
- Clear Life Cycle Management and Release Handling will provide trust and confidence to your customers
- Tested Interoperability will also improve trust and confidence
Impact on Product Manager’s Core Areas
When looking at the overall responsibilities and tasks of a Product Manager, you will see, that as suggested by the International Software Product Manager Association, there are many tasks and quite a few are affected when adding a Business Cooperation. Here is a list of the most important ones.
- Early on analyze and understand the Trade Compliance requirements on your company as well as your Partner. Monitor the Trade Compliance requirements over time to stay on top.
- Securing a Supply and Support Model that allow a smooth and fast Business Flow
- Manage the ecosystem with support from Sourcing and the Technology Team
- Manage Product Requirements and Releases to secure Interoperability with support from the Technology Team
- Aligned Pricing Models to allow simple and easy purchasing
Diverse Team to best handle the complexity
It is as shown quite a complex task to master all this so using a team and even better a diverse team with different functional expertise and perspective. This will help you to stay on top at all times.
You need to establish point of contacts for key areas as well as where needed escalation paths in order to quickly respond to customer issues.
In addition you need to provide input to the regular Manager Business Review Meetings required to Manage the Relationship over time.
Managing the Business Cooperation from your Product Management Function is a good advice as it will allow you to manage your portfolio of products in an efficient way.
It will also help you to promote Cross Functional Team work as setting up a Core Team of Product, Supply, Support and Sourcing members with assisted support from Technology and Marketing.
A structured approach will maximize benefits and reduce the risks with a Business Cooperation.
Some more advice (Links)
- International Software Product Management Association (ISPMA)
- Video Blog: Business Cooperation
- Prepare Your Company for a Business Cooperation
- Why Explore Candidate Companies
Please feel free to Learn more at the Business Cooperation section.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave a comment or contact us.
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