The product manager’s role is basically “doing” that is, working with data gotten from users and acting on it. Execution in Product Management, therefore, is a very important skill for product managers. It is safe to call a product manager ‘doings’! Lol.
A product manager therefore should have an executionist mindset. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos once said and I quote, ‘All big things start small.’
The only way for a small endeavor to grow into a big one is to have a big vision from the get-go and an execution mindset. One is needed to give a sense of vision for the future while the other is needed to give a sense of vision for the moment. A vision of what needs to be done right now to achieve the future goal.
In the three primary areas of focus for product management; Product discovery, Product Planning, and Product Development, execution as a skillset is imperative.
In product discovery, one needs to work on user research: interviews and surveys. Without proper execution of these processes, the discovery phase might fail. You can learn more about user research here.
In Product Planning, one needs to work with the product team to ensure everyone participates in the planning. Without executing the meetings and communicating properly, this phase might not be fully maximized.
The Product development phase is the execution-centric phase. One needs to ensure all milestones in the product requirement document are properly documented, sourced, and developed efficiently.
Execution can quickly become a race of activities if not done properly in any of these three primary areas. There is the tendency to become busy doing nothing of value in the name of execution. For instance, in the discovery phase, one can be really focused on getting the wrong things done. Rather than prioritizing the important things that need to be executed, one can get caught up in being ‘busy’.
Prioritization before execution is key to executing right.