5 Ways a Product Manager Can Help Your Startup - Cogent

5 Ways a Product Manager Can Help Your Startup

Amelia Crook

Amelia Crook

General Manager at Cogent, product person at heart, builder of teams, supporter of people.

As a startup founder, you own your product. You have the vision, the passion and the drive that is going to make this project happen, and you make the decisions that are going to affect the success of your business.

So why do we include a Product Manager on projects at Cogent?

A Product Manager is there to help you realise your vision and get the outcomes you need.

A Product Manager is not a Project Manager.

Product Managers are responsible for the outcomes of the products they work on, not just the delivery of that product.

They support you in making sound decisions, and help guide you through the development phase of your product.

They’ll use their online business experience to help you craft the right product — one that fits the market, delights users and delivers your business goals.

If you’re new to digital, you’re about to embark on a new way of doing things, and our Product Managers will help coach you through your first time to set you up for future success.

Here’s some of the ways our Product Managers can help your startup:

1. Bring successful formulas to your product

Our Product Management team have worked in some of Melbourne’s most successful startups before joining Cogent. They’ve been on the frontlines of product development and have learned a lot along the way about what makes good products and good business practices. They bring this experience to the table in your project.

2. Support good decision making

As a startup founder you are making a ton of decisions every day. Pairing with a Product Manager allows you to ask questions and get great research and advice, giving you more confidence in your decisions. Our Product Managers are business savvy and have commercial experience. We can research and provide options for you to consider on topics as diverse as feature prioritisation, pricing, team structure, marketing, analytics tools or whatever else your startup needs.

3. Guide you through the development process

If you haven’t worked in an Agile environment before, there’s lots to learn. From the nomenclature like “epics”, “stories” and “retros” to the rituals and cadence of the work. A Product Manager acts as your guide through the process. They act as your stand-in for the team when you’re not around, ensuring the work is always aligning with your vision and goals.

4. Save time and money

It is much cheaper and quicker to explore ideas in theory or lo-fi ways than writing actual code. Pairing with a Product Manager (and designer) to explore new ideas or features up-front will help give you more confidence in committing to the expense of writing code.

5. Help set you up for the future

Developing a product at Cogent is just the start of your founder journey. A Product Manager can help you think through what next steps you might need to take, what your roadmap might look like, how to monitor and action key metrics and your go-to-market strategy. We love this stuff and have lots of experience to share with you.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

What can you expect a Product Manager to do?

Here’s some of the things Cogent’s Product Managers are likely to help you with on your project:

  • Research the market, the business drivers, the commercial opportunities, the competition and future trends of the domain or type of product.

  • Craft the product concept into something that balances the needs of the business, market and users.

  • Ensure the vision and success metrics for the product are well understood by the delivery team.

  • Work with the team to break down the product into manageable pieces to understand, design, develop and deliver.

  • Prioritise the “backlog”, which is the list of features that haven’t been built yet.

  • Ensures the releases meet user, market and business expectations.

  • Assess the success of the product in the market and work out how to grow and optimise it to meet your goals.

A Product Manager is a key bridge between you and the development of your product, especially for non-technical founders.

All the big players in tech (ie. Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Fitbit and more) have a team of Product Managers ensuring their products are as successful as they can be.

Using Cogent’s Product Managers to do the same for you makes good business sense.

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