Young, innovative and fast-growing: start-ups are a good example of agile companies. With their dynamic work processes, flat hierarchies and highly innovative business ideas, they have the potential to become successful businesses in a short period of time.
Nevertheless, especially in the early stages of a company, there are always challenges that founders and their teams have to overcome. They have to develop the right market with their own product portfolio, acquire customers and successfully market their offering. This is why structured product management is important for start-ups!
Product life cycles in startups
Looking at the product lifecycle, startups are usually in the phase of market launch and in the phase of product growth. When a product is launched, its awareness is often yet low: this means that customers must first be convinced and the product must be made known. To this end, comprehensive PR and marketing strategies as well as sales measures are applied. This is an important step, because often the product is not yet profitable at this point - that is, sales and production costs are higher than sales.
However, once companies have reached the break-even point (the point where revenues and expenses balance out), they can move on to the next phase of product growth. Here the aim is to increase sales, reach new target groups, adapt the product even better to the needs of the market and introduce additional features.
Often, other competitors enter the market at this stage and offer comparable products. Therefore, it is also important for companies to secure market share and achieve the best possible market position.
The product manager - the central interface in startups
To ensure that companies can act safely and successfully in every phase of the product lifecycle, there is the task field of the product manager: This person accompanies the entire lifecycle of a product and acts as an interface between the company, stakeholders and customers.
The product manager is responsible for planning, controlling and monitoring products, takes care of user needs, monitors the market, coordinates marketing and sales and works to increase profitability, product quality and customer satisfaction. This makes him or her an important all-rounder who must maintain an overview at all times and should have important management, project management, communication and coordination skills.
Special case tech startup: What software product managers need to know
Today, many startups focus on launching products or services in the tech sector and developing software products. Therefore, comprehensive product management tailored to the specific requirements in the software sector is more important than ever!
Software product managers must have dedicated knowledge of the requirements in the software sector in addition to skills in communication, coordination and planning as well as in marketing and sales.
In addition, there is the knowledge of agile methods, which are important in software development. In addition, software product managers must know how successful quality management and controlling of software solutions works. So there are some additional skills required!
How to learn software product management!
To acquire skills in software product management, (aspiring) product managers have access to international training courses and certifications! These are offered by the non-profit association ISPMA® (International Software Product Management Association).
In cooperation with experts from business and industry, ISPMA® has created a curriculum for software product management. It deals with the special requirements in the software sector as well as the functions and roles that are important for the development and marketing of software products.
Interested parties who want to learn how to manage a software project throughout the entire product lifecycle can acquire basic skills in specialized training courses and then become certified as ISPMA® Certified Software Product Managers.
This not only provides them with an extensive body of knowledge, but also with an international certification that enables them to work as software product managers worldwide.
Conclusion: How startups benefit from Software Product Managers
Product managers play a central role in start-ups and are significantly responsible for the success and future of the company. It is therefore particularly important that they have dedicated knowledge and a well-grounded knowledge base.
As many start-ups specialise in digital products and software applications, it is important that product managers expand their skills specifically for the software sector. The ISPMA® certification with its matching trainings helps product managers to expand these competences specifically for the software sector.
Since, especially in startups, flat hierarchies prevail and employees often have a wide range of tasks, especially at the beginning, the ISPMA® certification is not only suitable for product managers, but also for all those involved in the development, introduction and marketing of a product. These can be e.g. CEOs, marketing managers, software developers and others.