Successful Product Managers collaborate to ensure innovative product development

One of the key attributes that a Product Manager has to have in order to be successful is the ability to work in a collaborative way across teams and departments in order to bring new products to market or maintain and increase the profitability of existing products by adding innovative features and enhancements. Collaboration is one of those key requirements listed in the majority of job adverts for Product Managers. Collaboration is a key issue for CEOs because they know that bringing a group of people together from diverse backgrounds, skill-sets and professions to work as a team or virtual team is a challenging job.

According to Lynda Gratton and Tamara J. Erickson:

“The most productive, innovative teams were led by people who were both task and relationship-oriented.”

As such it’s the responsibility of Product Management to be able to work with and co-ordinate stakeholders with different skill sets and from a variety of backgrounds and at different levels.

Three factors that help Product Managers successfully collaborate are:

#1. Work closely with your teams on a daily basis – sit among the engineers and if possible have a hot desk in departments and/or the officers of other stakeholders – spread yourself around.

#2. The Product Manager has to be a universal translator: understanding the commercial and business world and yet have the appropriate technical understanding of the technologies that underpin the products so that they can understand and explain both sides of the equation. This will ensure that business and technical sense is maintianed.

#3. Be clear on your role (what is expected of you) and ensure that other stakeholders know the boundaries of your role. This will aid in dispelling ambiguity and ensure that tasks aren’t inadvertently left undone.

In short the successful Product Managers will understand the issues, technical and business pains of their stakeholders and be able to communicate and help resolve these pains for the common good of the success of the product.


  1. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

  2. What great information. We have been doing research on custom product development for our company. I am going to re-read it and try to apply it to our company. Thanks so much for this post.