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Outcomes over Output: Escaping the “Build Trap” with Data-driven Product Management

by Miles Education Make an impact. Lead,Excel, Serve

When companies get caught gauging their success by outputs instead of outcomes, they get hit by a much-needed dose of reality straight on their faces. And this is when they realize despite squandering money on developing features that fall short of expectations, miss the mark, or just don’t get used.

Such a situation is called build trap — when product-led organizations prioritize shipping and building features instead of the true value those aspects produce. So, what should product managers do to escape the build trap? The answer, a data-driven product management strategy.

In today’s digital era, technology is more dominating than ever before. People are always embracing new habits along with evolving mindsets. Further, any thriving, product-led organization leverages data as the bedrock for feature ideation and building.

Product managers who are the champion of their product know that gut instincts interfere with good decision-making. As such, it’s highly imperative to apply data to every product decision.

Gauging the Right Aspects

Product managers need to align the metrics that echo the key organizational goals and business outcomes as per the product development stage. Product teams are on a cruise in open water, and metrics are the compass that helps them understand the desired result.

Sometimes, there’ll be a dedicated set of metrics for a specific aspect of the product. This may leave the other crucial aspects of the products, which are not assessed. As such, it’s vital to continuously analyze that measured metrics align with overall business objectives. Else, product managers risk steering in the wrong direction.

Avoiding “Vanity” Metrics

Often companies reach a stage where they monitor lots of data. For instance, finding out when the customer paused the video during the onboarding process. It’s not something product managers would spend their time on optimizing, but it’s still being monitored.

Product managers need to keep tabs on “vanity” metrics. These metrics are evaluated to make a company look good but don’t harmonize with overall success or reflect anything about the user experience. They are just not actionable.

Running Tests

Product lifecycle management teams need to be significantly precise on what they’re testing and the subsequent impacts they can expect. Keeping it simple and testing one variable at one is the ideal way forward. However, if the test product managers want to perform requires loads of variables, then they should better run some qualitative testing first and keep aside any unwanted variables before setting up an A/B test.

In this method, it’s essential to evaluate the metrics that product managers have aimed for as well as those which are going to get affected.

Qualitative and Quantitative Data

It’s all about data nowadays. Often, companies underestimate qualitative data compared to quantitative data as it is not number-based and hence looked at as a less authentic source. It’s always better and highly effective to consider qualitative data, such as user interviews, target groups, and guerilla testing.

Companies want to develop products that not only solve the user’s issues but also fit their needs. Emotional connection and cognitive behavior play a critical role and are difficult to evaluate.

That’s where qualitative research and data come in handy and enable product managers and think tanks to understand the complexity that creates the emotional connection.

If Organizations Can’t Measure it, They Can’t Improve It

“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion” — W. Edwards Deming

In its earlier days, product lifecycle management was pretty much a field fueled by cognitive biases. Now, product managers need to make decisions based on data rather than emotions. Moreover, a data-driven product management strategy is critical to the foundation of successful products used by many people across continents.

Fortunately, organizations have more product data at their fingertips than ever before. So, they should get the best out of their metrics and see favorable outcomes in their product’s performance.

There’s no perfect recipe for this, but understanding that quality is (even more) critical than quantity.

A survey suggests that 87% of the product knowledge gained by the product managers is on-the-job experience. This marks a skill gap that adequately lacks formal training. However, as many learning platforms today offer professional courses to become data-driven product managers, it can be a master skill in prospecting the future.


In this need of the hour, premiere business institute IIM Lucknow (IIML) and WileyNXT have come up with an Executive Education Program in Data-driven Product Management to meet the requirements. Miles Education is the official channel partner. The course covers the three most important training needs — Product Understanding, Marketing, and Strategy Development across the Product Lifecycle.

The course is entirely experiential and outcome-based learning, integrating Data Analytics and Design Thinking concepts and their applications in scaling customers in a market-centric business.


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About Miles Education Innovator   Make an impact. Lead,Excel, Serve

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Joined APSense since, December 23rd, 2019, From Hyderabad, India.

Created on Sep 14th 2021 04:15. Viewed 62 times.

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