One useful product management exercise: Take a very mature product that works well (and people don’t have a lot of complaints). Try to create a roadmap of further improvements.
I try it with a lot of popular products that I use daily. It is hard to do.
Example. In the last 2 years I have seen Google Calendar:
- Pre-fill the meeting name as name1/ name2 if it was a meeting of 2 people. Simple but elegant. I rarely change the event name.
- Find a common slot. If you are setting a meeting with half a dozen people, it is very hard to figure out a common time. Earlier I used to use Search for people and see my weekly view get filled with all kinds of colors. It was hard. Now there is ‘Find a time’ feature that opens the Day view with side by side calendar comparison of all participants.
Think of the calendar workflow for a standard user:
- You are adding people on search. Seeing their calendars. Then clicking on an empty slot on your calendar to start the creation flow. It autofills all the participants you had searched for.
- You start with a date in mind. You create the event. Then add people, followed by finding a common slot in the day. Or if there is none if check the next few days.
Basically for the same JTBD there are 2 different workflows and both work elegantly.
How would you further improve it?
I do this exercise for most products I use. If you want to improve as a product manager, I recommend you to do the same.