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Demonetization and blunderous “Product Management”

On 8th November PM Narendra Modi announced demonetization of 500 & 1000 rupee notes. Citizens were excited about this move, it was internationally recognized as a great move. But then soon India was cash drained and people started suffering in long queues, people died, a woman gave birth in a bank queue! Every Indian is very well aware of the issues. (Modi’s Demonetization Is a Cure Worse Than The Disease For India) But my objective with this article is to define the role of Product Management with this example and explain how costly it can get, to lose out in this field.

Product Managers are managers who are responsible for the end to end success of a Product. This can include launching a new product or revamping an existing one. They don’t create the Product themselves, neither do they sell it themselves. This often makes people skeptical on the importance of this role.

How good Product Management could have helped Demonetization

When you have a dedicated and qualified person to ensure Product & launch success, and the person approves every minor detail regarding the product, it makes a huge difference!

Experienced Product Managers ensure integration of the new Product with existing products in the landscape. Just what India needed, the newly designed notes to work well with existing ATMs.

Experienced Product Managers ensure the right Quality Assurance and usability tests, as they are to be pointed at for failure. Something that the new notes had to go through better.

Experienced Product Managers ensure the right launch utilizing available resources or logistics. Something that India needed to ensure that new notes reach people on time for the estimated quantity.

My reaction to people say – “No one can think through every possibility, mistakes happen!

Wonder how big MNCs launch new Products Globally and good companies deliver quality on every product. They do strong Product Management. Its the same routine work after all, you design the Product right fitting all use cases, you ensure the quality of the Product, you estimate demand and plan shipment accordingly.

Though Product Managers are not 100% accurate, they miss out certain minor issues at times. But if I compare the Product Management behind demonetization to the current industry standards there is a definite blunder here.

I would look forward to your views and feedbacks.

Mohammed Jamil Nasir
Nasir manages Products, by providing business oriented technology solutions. He is at the center of discussions ranging from a long-term vision or competitive strategy, or improving business processes, or a client demo, or the right marketing strategy, to, project delivery commitments, or improving UX, or technical architecture, or recruiting developers. He has a Global MBA from S P Jain, Engineering in Computer Science, 6 years of work experience and a flair for writing & poetry.