The primary function of Product Planning at Microsoft is to define the next generation of products to drive continued business growth. From the earliest stages of defining a product to the final stages of development, an effective partnership and open dialogue between Engineering and Planning is crucial for the success of the product offering. Because Product Planning is a shared discipline within both the Marketing and Engineering professions, product planners play a key role in facilitating the partnership between these two groups. Product planners use highly developed analytical skills to help Engineering develop products that meet Microsoft business needs, reconcile those needs with the satisfaction of Microsoft partners and customers, and fuel future business growth. Effective product planning ensures a clear correlation between the set of usage scenarios that Microsoft develops for and the customer segments that will use those products.
Gain market and competitive insights. Collaborate with Program Managers and Developers to develop product value propositions that ensure that the next generation of Microsoft products meets customers' needs.
Develop business models and strategies. A product manager’s main goal is to maximize shareholder value. It is imperative to develop sound business and financial models that answer the question: What problem does the business solve, and how can it do so profitably?
Advocate for and prioritize customer needs. Analyze customer needs and define workflow scenarios that show how customers might use a new product or how they already use an existing product. Identify customer perceptions about Microsoft and existing products, develop new or improved product concepts and collaborate with Program Managers to prioritize customer needs during product development, develop product feature specifications, and prioritize and clarify conflicting product requirements.
Strong analytical and problem solving skills
Business & strategy leadership capabilities, high confidence levels
Cross boundary collaboration; impact and influence
Market analysis and opportunity identification, strategic insight