TMCnet Feature
September 27, 2022

How Manufacturers Can Increase Agility With Greater Roadmap Transparency

As manufacturers, you face rapidly changing conditions in every corner of business, from supply chain disruptions to labor shortages to scaling production and managing new technologies. The market and the world around it are constantly changing, and your company needs to be agile to respond to these unpredictable factors. How do you increase the agility of your company? One sure way to help achieve greater flexibility and to make informed decisions in a timely matter is to increase transparency throughout your organization. 

What Does Transparency Look Like for Manufacturing?

Transparency involves clear communication, shared data, and strategic implementation of the company goals at every level of production. While many companies aspire to better transparency, they are often limited by the tools they use to manage their products and communicate with product stakeholders.

Earlier this year, we surveyed manufacturing companies in the United States about their product strategy. Only 55% of those manufacturers had a dashboard that provided real-time updates and progress reporting of their roadmaps. That number leaves a lot of room for improvement among manufacturers to provide transparency.

How Do Your Teams Communicate?

Manufacturing companies and their product management teams often encounter change at such a rapid pace that it is challenging to keep up with the need for quick, informed decisions. Unless you have a system that facilitates real-time discussion between stakeholders, shared data files, and clear product strategies, your company is likely struggling with communication. And effective communication is essential to creating transparency and greater agility.

The Benefit of Cross-Functional Communication

Flexibility happens when you have accurate information at your fingertips and can respond to the unexpected with informed decisions and minimal delay. You can set your company up for success in this regard by implementing transparent communication systems that encourage cross-functional communication. Shared documents with automatic notifications as changes or updates are made help keep your teams on the same page consistently. Holding cross-functional meetings amongst your teams also helps shared ideas and information flow between departments, leading to new and better ideas.

Choosing the Right Communication Tools

Another crucial step that will help your company have greater agility is to give your product managers and their teams the necessary communication tools to keep their stakeholders informed. Your product manager is your key to monitoring, analyzing, and assessing each phase of your product roadmaps. The product manager should be able to identify areas of opportunity within and across product lines while sharing those insights with the relevant departments and executives.

How Does Your Company Manage Information?

Managing information is a challenge that every manufacturer faces. When you don't have a plan or system for managing information, every time you scale your production capacity or launch a new product, your information will scale with your business, creating a mountain of confusion. The sooner you can put a strategic plan in place for managing your data securely, the easier it will be to manage the other pieces of your roadmaps.

Make Information Silos a Thing of the Past

Do your teams have access to the data they require, or do some of your teams have information sitting in isolated silos? The leading companies in your industry promote transparency, trust, and collaboration between stakeholders and departments. When stakeholders know and trust that all their departments have access to one source of truth, they will have greater confidence in the company and will be more likely to support productive collaborations.

The Key to Delivering Transparency

The most effective way to achieve trust and transparency is with a system that allows all departments to access up-to-date data and metric reporting. PRM software makes this possible, no matter where your teams are located. Information silos can become a thing of the past when you choose PRM software with secure cloud systems and an easy-to-use software program built for manufacturers.

How Does Your Product Strategy Align with Your Company Goals?

Do your teams know the company's strategic vision for the products? And if so, how closely does the product strategy promote those goals? In our survey of manufacturers, we asked companies to tell us how effective their product strategy was in delivering on their business goals. The average answer was that it was their product strategy delivered on their goals only 75% of the time. When asked whether these companies wished they had a better alignment between strategy and reaching their goals, 57% wished they had better alignment.

These answers leave a lot of room for improvement. Imagine how many business goals your company could achieve when all departments know and are focused on those goals. When your product strategy reflects the broader vision, you'll deliver products that make your customers happier, resulting in higher sales. 

One Source (News - Alert) of Truth Leads to Better Alignment

Earlier, we mentioned that only 55% of the surveyed manufacturers used roadmap management tools. That statistic surprised us. With everything manufacturers need to manage and track, flat tools, such as spreadsheets and word processors, cannot keep up.

Does your company still rely on spreadsheets for data presentation and tracking? Or have you switched to robust software that generates clear visuals and easy-to-customize graphs and charts? When you want to analyze your metrics quickly and easily, PRM software offers better oversight at every level of the manufacturing process.

Informed Analysis Leads to Clear Presentations

When you have a deeper understanding of your data, delivering clear presentations to the right stakeholders becomes easy. Using PRM software that automatically generates clear visuals based on the metrics you want to focus on can dramatically change the tone of meetings. You'll be able to communicate the necessary details with full transparency in a way everyone can understand, whether you're meeting with your executives or making strategic plans with your design teams.

The Single Dashboard that Delivers Agility

When choosing PRM software for a manufacturing company, the best options have one powerful dashboard that brings cross-functional teams together. One dashboard helps companies better manage and steer their product roadmaps in line with business goals and market needs. Visit to learn more about its PRM software and how it's helping manufacturers become more agile.

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