Why Product Managers Need Continuous Research

Alex Mitchell
6 min readJun 12, 2021

For anyone who’s ever been a Product Manager, I don’t need to tell you that it’s a busy, noisy, challenging, mile-a-minute, exciting, and often, pretty stressful job.

You’re trying to balance long-term strategic vision with short-term deadlines. You’re trying to ship value to users and drive outcomes for your company while keeping your team focused, informed, and not overwhelmed.

In this difficult environment, many junior (and often senior) Product Managers often leave user research behind or simply assume that another team will carry the torch. For those ambitious PMs who strive to integrate user research, it’s often only executed for “big features” or “overhauls” instead of through a more sustainable, and often, more fruitful continuous approach.

This is a mistake.

Continuous user research helps Product Managers make better product decisions, identify potential feature opportunities, and even helps them define attractive testing opportunities. In short, continuous research simply makes Product Managers better.

So, how do you find time for research?

Let’s dive in together and I’ll help you start building continuous user research into your Product Management Practice.

What Are The Benefits of Continuous User Research?

  1. Make Better Product Decisions

This one is relatively straightforward. If you have a pipeline of user research learnings as another input to your prioritization process (in addition to metrics, intuition, strategic direction, competitive landscape, and more), you’ll make better decisions. That doesn’t mean you’ll always make the right decisions, but they will be more informed.

2. Identify Potential Opportunities

In each and every research effort, I’m surprised by the tangential opportunities we identify. We may be surveying or interviewing customers on the impact of a new type of pricing and we also learn about an additional feature that would change the perception of our price.

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Alex Mitchell

Product @Kinsured | 5x Product Leader/Founder | Syndicate: bit.ly/mitchell-ventures | Author: @producthandbook @disruptbook