No-Code – An upgrade to the product manager’s toolkit

Several No-Code tools are taking over. Bubble, Airtable, etc. are on the map now. From the product manager’s (PM) perspective, these new players offer several opportunities. In this article, we will show you how PMs’ work could change through these tools.  

One of the tasks of a PM is to investigate the customer’s pain points. So let’s start the article by switching roles and find the PMs’ needs!

The desire to build

PMs are part of the team that is responsible for creating and shipping projects and products. Thereby, one of the PM’s key competencies is to communicate effectively. 

They have to communicate with:

  • customers to understand true pain points and needs
  • developers to transport the requirements and check for feasibility
  • other stakeholders to understand broader business implications of certain decisions

The list goes on. The process to build a new product feature often starts with preliminary discussion and evaluation. The PM writes the specifications, requirements and prioritizes them. A developer picks it up. After that, you have a first functional review of the feature. In this process, PMs aren’t building something on their own.

Take the driver’s seat with No-Code

In the described process, being a PM is like directing from the side as a co-driver in a car. They are responsible for navigation and choosing the roads to take. Clear communication with the driver is necessary to ensure reaching the destination. They also have to consider the input from those on the backseat or outside the car. All the information has to be processed and channeled so that the driver can focus on driving. 

From time to time, it’s nice to take the driver’s seat and feel the gas pedal under your shoe sole. Here No-Code enters the scene. This technology enables you to take the drivers’ seat for a short trip on your own. No-Code offers the possibility of quickly putting ideas into practice. We are not talking about mocks or click dummies! The given tools out there enable you to go as far as an end-to-end working solution. 

More than fulfilling desires

Now you could think: So… it’s nice for PMs’ satisfaction to build on their own from time to time. Where is the Business Value? Let’s dig deeper! We see the potential for No-Code in several fields of application in a PM’s life.

Here they are:

No-Code gives PM leverage in the product discovery phase

As mentioned before, one of the core responsibilities of a PM is to truly understand the customer. It is crucial to identify the pain points and needs! No-Code can support this process. The PM can quickly prototype with these tools. That enables you to get superfast feedback on possible solutions. So you can have further iteration with the customer to unlock more iterations and sharpen the understanding of the actual problem at hand. Now, this is what we call resource-friendly! Everything without using the precious developer resources yet.

It goes further. The PM can even engage in the process of Co-Creation with the customer. In this case, the customer sits in the driver’s seat, and the PM facilitates this process with expertise in No-Code tools. If you spin this idea even further: will there be a need for external solutions? The customer could build it on his own because: 

  1. The customer knows his own problem best. 
  2. He has the required domain know-how to come up with a solution. 
  3. No-Code now enables him to actually create the solution.

Rabbit hole alert! We will enter this discussion, but this is up for another article! Make sure to subscribe below!

No-Code gives PM leverage in the product delivery phase

We start the next advantage with a question. Is it justified to tackle every use case with a pure code-based development? Clear answer: nope! You want an example: coding a landing page for a product idea. In other words, use cases where scalability and complete flexibility are not key requirements.

No-Code can also facilitate better discussions in the development process. Development doesn’t have to start on a blank canvas. A PM has more insights and better understanding when he uses No-Code early in the discovery phase. That will help when a more sophisticated development is required.

What will the future look like

We are not projecting a future where one-man-PM-No-Coder-show replaces the product team made of developers, designers, and PMs. You will always need the whole team to come up with solutions for the hard problems. Nevertheless, No-Code can help in the overall process and is a nice addition to the PM’s toolkit. To take up our metaphor from the beginning again: It can help to have the PM making a test drive on its own. But for the long and sometimes bumpy road trip, it is better to have the whole team in the car.