In product management, information flow — also known as information flow management — is the process for coordinating the information that teams communicate with one another.
In more real-life terms, it is a way of facilitating communication among the various teams working on a product. This keeps siloed teams better connected and ensures that the vision of the product isn't obscured. Cloud-based tools like Slack, Notion and Trello help smooth information flow, even in remote teams.
In a typical product development workflow, marketers, developers, designers, and managers will meet at the start of a project, at the end of a project, and maybe once or twice in between.
While this saves time and keeps things simple (trying to organize large meetings is never an easy feat) it can lead to miscommunication between the different groups working on a product. There might be missed points early on that grow into large problems later on in the project.
More importantly, when little is said between colleagues, teams are less likely to let other groups know when important errors or successes have been made. This has a cumulative effect, where each group will gradually amass several data points that none of the other groups have.
The lapses in communication described above can quickly cause a product development process to become disjointed. No one is sure what is being worked on, how far along it is, or how it fits into what they're working on. Likewise, developers, designers, and marketers might start to forget how their part fits into the bigger picture.
Product managers who focus on information flow can prevent these hiccups right from the start. Information flow keeps all players in the loop so that each member from each team has clarity into the product's progress and their role in making success a reality.
Additionally, strong information flow can decrease the number of meetings that need to occur, as everyone will already be privy to critical information. This saves time and allows high-level discussions to take place during meetings rather than having a room full of people trying to play catch-up.