Archive

Archive for the ‘Pragmatic Approach’ Category

My Thoughts on Product Management – 1

October 6, 2009 1 comment

Every product that starts with a need takes time to evolve into a concrete definition. I think this transformation is extremely important and holds the key to the success of the product.

Product management is more of a philosophy, where in each one has their own way of drawing the meaning. That’s the reason we have more than half a dozen frameworks that teach you what actual product management is! but are they really worth it? I think so… ’cause the very first lesson what I learnt from product management is this: “the more clear you are with the definition of the idea, the more keen you are in solving the actual market need”. And all these frameworks/methodologies helps one in clearly defining one’s idea and streamline the process to help complete the product.

Just as in the case of product definition, it is also important to be clear on requirement definition. I read somewhere that 50-70% of new products fail due to ambiguous requirement definitions. After all a product is a collection of requirements and it is so very much easy to get lost in tons of requirements that pour in from various sources.

Hence, the success of product lies in clear product definition and picking up right requirements for right market at right time…!

Advertisements

Strategic role of Product Management

July 29, 2008 1 comment

I was pretty much amazed with the whole concept of Pragmatic approach to Product Management. Visit http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/ for more information.
The role definition of “Product Management” is misunderstood in the technology companies. In today’s world most of the Product managers think in “Tactical” terms than putting on some effort thinking in “Strategic” terms. Why is this happening? One reason might be that Product Managers are too much occupied replying to emails, calls, demos, meetings etc. They hardly get time to think in strategic terms. And other reasons might be that most of the time Product Managers are reactive or busy doing the work of other departments.
Now question arises, what is that that comes under Tactical activities and what is that that comes under Strategic activities?

Tactical talks about- Channel Support, Sales Readiness, Program Strategy

Strategic talks about- Market analysis, Quantitative analysis, Product Strategy

Ideally,
” The aim of product management is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself”
The above statement opens questions, such as
  • Where does the Product Manager fit in an organization?
  • Should he be working closely with Development team or Marketing Team or Sales Team?
We see in few organziations Product Manager working closely with only Development team, they do lot of development related work such as prioritization of tasks, weekly demos, development status etc. In this scenario Product Managers are dumb when asked questions such as what would be their next release… reason being that – since they’ve no coordination with marketing team they have no idea about what market problems/needs are.
In few organizations they are close to Sales team, organizations as such claim themselves as customer centric ignoring whole of the development work. In this scenario Product Manager don’t know what is happening in the development front. They obviously face problems while giving demos. Similarly problem when Product Manager is close to Marketing team.
Ideally, for the success of the product delivery, a Product Manager should work closely with Marketing, Development and Sales team.
Coming back to Pragmatic approach, as previously said most of the product managers tend to work on tactical tasks ignoring strategic tasks. But reality is, you would’ve done better job in tactical tasks had you’ve spent time on strategic tasks. It’s important to do tactical side of pragmatic marketing framework, but we are not qualified to do it until we do the strategic side of the framework.
Golden Principle here is that – Time spent on the strategic reduces the time wasted on the tactical.
More information on pragmatic marketing framework can be found at http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/

Difference Between Product Manager and Project Manager


In technology field, people often get confused with the role of Product Manager and Project Manager. Its quite unfortunate to see most of the Product Managers do not know the difference and end up doing Project Management. For success of any product, its very important that each one knows their boundaries.
To give a simple difference between both, a Product Manager always talk about what the product should be. Where as a Project manager mainly talks about when.
Product managers often ensure to measure the impact of product changes or new features being added. He acts as an advocate to customers and works with engineers to implement changes suggested by customer or sales or from any other source.
Basically, at any point of time a Product Manager passes through the following steps:
  • He defines the impact of suggested product changes
  • He sets goals for the changes
  • Dertermines how these product changes can be measured
  • Once the changes have been made, now evaluate the impact with assessed impact

Another well known difference between a Product Manager and Project Manager is that a Project Manager leaves the project and moves on to another project once the project is over. Where as, Product Manager remains with the product till its life cycle.

I came across a wonderful ebook that talks about the strategic role of a product manager. Here is the link from where you can download this ebook

Interestingly there are as many as a dozen tools available in the market for Project Managers to do Project Management. Where as, as per my research I came across only two commercial tools that are available for Product Managers to do Product Management. They are:
  1. Tele Logic Focal Point
  2. Feature Plan

Finally, if you are a product manager and reading this post and you don’t know the difference between Product Management and Project Mangement… God help you!