AALAP

All the posts published.

Problem . How to prioritize user stories using weighted scoring ? . Action . Source: Product Plan Outcome . An understanding on one way to prioritize user stories. . . .

Problem . How to write good user stories – quick overview ? . Action   .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKSUokG3Y0w   Outcome . A quick understanding of how to write simple agile stories. . . .

Problem . How to prioritize features in a Roadmap using the Value v/s Effort Model ? . Action . Source: ProductPlan – LINK       Outcome . An understanding of one way to prioritize user stories . . .

Problem . How to determine priorities in product portfolios using BCG Model ? . Action . Source: Book: Carl W. Stern, George Stalk – Perspectives on Strategy from The Boston Consulting Group     1. Stars (=high growth, high market share) – use large amounts of cash and are leaders in the business so they should also generate large amounts of cash. – frequently roughly in balance on net cash …

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Problem . How to manage a product portfolio using dimensions of environment and business strengths ? . Action . Source: LINK The ADL portfolio management approach uses the dimensions of environmental assessment and business strength assessment. The environmental measure is an identification of the industry’s life cycle. The business strengths measure is a categorization of the corporation’s SBU’s into one of five (6) competitive positions: dominant, strong, favorable, tenable, weak …

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Problem . What are some of the must haves before an item makes it on your roadmap ? . Action . Quick nuggets below Source: LINK   Must-Haves to Demand Before Any Item Gets on Your Product Roadmap 1. It must have true value for your customers. 2. Its value must be supported by evidence. 3. It must have an owner. 4. It must “fit” onto the roadmap, given all …

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Problem . What are product squads & can they improve your agile development process ? . Action . Source Product Plan: LINK Squads are a relatively new methodology for product development popularized by Spotify. Spotify restructured its development organization into functional, eight-person squads — developers and a product owner — much has been written about this novel approach. But it seems few organizations have actually adopted it.  There are several …

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Problem . What are some Top Hacks from a PM Behind Two of Tech’s Hottest Products ? . Action Original Article mentioning Todd Jackson Source: LINK Summary: Always know the current status and context: You should always know where key people in the company stand on what’s important and why. You should also know what’s going on with the competition. Jump from small details to big picture: “You should be …

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Problem . Do Product Managers Make Good Startup Founders? . Action . Quick nuggets below Source Product Plan: LINK   The short answer is (probably) yes, product managers are well equipped to transition to startup founders. The strong entrepreneurial spirit inherent in many product managers has a lot to do with it, and many product managers actually aspire to launch or lead a company of their own. What’s more, product …

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Problem . How does Amazon recruit product talent ? . Action . Video below explains best. Source: LINK Outcome . An understanding of the above process at Amazon. . . .  

Problem . What are the 10 Essential Skills for a Product Manager ? . Action . Video below explains best. Source: LINK Outcome . An understanding of the above common skills. . . .  

Problem . What are common differences between “good” and  “bad” product teams ?   . Action . A great article by Marty Cagan from Silicon Valley Product Group – LINK   GOOD TEAMS BAD TEAMS 1 Good teams have a compelling product vision that they pursue with a missionary-like passion. Bad teams are mercenaries. 2 Good teams get their inspiration and product ideas from their scorecard KPI’s, from observing customers …

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Problem . What is Agile Product Ownership ?   . Action . Video below explains best     Outcome . An understanding of the Agile format. . . .  

Problem . Why is it important for a Product Manager to be able to “Influence Without Authority” ?   . Action . A great article by Sachin Rekhi – LINK   Product managers require a diverse set of skills to excel at their role, including design, technical, analytical, communication, and more. Yet there is one skill that I find is often underrated but critical for the success of a product …

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Problem . What is rapid prototyping at high level – Paper, Digital & Native ?   . Action . Videos below from Google from Entrepreneurs   Video #1: Rapid Prototyping 1 of 3: Sketching & Paper Prototyping   Video #2: Rapid Prototyping 2 of 3: Digital Prototyping   Video #3: Rapid Prototyping 3 of 3: Native Prototyping     Outcome . An understanding of basic prototyping processes, tools and techniques. …

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Problem . What distinguishes the Top 1% of Product Managers from the Top 10% ?   . Action . A great article by Ian McAllister on Quora – LINK   The top 10% of product managers excel at a few of these things. The top 1% excel at most or all of them: Think big – A 1% PM’s thinking won’t be constrained by the resources available to them today …

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Problem . What are the core competencies to seek for a Vice President of Product Management ?   . Action . A great article by Marty Cagan – LINK   Competencies Specifically, you are looking for someone that is proven strong in four key competencies: Team Development Product Vision Execution Product Culture     Team Development The single most important responsibility of any VP Product is to develop a strong …

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Problem What are three broad phases of launching a product and the respective activities within each phases ?   . Action Broadly defined below are the three phases of launch bucketed in Pre-release, Release and Post-Release segments. Below chart might apply to a broad range of products and not necessarily software products. One must note that not all steps in each phase are mandatory rather the firm should check for …

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Problem When designing products, how to create a story board from ideas & a basic linear story flow ? . Action Storyboards are similar to scenarios, goal is to chart out the flow in a given user-product interaction scenario. Interaction could also be between machines with system A being a user of system B. Idea is to keep details to an optimal level to outline the story flow structure. 2 …

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An incredible article by Suhaas Kaul. A must read for all Product Leaders. Source:  LINK Who are product managers and why you should never hire a ‘good’ Product Manager for your company ? Engineers build the product, Designers design the UI andUX of the product, Marketeers market the product, QA test the product and Product Managers… So, who are these product managers? What do they do? Why do you even need …

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Problem How to outline team member objectives and cascading results among an organization’s product team members? How to align a product team member’s goals either distilling up-wards to create organization’s goals or channeling down top-down goals into personal goals ? How to organize and execute the goals that your company has set out to fulfill ? . Action Utilize Google’s Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a system for setting …

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Problem When designing products, how to select appropriate metrics that reflect Quality of user experience Goals of your product . Action Try the Google’s H.E.A.R.T framework. Original Post by Kerry Rodden. Source – LINK Happiness: measures of user attitudes, often collected via survey. For example: satisfaction, perceived ease of use, and net-promoter score. Engagement: level of user involvement, typically measured via behavioral proxies such as frequency, intensity, or depth of …

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Problem To know what are the most popular Product Management tools used in industry by Product Manager for a variety of tasks ? . Action Use below recommended tools from Product Manager HQ website – LINK List Dated: October’ 2016 Collaboration Confluence: Wiki tool to centralize your team’s product knowledge. Google Sites: Launch an intranet for your company, a project site for your team or a portal for customers with our …

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Problem You have a product requirement, how should you go about breaking into user stories that effective for teams to work with ?  . Action Utilize the I.N.V.E.S.T Model. Steps below. Independent: We want to be able to develop in any sequence. Negotiable: Avoid too much detail; keep them flexible so the team can adjust how much of the story to implement. Valuable: Users or customers get some value from …

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Problem You have a product / service idea, what stages should you flow through to get your a Minimum Viable Product out on which you can iterate and improve ?  . Action Utilize Double Diamond Model from the The British Design Council. LINK     Steps Start your thinking process from the right end of above diagram and end on the left As you flow, diverge your thinking when the diamond expands. …

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Problem . What are the best ways to prioritize a list of product features?   . Action . A Quora post by Ian McAllistor explains source – LINK   Prioritize themes, not projects – Create a list of themes for your product or business. Examples might be customer acquisition, activation, retention, avg revenue per user, avg visits per user, etc. Pick ~3 that are the most important for your product …

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Problem . What are common elements of a product discontinuation guidelines ?   . Action . When a product’s sales head into decline, on the possible strategy is to discontinue the product and withdraw it from the market. The product discontinuation process begins with an evaluation that resembles a business case The business case justified the inestment of the product, so the discontinuation case describes the reasons to dis-invest in …

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Problem . What is value oriented pricing ? . Action . The price of any product reflects the targeted customer’s willingness to buy the benefit. Price setting represents a tremendous challenge because of its dependency on the correctness of the value proporision Even if the value proposition seems correct, there may be other intermediating factors that customers simply will not accept. For the marketing plan, the pricing strategy need to …

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Problem . What is a product performance dashboard ?   . Action . A real time dashboard showing key metrics from relevant raw data sources. Data points can be: Financial Operational Marketing Data Points An example of it it shown below – any relevant metrics can be visualized on it for quick access and decision making.       Outcome . A means to view product performance in as near-real …

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Problem . How to evaluate marketing-mix and operational performance ? . Action . Use a basic template below as a starting point.     Outcome . An understanding of a simple table method to compare the performance and understand the variances – make adjustments and revise efforts if needed. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . How to broadly track promotional campaigns ?   . Action . Template below can be used to make your own template and criteria against which to track a promotional campaign   Outcome . A measurable way to track campaigns based on initial goals. Above can be done in a spreadsheet or word document as simple process on an ongoing basis during campaigns. . . . Source: Haines, S. …

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Problem . What is a standard financial report card for a product ? . Action . This document helps answer the question “What’s happening now with the Product ?” A great document to summarize the product’s current status to executives or senior management in financial terms. Below templates can be use to create one     A standard financial scorecard for two products (can be adapted to more) Outcome . …

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Problem . What is the difference between – Scrum, Kanban & Agile ?   . Action . An article byby Matthias Marschall explains. Source – LINK   When inflexible and wasteful software development processes are making your organization inefficient, it’s time to introduce an agile methodology. Kanban vs Scrum then becomes an essential question: Which agile software development methodology is better suited for my own situation? And is Kanban agile? …

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Problem . What is a general Product Life Cycle Curve w.r.t finances ? . Action . Diagrams below depict ideas how one should track finances over a product’s entire life cycle with as much real time data as possible.       Outcome . To be able to visually track where things were projected v/s where they actually are to see if we are on track, off track or better …

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Problem . What is a data association map and how to construct a story from it ? . Action . In any product organization, product managers must harness troves of data in order to manage their products proficiently However individual data elements do not provide enough value unless interrelated to each other for insights To start connecting the dots, visually associate various data elements or metrics to you can create …

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Problem . What is the pragmatic marketing framework ? . Action . Source: LINK The Pragmatic Marketing Framework provides a standard language for your entire product team and a blueprint of the key activities needed to bring profitable, problem-oriented products to market. Outcome . An understanding of the Pragmatic Marketing Framework. . . .

Problem . What is product lifecycle management ? . Action . Video below explains best. Source: LINK Outcome . An understanding of the Product Lifecycle Management. . . .  

Problem . What is Agile Process in principle ?   . Action . Video below explains best   Outcome . A theoretical understanding of Agile principles. . . .  

Problem . What one key metric among all matters most for a product organization ?   . Action . An article by Josh Elman explains. Source – LINK When I meet new companies today, I often hear things like “We have 10M uniques with 30M page views per month.” Or “We have a 25% DAU/MAU with a 2-cent ARPDAU”. All of these sound pretty interesting in the abstract. But when …

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Problem . What are 87 essential tool for product managers as of May 2016 ?   . Action . Below is a list of such tools from Indicative.com – source – LINK   Categories: Mindmapping: For organizing concepts in related groupings at the beginning of the ideation process Flowcharts & Diagrams: For doing high-level process mapping and rough sketching User Research: For doing qualitative and quantitative research on users and personas to …

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Problem . What are the broad steps to audit results after the launch ? . Action . Post launch audit should be conducted by an impartial auditor, emanining the effectiveness of launch activities and launch plans Two key audits must be done: Post Launch Audit Win-Loss Audit Post Launch Audit Examines the performance of every business function that committed to support the launch in the Functional Support Plans *FSPs). At …

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Problem . What is a common launch checklist ? . Action . Below is the commonly used checklist that can be used to model to one’s own business environment and checklist items     Outcome . A checklist of items before giving the go or no-go order to proceed with launch. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What is a broad risk management checklist prior to launch ?   . Action . Prior to launch, take a good look at these vital aspects of the product’s launch process: Ensure that product works as intended, both the technical and customer’s perspective Check in with all stakeholders with respect to the forecasts and financials Evaluate all ecosystem partners to make sure they’re moving in lockstep Verify that …

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Problem . Why launch metrics must be assembled and ready to track prior to launch ? . Action . You can’t improve what you don’t measure Launch metrics are critical operational measures of how well the business is executing on the plans that were set down These should be laid out prior to launch and kept ready by means to track as soon as the product is launched These metrics …

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Problem . What is a cross-functional portfolio review board ? . Action . This board is an executive level team established as a forum for ongoing, periodic reviews of product line portfolios within a division of business unit The product portfolio review board is the overarching decision-making governing body, guiding and prioritizing product investments for existing products, products in development and future product projects. Diagram below as an example of …

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Problem . What is internal launch and how to prepare for it ?   . Action . People in the company must be built up an excitement around major product launches, these are true milestones of success. This is what one needs an internal product launch for. Internal product launch can be amazing vehicle to communicate with the people inside the company. Such a launch should be filled with much …

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Problem . How to ensure readiness of operational systems prior to launch ? . Action . The elements of the operational infrastructure that must be engaged, turned up, or activate include: It cannot be overemphasized that these operational pieces of the business puzzle must be part of every launch plan. Moreover, as the product moves through the market, product managers and product teams must evaluate the effectiveness of these operational …

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Problem . Why does often part of “Product strategy” means saying NO ?   . Action . An article by Des Traynor explains. Source – LINK   If you’re building a product, you have to be great at saying no. Not “maybe” or “later”. The only word is no. Building a great product isn’t about creating tons of tactically useful features which are tangentially related. It’s about delivering a cohesive …

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Problem . Why its important to set sales foals and appropriate compensation structures ?   . Action . Most sales people are provided with goals or quotas. In such environments, sales goals are integrated with sales forecasts in the business case Without these goals it will be more difficult to fulfill those assumptions Product Managers need to make sure that they negotiate with leaders of the sales organization early enough …

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Problem . Why product leads should provide adequate training to sales teams about the product prior to launch ?   . Action . Sales team need to be educated in the most appropriate manner for the industry in which the company operates – loaded with own product knowledge and competitive knowledge. Typically sales training is poorly done in most smaller firms with a simple issuance of a new spec sheet or …

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Problem . How to confirm a real market window ? . Action . Real market window are apparent when: There is nothing unique in the market The main competitors are inactive The customer need you have uncovered and solved for has no rival Seasonal market movements are well understood (fashion, holidays, model year changeover) Large company budgeting and buying cycles are easily identified Major industry events take place (U.S. Consumer …

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Problem . What are three As of the product launch ? . Action . Diagram below     Outcome . A broad understanding of the three As of the launch plan. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What is a general launch phase workflow ?   . Action . Diagrams below depict a general launch phase workflow Outcome . An understanding of the launch phase’s inputs, activities, outputs and decision elements. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What are most frequently seen issues related to product launches ?   . Action . Product launch is the most visible and most important activities within a product lifecycle It is not a one time event – rather a series of activities carried out over a period of time, culminating in a final announcement to the market. Below list highlights some of the common issues across multiple industries …

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Problem . What is a development phase review checklist ? . Action . A quick checklist of items to validate prior to taking a go or no-go decision The list can be broad or specific based on the firm’s needs The method to check a certain items “YES” or “NO” on a list can be mutually agreed between product team members. Template below gives an example, but one must create …

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Problem . How to manage prioritization decisions for development changes ? . Action . Use a matrix similar to one below (For an ATM Machine Development Project) with a set of relevant criteria as shown in top row   Feel free to conduct the above exercise with relevant stakeholders Use the total score column to prioritize the requirements for next sprint or product cycle. Outcome . An objective method of …

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Problem . What is product management ? . Action . Video below explains best       Outcome . An overview of Product Management . .  

Problem . What are common development phase inputs, activities, outputs and decision elements ? . Action . Diagram below depict those.   Outcome . An understanding of broad activities undertaken in development phase. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What is a network diagram for a product driven project ? . Action . Network diagram helps puts tasks in sequence and resolve dependencies if any between tasks This can be built using Microsoft project or any comparable tools Videos below can give you a context how to go about building one.       Outcome . A basic understanding of how to draw network diagram for a …

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Problem . How to track progress broadly in product teams ? . Action . What gets measured gets done Four critical tools to use for progress tracking: The project plans within business case contribute to the tracking of development progress Helps product manager see whether the product that’s coming together actually matches what the market seems to want In organizations using agile development, a burn down report will assist the …

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Problem . What are marketing alliances ? . Action . Very often companies need to team up with other firms that have: Access to a desirable market segment Access to a geographic area Unique operational expertise Larger sales force or any other core competency, strategic or operational expertise that each alliance partner has that other partner wants equally In such situation, complementary business objectives form the common ground of alliances …

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Problem . What is a strategic mix and associated marketing mix model ? . Action . There are 6 strategic mix elements that must be integrated and aligned in order to guide a product’s business. These include the following: Markets on which to focus Required human / financial resources Product roadmap elements that must be assembled Other marketing mix components that support the product’s business goals Future product life cycle …

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Problem . What are the Seven Deadly Sins of Product Planning ?   . Action . An article by Marty Cagan explains – LINK   What I wanted to discuss in this article are the reasons that projects that should get killed often don’t get killed, and the consequences to the organization of this inaction. So here are the seven biggest reasons that I see out there for not killing …

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Problem . What is inbound and outbound marketing ? . Action . Below chart summarizes both Inbound marketing refer to efforts devoted to securing data and information from a variety of sources so that it can be used to guide marketing plans and prorams These include customer research, competitive intelligence, industry analysis etc. Inbound marketing is like a firm’s radar, people who carry out these activities are constantly scanning the …

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Problem . How to build a historical marketing profile ? . Action . As a product manager you should check what has already been done, from both inbound and outbound perspectives as far back as possible and collect data on outcome of those efforts historically This endeavor might be a big data collection project, you will need lots of room, physically or virtually to store the physical data collected and …

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Problem . What is an example of the agenda and meeting minutes templates for product team meetings ? . Action . Examples below: Agenda Template     Meeting Minutes Template Outcome . test . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What is the product team’s relationship to the marketing organization ?   . Action . Below diagram depicts the broad relationship   Outcome . An undertanding of the connection between product management and marketing. In smaller firms the above diagram might have some overlap. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What is a marketing plan hierarchy ? . Action . The marketing plan for the product is a functional support plan (FSP) from the marketing department supporting marketing investments for the product Below image outlines the marketing plan hierarchy Unlike other plans, Marketing plan may be subject to more scrutiny at higher levels within organization because marketing activities are main ways companies influence customer purchasing deicsions The above …

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Problem . What is a product business case and its purpose ? . Action . A business case is a standard method used to justify investments in new products, product enhancements and major marketing programs. The business case if a dynamic document that evolves from the concept phase, through feasibility, and is base lined in the definition phase. Its assumptions are continually re-evaluated throughout the product’s life. Business cases must …

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Problem . What is a counting back launch plan ? . Action . Above is an approach that breaks down the tasks of the launch deliverable from the end-point back to the start point To use above approach, first thing one has to do is sequence the project as if one was starting from the beginning. A sample of such tasks is given below: From these eleven start-to-finish steps, we …

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Problem . How to broadly evaluate a decision to build v/s buy ? . Action . In order to establish a methodology for making the make v/s buy decision, the product manager and the team should have a clear understanding of the following: Once above points are understood with reasonable information collected from sources, the team should evaluate the options broadly based on table below:   Note above is a …

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Problem . What are 2 weeks, 2 months and 2 Quarters phases for a product manager at a new role ?   . Action . An article by Adam Nash explains it best – LINK   By end of first Two Weeks   The first two weeks of a product manager are critical, because this is the window where a new leader can establish the most important aspect of the …

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Problem . How to prioritize & align requirements to company’s goals ? . Action . Use a decision matrix template as below   This should be use when you have to make tradeoffs, above matrix will help evaluate requirements for each criteria These must be vetted against agreed-upon criteria. Insert a score based on a scale of 1 to 10 in each cell in the matrix, with 10 being the …

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Problem . How to manage evolving requirements over time ? . Action . Requirements are bound to evolve once they are captured, its imperative that they are captured in an official electronic format in their original version and as subsequent changes are requested, they are appended to the original version and not overwritten. The needs for traceability cannot be emphasized enough here. Traceability affords the product manager and the team …

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Problem . What is Kanban ?   . Action . Videos below explain best     Outcome . A broad understanding of the Kanban process.  

Problem . What is a scrum ? . Action . Video below explains best   More detailed video with SCRUM’s detailed explanation       Outcome . A broad understanding of the Scrum process. . . .  

Problem . What is the Strategic Role of Product Management ? . Action . Video below explains best. Source: LINK Outcome . An understanding of the strategic aspects of product management. . . .  

Problem . What is a product requirement document outline template ? . Action . Below is a broad outline that can be used for product requirement document Outcome . A template to use and customize when creating a product requirements document. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What is a definition phase process profile ? . Action . Diagrams below:       Outcome . A broad idea of input, activities, output and decisions taken during the definition phase of the product. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What is a feasibility phase review checklist ? . Action . Checklist to check all major activities and actions are covered and anything and everything related to the investment proposal was considered. An example is given below:   Outcome . An understanding of items to check in feasibility phase. Product professionals should tweak this list based on their business environment. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The …

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Problem . What is a product team resource summary template ? . Action . Above is used to give a snapshot view of all resource commitments. This is not only important for the current phase but could also capture subsequent phase estimates Template below   Outcome . A basic template to catch a snapshot of all resources. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference. …

Problem . What does a high level functional support plan look like ? . Action . Functional support plans (FSPs) can be created for multiple departments that assist the product team, such as: Marketing FSP Development FSP Finance FSP Customer Service FSP Sales FSP Operations FSP Supply Chain FSP Legal/Regulatory FSP International FSP Diagrams below depict an example and a template.   All FSPs are combined towards integrated functional support …

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Problem . What is cross-functional membership during the feasibility stage ? . Action . Diagram below   Outcome . An understanding of broad areas of roles and responsibilities during feasibility stage. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . How to manage rejected opportunities ? . Action . Each rejected opportunity statement should be filed away electronically It should be categorized, stored and available for review at some point in future by members of your team or others. All such opportunities and the work related to them must be archived as these opportunities are rejected at a given point in time, but might be feasible and attractive …

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Problem . What is a product positioning statement ? . Action . Value propositions are important but in order to be most effective, they must be wrapped in a positioning statement This is how the customer will remember your product in their minds Positioning slogans are regularly used as building blocks in marketing communications. Using them: Products can be positioned (E.g. Caffeine Chocolate positioned as Red Bull meets Hershey) Brands …

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Problem . What are some common methods used in traditional v/s digital promotions ? . Action . List below. Outcome . An understanding of a common quicklist list of promotional means. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . How to document the value proposition for an opportunity ? . Action   Template below will assist you in capturing those:   Each customer, regardless of type, goes through a varying number of motivational states, some persistent and some transient. The product manager and the team have to experts on each market segment, and understand the underlying needs that ultimately drive the customer’s value proposition as in template …

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Problem . What is an upfront product portfolio ? . Action . Upfront portfolio depicts dynamically the upcoming opportunities alongside existing ones The faster the industry activity, and faster the overall product life cycles, the more dynamic the up-front portfolio The flow of opportunities through the phases of product planning represents the dynamic product “pipeline” of new product projects. Diagram below:   Outcome . AN understanding of current products and …

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Problem . What signals point to a product’s readiness for discontinuation ? . Action . These signals are: Once the signals are validated, product discontinuation documentation should be put in place to proceed towards a formal decision document to finalize the discontinuation. Below is a template that can be used to draw ideas from:   Once a decision to discontinue is finalized, a discontinuation notice should be communicated to all …

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Problem . How to collect and process ideas ? . Action . Firstly the collected ideas should be categorized as idea type: A minor enhancement to a product, such as a new feature or attribute A major enhancement to a product, such as a new feature or attributes A brand new product or derivative A new or upgraded product platform A breakthrough product unlike anything that exists in the category Next …

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Problem . What is Google’s APM program & experience like ? . Action . Video below explains best. Source: LINK       Outcome . An understanding of Google’s APM program’s experience at an overview level. . . .  

Problem . What is the product manager’s motorway ? . Action . The diagram and the annotations below depict that as an example.     Outcome . A basic understanding of the stage of products relative to each other within a portfolio or product line that might have multiple products existing in parallel. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What is the concept phase in product development ? . Action . The concept phase is designed to help one rapidly vet a large number of ideas so a more manageable number of ideas can be evaluated in the subsequent phase The main idea is to drive the concepts that have the best chance to achieve success in your chosen segments. The inputs, activities, and outputs of the …

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Problem . What is active Ideation in a product environment ? . Action . As quarterback of the cross-funcational team, the product manager’s mantra should be “What next ?” Ideation s a term used to define the methods and techniques that generate ideas through market sensing, market exploration and other discovery techniques. Ideation is often associated with innovation, which seems a natural connection How to do Ideation: You and your …

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Problem . What is a typical product team hierarchy ? . Action . Below diagram depicts a product team hierarchy   Outcome . A generic hierarchical understanding of product teams. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What is a common template for a promotional program ? . Action . Template below Outcome . A base template to use and revise for one’s own needs for promotions. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What are some of the common reasons why products fail ? . Action . Below is the list of common reasons why products have failed in the past     Outcome . An understanding of what areas to pay attention to while managing products thereby minimizing risk of failure. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem . What does a product planning boiler-room operational flow look like ? . Action . Image below for Product Planning Boiler Room Operations.   Above process which is often common across organization can be simplified in the flow below. A product manager will have to be pragmatic while simplifying above areas into a flow below that can be relevantly executed in their environment.   Outcome . An overview understanding …

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Problem . What is a stage gate New product development process ? . Action . The need for lean, rapid and profitable new product development has never been greater. Product life cycles are shorter, competition is more intense and customers are more demanding. Companies that fail to innovate face a grim future. The problem is that winning with new products is not easy. An estimated 46% of the resources that …

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Problem . What is a product strategy planning template ? . Action . Such a template gives an overview picture of the next few years of a product’s direction Images below give a basic template, but one can use an adapt it to their needs / industry / environment.   Outcome . An understanding of the broad product-strategy template in terms of where business is heading with the product in …

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Problem . What is a customer experience management table ? . Action . This is a tool to create, manage and improve customer experiences that can be of a wide variety in nature in a given market. For example: Experience with product Experience with service Experience with advertising and promotions and responses evoked Experience with price, distribution channels, packaging, product quality etc Experience with anything tangible and intangible that a …

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Problem . Why should a product manager be prepared to tell the story from data ? . Action   . It’s a product manager’s job at times to connect the dots from all sources and tell the story – both from business and technical perspective.   Snippet below gives the relevant highlights that answer above question. Outcome . The ability to tell a story is critical to communicate across all …

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Problem . What is SWOT Analysis and how to use it ? . Action . SWOT stands for Strenghts, Opportunities, Weakness and Threats. Updated in 2014 with a new YouTube link below An example of SWOT analysis below:   Quadrant layout for product SWOT Model           Outcome . An understanding of the SWOT model to evaluate a business or product plan. . . . Source: Haines, …

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Problem . How to perform a strategic product retrospective and baseline evaluation ? . Action . Use the template below Above template can be revised to meet the requirements of any product environment PS: CY-2 in above chart means 2 years before the current year Fill out key metrics and indicators for each past year that are comparable across the last three years to see where things have been and …

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Problem . What is agile product ownership in a nutshell ? . Action . Video below explains best. Source: LINK Outcome . An understanding of the agile process’ overview . . .  

Problem . What is a dynamic strategic planning model for products ?   . Action   The model’s elements indicate the data you need. Having pertinent data helps your mind form images and ideas about your business points . (View image in desktop browser for larger scale) Outcome . An understanding of the strategic planning model and how to discover and execute on opportunities. . . . Source: Haines, S. …

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Problem . How to generally estimate what revenue a product can really make ? . Action . Below is a four step general broad process: Above steps are fairly broad but useful in almost every product / service market estimation.   Outcome . To be able to have a broad estimation of what revenues can be generated given the current assumptions. . . . Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product …

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Problem . What are two common techniques used to validate assumptions and applying consumer preferences ? . Action . Two techniques are: The Delphi Technique Conjoint Analysis Delphi Technique The goal of Delphi technique is to elicit preferences from these customer groups, councils or advisory panels either in a focus group setting or in a prearranged meetings setting, with the explicit purporse of determining their preferences and nothing else. Where …

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Problem . How to validate market potential and demand potential ? . Action . One must be aware that event if one believes the market potential is high, a host of other factors must be considered to both encourage demand (i.e., adequate sales and marketing investments) and “goods delivery” etc Also the product must be priced appropriately such that it will deliver the promised benefit to the customers you’re focusing …

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Problem . What are some forecasting basics for product managers ? . Action . A general set of definitions is summarized below, where product mangers are typically responsible for the following: Total Addressable Market: Determining the total size of a desired market Attainable Market Share: Deciding what portion of that market the product can penetrate Figuring out the number of units or the volume that the sales team can commit …

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Problem . How to use personas (or customer characterizations) as a way to capture needs ? . Action . This approach reflects on companies who have found success in defining products around user models, which are referred to as personas or customer archetypes. An archetype, as characterized in the dictionary, is a “perfect person” A created persona may be a good model because it represents a common set of characteristics, …

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Problem . What is a launch plan template and how to use it ? . Action . Product launch plan is essentially a project plan that helps the product team identify critical resoruces, activities, and timing required to carry out a product launch. It evolves from the early phases of New Product Planning and should be just about final when the product investment (or the product project investment) is authorized …

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Problem . What is a general product marketing plan outline ?   . Action . The first step in creation of a marketing plan for the product is to have a general outline as shown below. This is a starting point but one can change this for their own organization’s structure.   Outcome . An understanding of the outline of a general product marketing plan. . . . Source: Haines, …

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Problem . What are common elements of a product master plan outline ? . Action . Product master plan is the official plan or record for a product, product line or portfolio. It is a living, evolving collection of other plans and documents that evolve and are collected over time. This plan commences its life when a new product is concieved, developed or introduced, or it can be constructed retrospectively …

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Problem . What is a common template to plan customer visits ?   . Action . The accurate documentation of customer visit is a vital element of market research. A product manager can plan a visit with salesperson or account manager. Procedurally you can’t initiate this alone – you need to respect the assigned point-of-contact’s domain who manages that relationship. When you have a clear plan for what you want …

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Problem . What are the basic business value delivery models ? . Action . To ensure that you have the right customer in sight, you need to have a viable customer value delivery model The customer value delivery model is based on the idea that product managers and their teams must know every customer type – from the point of product creation to the point of acutal usage   Outcome …

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Problem . How are markets typically segmented ? . Action . Markets can be segmented based on a variety of characteristics, but of utmost importance is the difference between consumer and business markets. Consumer markets tend to be distributed withint eh traditional marketing categories that characterize each segment based on the following: Demographics Geographical Information about consumers Values and beliefs Loyalty indicators Any other metric that can be commonly inferred …

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Problem . What is the difference between a feature and a need ? . Action . Table below provides examples, needs are closer to the end outcome a user seeks to be fulfilled v/s features are what contribute towards the user’s experience leading towards that outcome.   Outcome . A clear understand that needs cater to final outcome a user is expecting while a feature might simply be part of …

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Problem . What is the common denominator in segmentation ? . Action . The answer is always “Customer needs” Regardless of your product being a B2C or B2B product, one must ask “Why buys your products, and why? “ The next logical question would be, “Who is it we want to add to our customer base, and why ?” The “WHY” is the most significant question The answers will help …

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Problem . How to create a basic competitor profile for a product or product line . Action . Use the Competitor Profile template below to gather information Use SWOT to understand the competitor   Try to understand the competitors business model (image below) answering the following questions: How do they operate their company ? How (and where) do they develop and produce the product ? How do they sell and …

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Problem . How to create a broad plan to carry out Industry research ? . Action . Knowing that industries constantly change, product managers must develop a highly sensitive industry radar. Such ongoing monitoring provides a steady stream of data that you can translate and apply to potential opportunities and action plans for the product First, create an inventory of the data you have. You may have industry report, past …

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Problem . What is analysis paralysis and rational ignorance ? . Action . Analysis Paralysis Sometimes more decision options you have, the worse your decision – or you might not make a decision at all Curiously, overanalysis, or analysis paralysis, is easy to fall into when the possible negative impacts of a bad decision (the opportunity cost) seem much greater than the potential gains made by deciding For example if …

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Problem . What is a simple market insight process flow in a product environment ? . Action . Market insights not only are vital inputs to the strategy formulation process but also stimulate thoughts and ideas about how to fine-tune business operations and manage risk Product professionals and their teams play a crucial role in this process where different areas of functional expertise add tremendous value. However it is the …

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Problem . What is a product life cycle curve & its stages ? . Action . As consumers, we buy millions of products every year. And just like us, these products have a life cycle. Older, long-established products eventually become less popular, while in contrast, the demand for new, more modern goods usually increases quite rapidly after they are launched. Because most companies understand the different product life cycle stages, …

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Problem . How to make sure the product is achieving its financial goals ? . Action . Build up a basic understanding of balance sheets, income statement and cash flow statements. Once you understand the above, use Variance Analysis technique to evaluate if product is achieving its goals Variance analysis looks at a financial plan or budget and compares that plan to the actual results as shown on the product’s …

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Problem . What are core financial planning areas for product managers ? . Action . Product Managers at some point in their career, have to carry out the following Create Business Cases for product investments Assemble forecasts Test planning assumptions (sensitivity analysis) Derive product cost models Establish pricing models Prepare product budgets Each of the above activities is critical to setting up the business of the product so that its …

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Problem   What is the core language of any business that every product leader must know ?   . Action   Finance is the common language of business in a product management environment A good foundation in basic finance is necessary for managing and leading successful products Professionals must be able to understand and assess how a product’s financial returns affect the business and the product portfolio. Financial acumen is …

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Problem   How to evaluate options using a Decision Tree ? . Action   Decision tree analysis allows a user to visually evaluate decision options and possible outcomes Good technique to use then edcision analysis is serial – that is one decision and alternative leads to another set of alternatives. Technique can be used to factor in the probabilities of each outcome as best known or historically known while evaluating …

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Problem   How to evaluate options using a Decision Matrix ?   . Action   Decision matrix is similar to a Morphologic box however it differs in the way that it assigns weights to each solution characteristic and asks you to evaluate on a simple numeric scale of 1 to 5 — in terms of how much each option contributes to each characteristic ?     The important part is …

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Problem   How to chose between two options using the Morphologic box technique ?   . Action   When facing more than a couple of decision options, this technique allows one to look to linkages between individual criteria that we might seek to be met. The Morphologic box (developed by Fritz Zwicky, a Swiss Astronomer) is a digestible easy-to-evaluate form of analyzing a problem and evaluating its possible solutions The …

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Problem   How to chose between two decision options using the Combining Options technique ?   . Action   If one has only two options, it’s critically important to consider a possibility that they aren’t mutually exclusive; that is both can be executed without working against each other in any noticeable way. In many cases when problem solving, the choice of whether to execute two or more options simultaneously comes …

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Problem What is a typical problem solving sequence in day to day product decisions ?   . Action Below is a common flow for streamlining most of the problem solving approaches.   Outcome A well stage-gated process of making a thorough decision or solution of a problem. Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem How to know where you are in your evolutionary development as a product leader ? . Action   Below figure provides a template to use to assess above question. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, where do you think you are and what might you be able to improve ?     Outcome A improving product leader will have an understanding of areas of …

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Problem How to manage Cross-Functional Team Membership Across the Life Cycle ? . Action As products move from one area of work to another (from New Product planning to New Product Introduction, for example) or from one phase to another, team membership will evolve. The table below provides a way to identify team members who need to be associated with the team at various phases across the entire life cycle. …

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Problem   How to clarify roles and responsibilities ?   . Action   Use the RACI Matrix as a quick way to do so.     Outcome   A simple an easy method to keep stakeholders engaged and informed. Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Problem What is a basic Product Master Plan ? . Action Product Master Plan is the centerpiece meta-document that houses all product related documentation. Such plans have also found their ways as living documents in intranets or internal knowledge bases utilizing tools like Confluence or other similar comparative tools that allow the plan to be shareable among team members. The plan can be thought of as the perfect “tribal knowledge” …

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Problem   Product Management Life Cycle Model and Four Areas of Work – what are they & how to define them in an organization ? . Action   Below model can be used to identify the areas of work   Outcome   To have an understanding of the product management life cycle model’s overview and the typical sequence of activities that should be undertaken when managing products and projects around …

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Problem   What are Product Modules & Platforms ?   . Action MODULES are individual “black box” type pieces of a product. These can can be tangible components like hardware components of a product These can also be intangible components which might include features of a product that help customer fulfill a need or the terms and conditions of product usage (license limitations or extra access rights) that help consumer …

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Problem What are Solutions v/s What are Bundles  ? . Action Solutions are usually groupings of related products and services. These may be solving complex problems or simply business problems. E.g. Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office & Skype combined can be thought of a communication solution. Solutions often have high degree of integration and allow the flexibility to customize the individual offerings for a specific customer type or industry application. An …

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Problem What are product portfolios ? . Action Product portfolio is a set of all products, product lines or other groupings within a business unit or business division. Portfolios can include existing products, which may be at various phases of their own life cycles, as well as incoming products (those anticipated, actually in development, or in the launch phase). In smaller organizations, a single product or product line may in …

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Problem What is a product line hierarchy ? . Action A product line is an action of grouping of products geared towards similar markets or solving a particular type of customer problem. Typically products with a line serve similar markets or can be produced via similar methods.   A product line can be thought of a a small product portfolio. For example BMW Automobiles organize their vehicles as the below …

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Problem   What is a typical hierarchy of Product and Services in successful organizations?   . Action     Outcome   When products and services are organized in a logical hierarchical way, it not only makes it simpler but also efficient for companies to manage their products along with other decision making.   Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.

Our Purpose . Mediocrity is the worst outcome of any product company. ProductLeaders.org exists to raise product leadership standards across all industries by data driven decision making coupled with pragmatic business prudence. . Our Goal . To curate organic content and publish QUICK GIST of the best product leadership resources in a simple to understand format. Product leadership resources are typically long blog posts and articles with only a …

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Problem   To know common successful elements across major product driven organization?   . Action (or rather common actions successful firms undertake)   Based on a qualitative study by Bell Laboratories bench marking 36 successful product companies over a period of 5 years, following common traits were identified: Firms have a keen focus on carefully chosen markets where there strengths can create value that can be monetized Management clearly communicates …

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