Effective product management ideally involves the entire lifecycle of the product. For a new product that might include market analysis and a product charter. For a more established or functional product management includes prioritization, gap analysis, use case definition, and competitive analysis.
- PRODUCT CHARTER
is designed to set out the project scope, rights, target-market and executive support of a product effort.
Why this matters: Crystal clear direction, market assessment, and internal support are everything in the long run. Without this clarity it will be impossible to assess the path forward.
- PRODUCT FEATURES & REQUIREMENTS
is the baseline list of features that, compared to competitive products, drive the development and helps the development team avoid feature creep.
Why this matters: A finite feature set with attached requirements and clear workflow will save you from your own feature creep or the demands of a lucrative client. If you don’t control that you’ll build something with several heads and twice as many arms. We speak from personal experience.
- PRODUCT LIFECYCLE
is the end-to-end understanding (and living document) of how a product will evolve on it’s approach to the marketplace.
Why this matters: Know how your product is evaluated, chosen, implemented, used and discarded shouldn’t be a mystery. Without clear understanding the lifecycle you are just guessing.
- PRODUCT GAP ANALYSIS
compares user or executive demand for features with competitive products to establish priorities. Using a proven matrix priorities are clearly established and supported.
Why this matters: Even if your product is “so much better” or your team is “so much smarter” keep in mind that your users are out there evaluating you and “whoever else” is out there. Know who is on their short list and look at the gaps. Pave over anything that’s critical; making closing that gap a priority.
- USE CASE DEFINITION
is the development of use case scenarios is an effective way of defining features and processes based on outcomes without needing a lot of technical knowledge.
Why this matters: Putting yourself into specific user’s shoes is a tried and true way to build software in a user-centered way. It can also turn up important usability issues and gaps (or over runs) in feature sets.
- ENGINEERING & PROJECT MANAGEMENT
managing an engineering team through tools, processes, feedback and reporting mechanisms
Why this matters: Done is not done, done is “done for now”. Software must evolve and grow and continue to do that. Managing a team – at home or remote – has to be done by a technical lead that’s got a serious strategic and user-centered business mind.
Each of these areas has deliverables to keep the team, the product and the vision on track.