Saturday, March 28, 2015

Product management: a walk in the wild

Roadmap is often used as a tool to plan how a product gets developed and evolves. Being a keen walker and also a product manager, I was pondering today on the "map" metaphor.

Here is a series of simple analogies:

  • As a walker, you set the objective to climb to the top of a hill.
  • As a product manager, you set the objective to reach a targeted number of active users.

  • As a walker, you establish a strategy to climb the hill by taking the most direct route.
  • As a product manager, you establish a strategy to grow your active user base by developing a specific set of features to differentiate your product.

(Hopefully, you will have somehow validated your strategy!)

  • As a walker, you map out the segments and plan your walk.
  • As a product manager, you map out the features and plan the development work.

  • As a walker, you make tactical decisions during the walk on when and where to stop for food, when to put on your waterproofs.
  • As a product manager, you make tactical decisions during the project on what user stories to prioritise in the product backlog.

  • As a walker, you monitor the distance and make adjustments to make sure you make it to the top.
  • As a product manager, you monitor the product metrics and make adjustments to make sure you hit the target.

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