Product Management
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Product Management First Steps

👤 What Does A Product Manager Do?

Product Life Cycle

Research
Audience Size
Personality
Problems or issues
Value add
Plan
Define timeline
Determine features
Project plan
Stakeholders
Build
Build features
Test
Certify
Release
Make available to customers
Beta test
Refine
Evaluate
Retire (End of Life)
Provide transition support

Manage Your Product Life Cycle

Agile takes a shorter amount of time (weeks/month)
Multiple cycles happen same time in Agile. It is staggered
Agile lets you work in the past, present, and future, switching between sprints as needed.

📊 Research

Developing A Strong Research Plan

Quantitative
Lots of data
Standardized questions
Reveals trends
Quantitative Survey
Size of survey
Margin of error
Reliability of data
Qualitative
In-depth information from a small group
Open-ended discussion

Internal data - data that you have gathered during the research phase for your product. When you are building a product for the first time, this information can be tough to get. Once you have a product in the market, you can use analytic tools to see how people are using your product. Only you have access to it.
External data - Information from outside the product of your company.

Research Plan Examples

A research plan has two axes.
Create a Research Plan.pdf
29.3 kB

Plan A Product Research Customer Meeting

A customer meeting lets you dive deeper than a survey.
Need to figure out what they want and when they want it.

Meeting Prep

Who will attend - PM, UX, Eng, Marketing
Who will you interview - demographics, industries, or potential customer
Example:
Mothers aged 25 - 40 - stay at home, iPhone users
Agree on critical questions
Schedule the meeting
Listen and facilitate
One person is the team scribe (does not participate in the conversation)
Plan Customer Meetings.pdf
71.5 kB

Open A Product Research Customer Meeting

Provide an environment to share
Meeting openers:
Introduce everyone and how they relate to each other.
Let the customer speak freely and vent. This helps them get out of frustration. Establishes active listening.
Guide the conversation toward an area of interest.
Present them as quotes - “I get frustrated when the app crashes.”, “I find that the map is more responsive than previous versions”
Take what they said and summarise it into statements that communicate what the customer is trying to say.
Ask if they agree or disagree with the statements.
Customer Meeting Checklist.pdf
41.8 kB

Pitch Your Product Idea To The Customer

Pitch to find out if you are on the right track.
Pitching is based on the product type.
Don’t answer the customer's questions. If you do, you will lead them with your answer.
Instead of answering the question “how much storage is on the phone”, redirect back to the customer and ask “how much storage do you think is on the phone”
$100 Dollar Premise
Make a list of features and leave some line items blank.
Tell your customer they have a $100 to spend on features they want.
The customer tells you how valuable a feature is to them.
Conditions:
Minimum investment of $5
They must eliminate one feature entirely
At the end you’ll have a clear picture of what they value.
Do this over multiple customer meetings to spot trends.
The 100 Dollar Test Worksheet_DL.xlsx
11.5 kB
The 100 Dollar Test.pdf
42.6 kB

Summarize Customer Meeting Findings

Capturing the most from what you learn.
Sit down as a group and summarize. Do not talk about it until you can sit down as a group. Ask:
What was the worst thing you heard?
What was the best thing you heard?
What went well? What didn’t?
Use hundred dollar test to compare results.
Meeting Summary.pdf
31.1 kB

Present Your Customer Meeting Findings

At the end of each phase there is a deliverable.
Strategies to organise findings:
Start with four quadrants.
Use critical question answers from customer meetings (white papers or slide presentations)
Need to provide a lead into the plan phase.

Plan

Identify Version, Releases, and Sprints

How to approach schedule
Software is built in versions
You will have minor and major releases (1.0, 4.3, etc.)

Define Your Product Sprints

Agile helps us stagger releases
Multiple sprints can be applied.
We can overlap releases. What we learn from one release can flow into the next one.

Prioritize Product Features

Three ways to prioritize:
Look at current market conditions.
Organize your features into groups
Identify three categories
Features and Forces.pdf
69 kB

Create Product Requirements & Stories

How to define requirements:
Look at how much time you have to build
Capacity is the amount of time you have to build.
A story is a narrative you write as a product manager. It identifies the work that needs to be done and who will benefit from it.
Define who the feature is for and what they will use it for.
You can use create an internal story - an engineer needing a feature to test the story.
Revising Features
Break them into smaller features
Increase capacity
User Story Template.pdf
43.2 kB

Review Your Product Plan

Define overall schedule for the product
Identify changed market conditions and prioritize features (use radial map)
Provide User Stories
Summarize User Stories
Engineers and designers will know how the work will evolve
Marketing can map the product features for long-term strategy
Present in a slide doc and create a template

Build

Monitor Progress Using A Burndown Chart

A burndown is a key way to monitor the amount of effort to build a product
How much time?
How much has been completed so far?
Building a product is never a perfect scenario, that is why burndown is necessary
Burndown Chart Examples_DL.xlsx
46.8 kB

Identifying Issues Using A Burndown Chart

There are two possible scenarios: ahead of the deadline vs behind the deadline
Velocity - rate of progress and time
Sprint Adjustments - punt planned features to the next sprint.
Allow more time in the next sprint

Test your product with users

When testing features have very specific test
Define the starting point and specific action
Don’t give too much direction
Have them think out loud
If they get stuck, let them be stuck
If they ask a question, don’t give a specific answer - ask a question in return
Record the screen
Main point of testing during development is validation
User Testing Scenario Worksheet.pdf
31 kB

Certify Your Product For Release

Legal Review
Photos
Fonts
Graphics
Components
Licenses
Patents can be helped by legal team to protect the work
Security Review
Protect customer data
Automate security processes when possible
Perform a code review
Certification Review
Comply with government testing
Conform to vendor policies
Obtain a rating
Certification Checklist.pdf
43 kB

Release

Define your go-to market

The process of defining your market is a team effort
Personas
Give them a name
Give your persona a background
Persona demographics
Gender
Income
Location
Include quotes from your persona in their voice
Start with two or three persona
There are two types of personas: Primary and Secondary or User and Marketing
We often unintentionally build products for ourselves
Persona Worksheet.pdf
37.6 kB

Position your product to personas

Discovered needs
Set priorities
Defined user stories
Established personas
Developed communications
Created marketing plan
What tone will you use and where would you put that message?

Release your product

Soft launch - released, but no advertising
Let’s you make sure your product is approved
Can see how discoverable it is
Full launch - released with marketing
Modified full launch - build momentum before release
Promote features, behind the scenes, beta test, and user testimonials
Phased release - focus marketing on small percent of users
common for web-based products
Gives a way to test and evaluate product

Refine

Talk to your users and non-users

Reaching out to users will only give you half of the story
Talk to current users, non-users, personas, and non-personas
Primary users:
Does it solve a problem?
Do they find value?
Will they continue use?
Non-users
Do they know the product exist?
How did they find out about it?
Why don’t they use it?
Think about it as a funnel:
All Users
Reached by marketing
Sought out more information
Possible users
Current users
Churn themes
Find out where in the funnel they churned
Poor position
Price objects
Unaware of product

Evaluate product usage analytics

Speak with an actual customer and confirm the data
Some of the most comments trends are sessions when a product isn’t used at all
Session time - the amount of time the app is open and used actively
Common to drop, but should remain steady
Q&A
Are users not interested anymore?
Are they using a competitors product?
Does the need no longer exist?
User flow maps - mapping out what they are doing from the beginning

Use Net Promoter Scores

This gives you a meaningful answer you can use to promote the product
Ask a simple questions, “Would you recommend this product to somebody else”?
Answer is valued on a scale from 1-10
Net promoter scoring
Promoters (9-10)
Big fans
Advocates of your product
Passives (7-8)
Satisfied
Potential for poached
Detractors (6 and lower)
Discouraging others from using
Harmful to your product’s reputation
Negative word of mouth has a greater impact
NPS will be low at the start
Net Promoter Score Worksheet_DL.xlsx
10.7 kB

Planning product updates

Debt - work required to keep the product up to date
Tech dept builds overtime
Is there a need for additional research time
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