Category Archives: Product Strategy

Whole Product Game

How can Theodore Levitt’s classic Whole Product approach help with defining a product roadmap?  I’ve been revisiting his concepts and their use recently, thinking about how to revise them for some exercises I’ve been doing with product teams.

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Product Manager – Strategic or Not?

Are product managers really involved in strategic discussions, or are we just order takers?  Adrienne Tan has poked the beehive and started a great discussion with this article.  Joining in from here, hopefully adding folks to the conversation.  Check it out, and chime in here or on the brainmates blog.

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Rating Your Competition – Comparing Products Part 7

At this point in the product comparison series, you know who your customers are, which problems are important to them, and which products compete to solve those problems.  It’s time to score the competing products and see how the solutions your product provides (or will provide) will stack up.  This is the latest in a series on comparing products, jump back to the start of the series if you came here first, but hurry up :).

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Know Your Competition – Comparing Products Part 6

You start with a point of view about what makes a minimum viable product.  When your product launches, it is your customer’s point of view that matters.  You must understand which problems your customers care about solving, and what solutions are available to your customers today.  You need to understand your competition to make informed decisions about your product.  This is the latest in a series on comparing products – jump back to the beginning of the series to catch up, we’ll wait.
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Important Customers – Comparing Products Part 5

A good product is one that solves valuable market problems.  To be successful in the market, a product needs to solve the problems that the right customers are willing to pay to solve.  To know if those customers are willing to pay, you need to understand how they perceive your product relative to alternative solutions.  If you’re new to the series, head back to the intro article on comparing products, and catch up with this article, where we look at pulling together the information about which customers are important.
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Who Are Your Customers – Comparing Products Part 2

The first step to comparing products is understanding your customers.  This may seem counter-intuitive, but your product’s capabilities are meaningless unless you are comparing them from your customer’s point of view.  This article is part 2 in a series on comparing products.  Check out part 1, then continue with this article on the first steps of comparing products.

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Compare Products Not Specs – Comparing Products Part 1

Recently, the gadget-reviewer crowd has caught on to something we’ve known for a long time.  Comparing products is not about comparing specs, it is about comparing how well the products solve problems that customers will pay to solve.  That begs the question – how should you compare products?  Read on to see the product comparison technique I recommend.
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Requirements Management Journey – Part 0

Requirements Management – I’m embarking on a journey to help several teams manage their requirements with their existing systems and tools.  This is the first in a series of articles, where the rubber meets the road.  I’ll look at both the theory and the realities of what works (and doesn’t) in practice.  I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
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The Value of Insights

Intellectual Property.  The legal jargon definition of this term has come to effectively mean “something I’ve patented, copyrighted, or hold as a trade secret.”  A more general interpretation is “an idea.”  For product managers, the most valuable ideas are insights.

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Product Managers & Innovation

Thanks everyone for the great conversation in the most recent #prodmgmttalk chat session!  This week, Roger Cauvin inspired us to think about product managers as innovators – or enablers of innovation.  Each week, I find myself thinking about at least one of the #prodmgmttalk questions long after the hour is over.  This week’s thought – organizations prevent product managers from innovating.

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