Product management includes the acts of identifying and evolving your organization’s business vision; of identifying and prioritizing potential products/solutions to support that vision; of identifying, prioritizing, and allocating features to products under development; of managing functional dependencies between products; and of marketing those products to their potential customers. Disciplined agile product management is product management performed in a collaborative and evolutionary manner that reflects the context of your organization.
Why Product Management?
You need an effective approach to product management because you want:
- To build the right product(s). You will always have many more ideas for products than you can possibly fund. Your product management team will need to prioritize the ideas for potential products so that they can focus on the ones that will provide the most value to your organization.
- To stop building the wrong product(s). Product managers will monitor the work of development teams, ongoing experiments, and even existing solutions running in production to determine their effectiveness. Products that aren’t effective must either be evolved or cancelled to enable you to focus on high-value products.
- The right product features at the right time. When there are many delivery teams working in parallel there will be functional dependencies between the solutions/products being worked on. These functional dependencies need to be taken into account when the work is being prioritized so that the right functionality is available when it is needed.
- To ensure that people use the product. Part of product management is marketing to potential end users/customers. If people don’t know that functionality is available to them then they are unlikely to use/buy it.
In future blog postings in this series we will explore in detail the activities of Product Management, how it fits into your overall IT effort, and the workflow that potentially occurs within a Product Management team.