What is Product Management?

I have just the thing…

Product Management is the craft of observing, orienting, deciding, and acting on the improvement of outcomes through the use of physical goods and or services.

Product Management’s origins are often credited to the 1931 Neil Mcelroy’s 1931 Brand Men Memo. However, one could consider Product Management going back to the concept of workmanship or craftmanship througout human history. Said another way, the idea of creating something tangeable (hardware), or intageable (software), providing a service for someone else to use is an act of product management. Over time, we have developed tools and processes to execute this work in a repeatable way.

  1. Create clarity of perspective and purpose

  2. Cast a vision, formulate strategy, manage execution

  3. Create feedback loops for continuous improvement of people, process, and tools

Creating a framework that is agnostic of hardware, software, or service is important. Here’s is a version of a framework that I’ve used with my teams.

  • Definining the activity someone is doing

  • Define the outcomes someone is trying to achieve with the activity

  • Recognize gaps in outcomes

  • Researching and contextualizing the reach and impact of the gap and the urgency of resolution

  • Planning out a solution (minimum viable experience)

  • Developing a solution

  • Releasing a solution

  • Monitoring and reviewing the performance of that solution

  • Reflecting on changes to the solution with continous improvement