How to tackle Product Strategy



 Product Strategy is an area that I (unfortunately) don’t spend nearly enough time on.  It’s the elephant in the room – the area you need to focus on, but don’t because sometimes it seems like it’s too much to tackle.  I recently re-read The Strategic Role of Product Management and found myself day-dreaming about our product management team spending a full day locked away hammering at the product strategy and ironing out the roadmap.  I envisioned long days of customer interviews and competitive analysis, along with A/B testing and requirements gathering.  The reality is that I don’t have enough time to complete all of these extremely important tasks, but thinking about them certainly made me realize I need to start.
 

Product strategy focuses on market opportunity, which you may not fully understand (or make assumptions about) until you talk to prospective and current customers.  Ideally, you'll create a product or release a feature that solves a problem (or two!) for your customer.  The reason I think this sounds intimidating is because we may feel like we have to create something brand new - but the truth is, we don't need to reinvent the wheel.  Focus on the problems your customers are having and create a feature that solves that.  It could be as easy as creating a portal for your partner companies to access in order to 'flip a switch' as opposed to using their own developer resources, or creating an account feature so your customers can access their previous orders.  Sometimes we forget about the easy stuff because we're focusing on the next big thing.  Product strategy has to be a mix between new products/services and improvements to your current products - after all, the current products got you to where you are today.



Tackling strategy seems like a daunting task, with endless possibilities, but I think it’s time for us to focus on what counts.  In order to develop product strategy, product managers need to focus on key tasks to understand their market.  I'm going to write a few posts to help with this process.  These upcoming posts will include:
  • Competitive Analysis
  • AB Testing 
  •  Product Evaluations 
  •  Feature Enhancements 
  •  Build vs. Buy 
  •  Customer Surveys 
  •  Roadmap + Strategy
Any other requests!?   Stay tuned…

2 comments:

  1. You might want to head over to my page where I have some tips on competitive analysis:
    http://tralfaz.org/prodmgmt/essentials/135-basic-competitive-analysis

    and Strategic planning:
    http://tralfaz.org/prodmgmt/166-strategic-planning-done-right

    A case study I wrote:
    http://www.technologymarketingcenter.com/resourcearchive/how-to-define-a-market-segmentation-map.php

    and a blog post I did for the TMC:
    http://technologymarketing.typepad.com/tmcleadersblog/2012/11/stealthy-competitive-analysis.html

    (heck a lot of my posts on TMC are strategy related:
    http://technologymarketing.typepad.com/.services/blog/6a00d8354b2cab53ef00d8358093bf69e2/search?filter.q=Geoff
    )

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing resources! Thank you (as always) for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete