Skip to main content

What's Wrong with Product Management?

Over at the On Product Management blog, Saeed asks us to complete a brief survey on what the biggest problems are in technology product management.

I answered roughly as follows:

Q1. What do you see as the biggest problems facing the technology product management profession today?
  1. Too much tactical activity in the absence of sound strategy.
  2. The lack at most companies of a skilled interaction designer or user experience professional role.
Q2. What solutions would you suggest to address these problems?
  1. Educate executives about the importance of strategy and how to best determine it.
  2. Hire skilled interaction designers or user experience professionals.
Q3. Which of the following best describes your role/department?
Product Management

Comments

Unknown said…
I really enjoy reading your blog. i'm a business analyst and i started this week with a new client. we had a very long JAD session yesterday and i'm having a hard time distinguishing between requirements, objectives, and business rules.

could you clarify the difference between the three in a sentence or two?
Roger L. Cauvin said…
AJ, thanks for reading and for your question.

Depending on the context, an objective is a higher level goal that a business is trying to achieve. The business typically has various problems that are preventing it from achieving those goals.

A requirement is the least stringent condition that must exist to solve or avoid a problem that a prospective or existing customer faces. See this entry for details.

A business rule is something that governs a business' processes. It may give rise to requirements, or requirements may give rise to new or modified business rules. See this entry for more details.
happy said…
Product Management, whats missing is a simplified, agile Product Matrix. If a Product Matrix is single sourced, updated, processed to grow - maybe like a tree. Use trunks, branches and leaves and fruits - as ways of defining a product. Then I believe a lot of amazing, simple, verified group of products can be created, and managed into the new agile markets.

Popular posts from this blog

Why Spreadsheets Suck for Prioritizing

The Goal As a company executive, you want confidence that your product team (which includes all the people, from all departments, responsible for product success) has a sound basis for deciding which items are on the product roadmap. You also want confidence the team is prioritizing the items in a smart way. What Should We Prioritize? The items the team prioritizes could be features, user stories, epics, market problems, themes, or experiments. Melissa Perri  makes an excellent case for a " problem roadmap ", and, in general, I recommend focusing on the latter types of items. However, the topic of what types of items you should prioritize - and in what situations - is interesting and important but beyond the scope of this blog entry. A Sad but Familiar Story If there is significant controversy about priorities, then almost inevitably, a product manager or other member of the team decides to put together The Spreadsheet. I've done it. Some of the mos

Use Case as a Black Box

Consider the following use case: Purchase Items Actor: Purchaser Precondition: Purchaser types at least thirty words per minute and has a web navigation efficiency rating of at least 40. Postcondition: For the average Purchaser acting at full efficiency, the number of seconds elapsed is no more than 30 + 20 * n, where n is the number of items purchased. The name of the use case represents a functional requirement. What does the product do, or enable the user to do? Purchase items. What are we to make of the preconditions and postconditions? What relationship do they have to the requirements for the product? Answer: the preconditions and postconditions are the nonfunctional requirements attached to the functional requirement . Another way of expressing the nonfunctional requirement would be as an attribute and associated constraint: Usability: For a Purchaser who types at least thirty words per minute and has a web navigation efficiency rating of at least 40, it shall take no

Henry Ford's "Faster Horse" Quote

You may have heard the ( apocryphal ) Henry Ford quote: If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have said "a faster horse". Over at the On Product Management blog , Saeed gives his take on this infamous quote. He "hates" it, and gives some compelling reasons. Saeed is spot on in his explanations. Personally, I think the quote is great, but it's a matter of interpretation. The valid point of the quote is not that it's a bad idea to facilitate a conversation with your market to better understand it. The valid points are: You must ask the right questions to get valuable answers. You must interpret the answers thoughtfully - often outside their direct meaning - to glean reliable information. Asking questions is not always the best way to "listen" to your market. (E.g., sometimes pure observational studies are more reliable.) Nonetheless, I find the quote is helpful to combat "armchair product management" in the