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This function typically generates an extensive roadmap of new products and enhancements, but is product management really being used strategically? For example, what is the product strategy that is driving roadmap priorities? But this is often not the case.
Without the engagement of the leadership team most responsible and presumably most qualified for determining strategy and direction, the risk is suboptimal financial performance at best, and complete company failure at worst.
The Strategic Product Plan The essential goal of a product plan should be to ensure that a product is built that delivers some business value to a specific set of customers in order to meet certain financial goals based upon a defined corporate strategy. A product plan describes the market opportunity, profiles the target customers, specifies pricing, identifies the financial goals, indicates the key priorities for development and enhancement, and provides a roadmap business plan tech company behind self delivery for at least the next four quarters.
But each product that continues to be offered to customers should have a product plan updated every year. So, how does product management create a good product plan? After getting feedback from customers, speaking with the sales teams, obtaining a list of the top technical support issues, surveying competitor positions and features, and receiving new ideas from development, the product management team has generated a list of possibly hundreds of potential product enhancements across the product line as well as some new product ideas.
Project prioritization typically takes place next due to limited development resources. The product manager or his development friends may also make assumptions about value based upon how they think the product should be used. The product management team then creates a roadmap and a release schedule based upon these priorities and voila, the product plan is done, right?
No, it certainly is not! The executives who are chartered with running the company have not had an influence on the product plan. The plan is merely a reaction to a somewhat random set of market facts and events. So how exactly does the corporate strategy relate to the roadmap?
Well, the goal of almost any technology company is to increase revenues. Without a strategy to indicate HOW the company plans to increase revenue, then just about any product plan could arguably help the company achieve its goal, including the plan we just created.
But with a strategy that specified how new revenue will be generated, a product plan tailored to supporting that strategy can then be developed. For example, your company could plan to grow revenue by selling its flagship product into new geographic regions.
Your company could plan to grow by establishing a new reseller channel. Your company could plan to grow by developing new products that appeal to the existing customer base.
Each of these decisions carries with it significant implications on the product plan. Selling into new geographic regions would require local language support and may have other specific regional requirements. Selling through a reseller channel may require multi-tier administration and branding.
And developing new products requires new analysis, requirements, design, and development work. The product plan we created previously is reactionary and haphazard, while the product plan that responds to corporate strategy is directed and intentional.
There are several possible reasons, but three of the most prevalent ones I have come across are: If no strategy exists, then one should be created. At one Internet Services company, the executive team employed a process where they reviewed and prioritized the top project requests every six weeks.
This approach resulted in constantly shifting priorities since the highest priority projects were always related to the biggest sales opportunities at the time. Less critical product features never made the cut resulting in a product line that became increasingly uncompetitive.
Without a driving strategy behind it, your company risks being jacked around by short-term opportunities. Product management is in a good position to persuade executives to develop a high level strategy as part of the product planning process.
Here are some key questions that product managers can ask executives to help with product planning that might very well stimulate some strategic discussions. What are the top 3 most critical challenges our company will address this year? In which geographic regions will we focus on selling our products?The Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America.
We have this crazy idea at Entrepreneur: We want to identify small businesses each year that are mastering the art and science of growing a business. What is a 'Business Plan' A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals.
A business plan lays out a written plan. The Organizational and Operational Plan describes how you will structure your company and how you will actually carry out everything you present elsewhere in your business plan.
Without an. Companies that offer software as a service (SaaS) – initially called software on demand – can help your business scale upward with more speed and agility at a price you can afford.
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Nov 12, · To write a business plan, start with an executive summary that lays out your grand vision for your business. Follow that with a section that describes what products and services your company will offer.