Having a good product that addresses true customer needs has always been a foundation for business success. The most competitive enterprises in the world are nowadays offering exceptional products that are appealing to their customers. However, the inception, the development, production, marketing and sales of an excellent product is a very challenging process, which has a unique place in the portfolio of an enterprise’s organizational functions. Specifically, there is a need for structuring and organizing various product lifecycle management activities in a consistent way. This need is addressed by modern practices for product management. Product management is part of strategic management. It comprises a very rich set of activities that cover a product’s entire lifecycle: From inception and feasibility assessment to launch and the development of a proper marketing strategy. Product management is closely associated with product development, as it is primarily about managing the development steps of a product. In recent years, it is also related to innovation management processes, as most successful products are innovative.
In most cases product management is carried out as a staged process, which allows transitions and feedback loops across the different stages. Some of the prominent stages and activities of the Product Management process are:
The above listed activities are not exhaustive. However, they are indicative of the product management process and the duties of the product management team.
Product management activities are quite standard and well-illustrated in product management handbooks. Nevertheless, it is the quality of the execution of these activities that leads to success. To this end, the following best practices must be considered:
Product management activities are without doubt a vehicle for improving business results. They success depends on the right people, the right environment and the interdisciplinary processes including design thinking, agile product development processes, product analytics and more. Enterprises must therefore invest on creating a modern agile product management environment, which will enable them to turn their product strategies to a long-term growth strategy.
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