If you want to do product management for solutions instead of products, here are five best practices to employ. In a solutions model, the bottom line is that you do everything from the customer’s perspective first. The Playbook:
- Markets – Instead of analyzing only the horizontal markets for each product, first analyze the vertical markets across all products in your portfolio. Once you understand the business drivers in each market, you can determine the relevance of each product and its strategic impact.
- Strategy – Instead of creating a strategy for each product, create a single strategy that prioritizes target customer business goals, and their priorities in each market segment. Those are your solution definitions that drive the priorities across all products by default.
- Scope/MVP – Instead of determining development scope for each product, first determine the business priorities of your target customers and their biggest obstacles, then determine the features required across products to create the solutions. This ensures tight product integration and enhances product usability.
- Training – Instead of training sales, services and support on products, first train them on the business priorities of your target customers and why those priorities are critical to the overall success of their business. Then train them on aspects of the products that form the solutions. Context simplifies everything.
- Sales & Marketing – Instead of creating sales and marketing materials for each product, create them for customer goals and work processes. Buyers ultimately buy your knowledge of their business. Products are the proof points.
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