The Continous Product Management Process

We already know that the product manager is one of the most difficult positions to fill in a startup. Often, one of the co-founders or the CEO acts as the product manager until the startup is large enough to warrant a dedicated person (or there’s an opportunistic hire). Regardless of having a full-time product manager, there’s a continuous product management process. Here’s what the process looks like for many startups:

  • Daily – Customer feedback via a GetSatisfaction-powered idea exchange, team member feedback in a product planning spreadsheet, and new features as well as bugs in the issue tracker (e.g. JIRA, Pivotal Tracker, or GitHub Issues)
  • Weekly – Direct customer and prospect conversations, update key stakeholders, look for trends, document new functionality, and start/review the sprint (assuming two week product sprints)
  • Monthly – Review the roadmap, evaluate the product metrics/KPIs, demo upcoming features to the team, and one-on-one meetings with stakeholders (sales, marketing, services, support, and engineering)
  • Quarterly – Update the roadmap, call/web meeting with the customer advisory council, and revise components of the Simplified One Page Strategic Plan

Now, this doesn’t include aspects like sales demos, evangelism, strategy, positioning, and more that is often associated with product management. Rather, this is continuous product management process that is a core part of a successful startup.

What else? What are some more components of the continuous product management process?

One thought on “The Continous Product Management Process

  1. Great post.

    Adding a little nuance from years of product management experience.

    Direct customer and prospect conversations is often the hardest to pull off. Sometimes Sales wants to control the conversation and contact. Often the daily fray of work fills the time.

    However, it is one of the most valuable “inputs” into product. There’s the old acronym: “NIHITO” – Nothing Important Happens in the Office. Talking to customers is valuable yet often neglected.

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