The Most Popular Product Management Frameworks
If you're looking to improve the way your team works, a product management framework can be an excellent starting point. A framework is a set of guidelines or principles that can help guide your team's decisions as well as provide a common understanding for all members of the team. While frameworks don't necessarily cover every aspect of what goes into being a good product manager, they do provide guidance on how to approach problems and make decisions.
A good framework helps ensure that everyone on your software development team has consistent goals and expectations of one another. For example, if there are multiple people responsible for creating user stories at different times in a project cycle (such as one person writing user stories before each sprint while another writes them after), then having some sort of consensus among these individuals becomes important — otherwise, there could be confusion about whether something needs addressing before or after the next sprint begins!
Many frameworks also include templates for various documents such as checklists or forms which can help save time when preparing deliverables like user stories or release plans
Which product management model should I use?
When choosing a product management framework, it's important to consider the following questions:
- What is the culture of your organization? If you're looking for a method to help manage the product development process, then Agile may be a good fit. If you're looking for something that will help you manage your product portfolio, then Lean might be more appropriate.
- How mature are your organization's processes? If it's early on in their development and they need some structure around how they do things, then Scrum or Kanban might be better options than Agile or Lean.
- Do you have clearly defined goals for what needs to be accomplished? If so, then Agile could work well because it gives teams flexibility in how they accomplish their tasks as long as certain standards are met (e.g., ensuring user stories follow specific requirements).
Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas is a visual framework that can help you to structure your thinking about a business model.
You can use it to explore new opportunities, evaluate existing business models and identify gaps in your knowledge.
The canvas consists of nine building blocks:
- Customer Relationships (your customers)
- Key Activities (the things you do to deliver value)
- Key Partners (parties with which you exchange value)
- Revenue Streams (how you generate money from your key activities)
- Value Proposition (what problem does your company solve for its customers?)
Minimum viable product (MVP)
The MVP is a product management framework that encourages you to build the smallest version of your product that will achieve your goals. The idea behind this approach is that you can always add features later, so it's best to focus on the core functionality and create something fast rather than spending months working on an elaborate plan only to discover that people don't want what you're building.
In short, an MVP is:
- A testable hypothesis about how users will respond to a series of actions or experiences within a system.
- Built using time-tested methods and tools from lean software development practices.
Sales objectives are what you need to achieve in order to be successful in your role as a product manager. They're set by your company, but they're also something that you can help define with your team or even on your own.
Sales objectives should be:
- Achievable: As a product manager, it's important that you’re able to deliver on what is expected of you. Setting goals that are too high may cause disappointment if they aren't met and can lead to feelings of failure or inadequacy. On the other hand, setting goals too low might not make sense because they aren't challenging enough and don't offer growth opportunities for you or your team.
- Measurable: To truly know whether or not a sales objective has been achieved, it must be measured against specific metrics such as the revenue generated from new customers acquired through a particular marketing campaign or the number of people who have signed up for an account after visiting the website several times without purchasing anything yet (known as "conversion").
Waterfall product development framework
The waterfall model is a traditional approach to software development. Under this framework, all phases of the project are sequential and must be completed in order. This can make it difficult to adapt when problems arise, or if you need to add features after the process has begun. However, it’s an excellent choice for smaller projects with fewer variables than a more complex endeavor would have.
Examples of waterfall projects include:
- A website built from scratch by one programmer who knows exactly what he wants out of it
- A mobile app that doesn't require much interaction with back-end systems
Agile product management
Agile development is a software methodology that emphasizes the importance of delivering high-value features first. This is achieved by working in short iterations and getting feedback from users at each point. Agile can be used for any type of product development, not just software development.
In software engineering, agile methods may be applied at all phases of development: requirements analysis and specification; design; prototyping; construction; testing; deployment – or any other phrases you can think of (like marketing). Learn more about agile and why it's not a competitor to waterfall framework in our article.
Lean software development
Lean software development (LSD) is a software development methodology that combines the principles of lean manufacturing and agile development. It was developed by the Software Engineering Institute in 1997 and later formalized in 2003 as a set of principles for developing and delivering software in a fast, efficient manner.
A successful lean startup project will have:
- A clearly defined problem statement with a testable hypothesis;
- A minimum viable product (MVP) that addresses that problem; and
- Early engagement with potential customers in order to validate or invalidate the proposed solution (i.e., “build-measure-learn”).
LSSD's core elements include:
- COTS: using existing off-the-shelf products instead of building custom solutions from scratch
- DevOps: continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment practices
- Agile: self-organizing teams focused on small deliverables over long periods
Jobs to be Done (JTBD) framework
The JTBD framework is a way to understand what job customers are trying to do, and then deliver products that help them do it. It’s about reframing the problem in terms of what your customers need, not what they want. What does the customer want their product to do? Who are they trying to reach with it? How will it be used? By answering these questions, we get a more complete picture of our users and their needs, rather than focusing on features alone.
You can use this framework by asking yourself: “What job am I solving here?” When you think about problems from that perspective — and not from an engineering point of view — you may find there are different ways of solving them.
Growth-Driven Design (GDD) Framework
Growth-Driven Design (GDD) is a user-centric, data-driven approach to web design that's focused on continuous improvement. It's also known as A/B testing or split testing, and it involves testing different versions of your website to see which ones result in the most positive results.
The Growth-Driven Design framework is based on the following principles:
- Continuous Optimization - GDD constantly strives for optimization of the user experience with respect to the business goals
- Customer Focus - The main focus here should be on creating experiences that meet customer needs while providing outstanding value. This can only happen if you have a deep understanding of your customers and their behavior patterns.
- Customer Journey Mapping - Visualizing customer journeys through every step of their interaction with your brand will help you understand what works and what doesn't work for them, thus enabling you to make informed decisions about where exactly improvements need to be made so that users have better experiences while engaging with your brand
Storytelling is a powerful way to convey your product's value, and it can be applied in different ways. You can use a narrative framework to make your case, but you'll need some key elements: a compelling hero who has an emotional connection to your product; a problem that needs to be solved—and which is related to the user's goals or objectives; transformation into something better; and an ending that leaves the audience with an “a-ha!” moment.
Here's how these elements work together:
- The hero must have an emotional connection with the product or service being offered. This connection should be established early on in order for it to resonate throughout the entire story and create empathy for the hero (i.e., you).
- The person experiencing pain from their problem should be more than just another faceless customer — they should have human qualities that make them relatable (so think about how you would approach this challenge yourself and what could possibly motivate someone else). For example, if you're selling toothbrushes then maybe one way would be having someone who has braces tell their story about how painful it was finding out what other options there were on store shelves because none of them felt comfortable enough in their mouth when brushing teeth next time try asking yourself why this happened? How did they feel emotionally affected by this experience? What do they want out of life right now?
The HEART framework is a great place to start your journey with product management. It's simple, intuitive, and straightforward. To use it, you'll need to ask yourself four questions:
- Happiness: What are you building? Is it something that people will enjoy using? Is it a product that people want or need in their lives?
- Engagement: How easily can your users access and use the product? Are there barriers preventing them from accessing or using the product quickly and efficiently?
- Adoption: What's the adoption rate for this new feature or version of the app/software/product at hand? If adoption rates aren't up-to-par, what can be done about it (and by whom)?
- Retention: How many users do we have vs other products on the market right now (or historically)? Is our retention rate higher than similar products' retention rates? If so, why is this so; if not then why not!
- Task Success: Among the tasks assigned to the user, how many have been completed?
4 Quadrants Time Management
The Eisenhower matrix is a time management tool that divides tasks into four categories:
- Important and urgent (usually high-priority tasks)
- Important and not urgent (tasks you want to do, but can wait)
- Not important and not urgent (low-priority tasks)
- Not important and urgent (urgent but low priority)
Prioritization is one of the most important skills for any product manager and a skill that they need to be constantly improving. As you begin to prioritize, keep in mind these three things:
- Prioritization should not be done in isolation. Oftentimes, we think about prioritizing as an individual activity, but this can lead to bias toward our own ideas or preferences. Instead, always involve others in the process (your team or stakeholders) so that you can ensure everyone's needs are being considered before making decisions about what goes into your roadmap.
- The order in which you do things matters when prioritizing — and there are different ways to do this. For example, if you were creating a new feature for your app that would require two weeks' worth of work by engineering and design teams plus another week's worth of testing before launch (four total weeks), would it make sense for these four weeks' worth of work to come first? Or should they come after other features like bug fixes or quality improvement initiatives? What we're trying to say is: don't just arbitrarily pick something because it seems easier — do some research! And once again: involve others! It could help avoid situations where someone feels like they're being "steamrolled" into accepting something without fully understanding its implications on their lives/workflow/etcetera...
The Rean framework is a product management framework that helps you to create exceptional product experiences by reducing friction, elevating the user experience, amplifying their emotions, and nurturing them through the journey.
The Rean framework focuses on three essential parts of every customer's journey:
- Reduce: Reduce the pain points your customers experience while interacting with your products.
- Elevate: Create an exceptional user experience that delights your customers when they use it.
- Amplify: Make sure they can share their experience with other people so that they can build relationships with potential new users or even start marketing opportunities for themselves (by giving away free trials).
- Nurture the customers you have gained through regular communication.
AIDA(R) stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, and Retention. It’s a marketing framework that helps you understand how to move your customers or users through your sales funnel.
In the context of product management, AIDA can be used as a framework for understanding your user's journey (as it pertains to content), identifying where there might be friction points in their journey and what you can do to help them overcome these hurdles.
Recency, frequency, and monetary value (RFM) is the most popular product framework. It's used by many companies to prioritize the next steps in the product development process.
To use RFM, you start by identifying how many customers are using your product or service at any given time. Then you can figure out which customers have been using it for a long time, how often they use it, and how much money they spend with you on average.
The framework is similar to Kano Analysis because it takes into account customer satisfaction (how much they like your product), but its focus is on predicting future behavior rather than measuring existing sentiment.
The five Es framework is a method of marketing that helps you to create campaigns that are customer-centric and brand-centric. It consists of five phases: engage, explore, express, exchange, and extend.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach for PMs
A framework is a tool, not an end in itself. Like all tools, it can be used correctly or incorrectly by different people at different times in order to achieve different results.
Different businesses have different problems, solutions, and goals. Different businesses have different customers with different needs and expectations. They also have products that serve these customers in unique ways, which are distinct from those of other businesses within the same market segment or industry vertical.