How Can We Judge Product Requirement Quality?

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Blogs and News, PMP | 3 comments

I recently worked with a great product management organization—great in the eyes of the management team that assembled them, at least.

This inbound team of heavily technical PMs was responsible for the 2-3 year product roadmap for the company.  As a result, their main constituents were the entire engineering community and, more specifically, the software and hardware architects interspersed through that community.

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Design Thinking – The Next Big Trend?

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in Blogs and News, PMP | 0 comments

Think-Design

Design Thinking
By David Shoaf

I recently had a chance to participate in a class on Design Thinking. Design Thinking, you ask? This course, sourced from the Stanford School of Design, presents some interesting concepts they clearly are quite excited about.  The term, I’ve noticed, has also started enter the lexicon of product management. Why would this happen?

Inbound product management functions have traditionally focused on market and product definition, the quantification of priorities to address problems found in those markets. It also provides guidance in the form of product requirements, value propositions and the related pricing, margins and forecasts necessary to justify investments in products that satisfy unmet needs in those markets.

Design thinking proposes that these elements are not really needed. Rather, the concept suggests that the only requirement is that the maker/developer merely collaborates with the user using structured methods of development. The resulting products are then clearly aligned to solve the user’s problem.

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Passing the Knowledge: Answering the Top 10 Sales Questions about your product

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Blogs and News, PMP | 0 comments

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Passing the Knowledge

By David Shoaf

It isn’t easy for a group of product and marketing to pass their accumulated knowledge to the company’s sales force.  For many, doing so is unfamiliar territory. Why? Because the motivations and perceptions of a successful sales force is orthogonal to product marketing functions.

Let’s take a look at why this is.

Prior to my career as a product manager, I was a quota-carrying, territory-based sales guy in business-to-business accounts. I was on the receiving end of product management training many times. Of course, the product managers are enthusiastic—they need to be, but I didn’t like the training because they weren’t answering the Top 10 Sales Questions.

Most product managers understand their products inside and out; they have deep product knowledge and they’re usually pretty good at translating techie-speak into value propositions. What product managers do not understand is that this knowledge alone is insufficient for motivating the sales rep to get it sold.

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