0
A Generic Product
Retirement Product Plan
Slide Deck
Kill It and Dispose of the
Body, With Bullets or Love
Phil Wolff
Prod...
Your product
won’t live
forever,
right? Let’s
have its endof-life
discussion
now.

@evanwolf
A generic flow

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

Deploy

Close Out

Done

@evanwolf
Signals

Based on
your advance
directive,
you’re
tracking key
indicators for
signals your
product is
not healthy.
@evanwol...
Set Triggers

Map

Plan
Signals

End?

How?
Stage

Deploy

•  Choose key warning measures and
vital signs

Close Out

•  S...
End?

Convene your “death panel” to
choose life or death.
If life, go back to monitoring health.
@evanwolf
Choice: End Now?

Map

Plan
Signals

End?

How?
Stage

Deploy

•  Get buy-in
•  Abandon hope

Close Out

•  Decide to end ...
Where does
the body go?
How?

@evanwolf
Choice: Disposal

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

•  Weigh product death vs. other options
•  Mothball for later rev...
Choice: Disposal
How?
Just Done

Value Extraction
Now

Later

Bullets & Blood

Mind Wipe

Mothball

Graceful Exit

Chop Sh...
Extreme Variations:
Bullets & Blood
How?

Shoot first, ask questions later
Pros:
•  Rapid signals to partners, market, sta...
Extreme Variations:
Graceful Exit
How?

Leave the ecosystem better than you found it
Pros:
•  Thorough
•  Builds reputatio...
Disposal variations:
Mind wipe
How?

End the product under its brand name
Relaunch under a new name or as a white label se...
Disposal variations:
Chop Shop
How?

Sell the parts

Harves
t
Dump the organs.
the bod
y 

Data. Plumbing. Experiences.
Re...
Disposal variations:
Outplacement
How?

Sell the whole product to another organization
g

in
Product traffick

@evanwolf
Disposal variations:
Give up for
How?
adoption
Donate to an NGO
Users have continuity

Want it? 

Take it.

Now. 



@evan...
Disposal variations:
Set it free
How?

Put the IP into the public domain
Hand control to the customers or ecosystem
Leave ...
Disposal variations:
Mothball
How?

Suspend the product until better conditions
“It’s de
ad” sh
e said.


But we
k
kept h ...
Dig In
Map, Plan,
Prep,
Rollout,
Respond
@evanwolf
Map what’s to be done

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

•  Detail your product’s…
•  Technologies
•  Operations
•  Bu...
Scope and sequence

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

•  Define completion measures (how you
know it’s dead)
•  Choose...
Prepare for rollout

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

•  Execute pre-closure steps
•  Announcements
•  IT prep, opera...
End the product

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

Deploy

•  Flip the switch

Close Out

Done

@evanwolf
Clean up and leave

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

•  Rapid response to breakage
•  Systems, relationships, legal, ...
Done

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

•  Final project reporting
•  Turn out the lights

Deploy

Close Out

Done

@e...
Done

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

So that’s
how we talk
about
putting your
product out
to pasture.

Deploy

Clos...
Done

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

Let me ask
you a few
questions.

Deploy

Close Out

Done

@evanwolf
Done
Signals

Map

Kill?

How?

Are you
Plan
ready to
Stage
prepare for
end-of-life
Deploy
while your
Close is
product Out...
Done
Signals

Map

Kill?

How?

Can you
Plan
shift to the
Stage
happily
grim
Deploy
mindset of
Close Out
a reaper?
Done

@...
Done
Are you,
your
Signals
Kill?
product’s
champion,
best suited
and best
prepared to
deal death
to your own
products?

Ma...
Done
It’s
probably Kill?
Signals
time for a
new
#prodmgmt
specialty.
The Reaper.

Map

Plan
How?
Stage

Deploy

Close Out
...
Share your product death stories
to improve reaping
Your stories from real product endings
Anecdotes tell us what to test
...
Product Reaping could become a
standalone product management
discipline
More science, less art
More ROI, less housekeeping...
Done

Map

Plan
Signals

Kill?

How?
Stage

Thanks!

Deploy

Close Out

Done

@evanwolf
Phil Wolff

e
skype
v
t

phil@LetMyDataGo.org
evanwolf
+1-510-343-5664
@evanwolf @letmydatago

bio
cv
blog

About.me/evanw...
Phil Wolff
Hi!
Email or tweet
your stories,
suggestions,
referrals
or just call/skype

e
skype
v
t

phil@LetMyDataGo.org
e...
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So Your Product Is Going To Die. Here's What Happens Next.

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Here's my walk-through of the generic product retirement project. Set up signals, choose death (or life), choose the shape of the project (how you're going to dispose of the body), plan, prepare, cutover, respond, and wrap things up.

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Transcript of "So Your Product Is Going To Die. Here's What Happens Next. "

  1. 1. A Generic Product Retirement Product Plan Slide Deck Kill It and Dispose of the Body, With Bullets or Love Phil Wolff Product Grim Reaper Graceful Exits at Let My Data Go.org #prodmgmt #eol #killthepwoduct #producthospice #gracefulexit #productmanagement @evanwolf
  2. 2. Your product won’t live forever, right? Let’s have its endof-life discussion now. @evanwolf
  3. 3. A generic flow Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage Deploy Close Out Done @evanwolf
  4. 4. Signals Based on your advance directive, you’re tracking key indicators for signals your product is not healthy. @evanwolf
  5. 5. Set Triggers Map Plan Signals End? How? Stage Deploy •  Choose key warning measures and vital signs Close Out •  Set up alerts •  Trigger Life or Death Meetings Done @evanwolf
  6. 6. End? Convene your “death panel” to choose life or death. If life, go back to monitoring health. @evanwolf
  7. 7. Choice: End Now? Map Plan Signals End? How? Stage Deploy •  Get buy-in •  Abandon hope Close Out •  Decide to end the product Done @evanwolf
  8. 8. Where does the body go? How? @evanwolf
  9. 9. Choice: Disposal Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage •  Weigh product death vs. other options •  Mothball for later revival, Sale outright, Recycle parts internally, Sell components, Donate to NGO, Contribute IP to public (open source) •  Choose how your organization’s relationship with the product will end Deploy Close Out Done @evanwolf
  10. 10. Choice: Disposal How? Just Done Value Extraction Now Later Bullets & Blood Mind Wipe Mothball Graceful Exit Chop Shop Outplacement Adoption Set It Free @evanwolf
  11. 11. Extreme Variations: Bullets & Blood How? Shoot first, ask questions later Pros: •  Rapid signals to partners, market, staff •  Rapid discovery of breakage Cons: Round th them a em up, put gainst the wall, s hoot ‘t il d drag th e blood ead, y bodies to a dit ch, tos in lime s . Pack your snacks ,g guns, a rab your nd leav e. •  Preventable breakage •  Prolonged cleanup stage •  Higher risk of liability, legal challenges @evanwolf
  12. 12. Extreme Variations: Graceful Exit How? Leave the ecosystem better than you found it Pros: •  Thorough •  Builds reputation •  Manages risk Cons: •  More up-front work Takes: Do right by u sers, -  Planning partners, the -  Soft skills ecosystem, & society. -  Rea diness for emotional Meaningful n otice, intensity data portabi lity, -  resource c paths for con ushion. tinuity, customer voi ce @evanwolf
  13. 13. Disposal variations: Mind wipe How? End the product under its brand name Relaunch under a new name or as a white label service and eting Mark ing suck? g messa l on w labe a ne n. Stick y agai tr it and @evanwolf
  14. 14. Disposal variations: Chop Shop How? Sell the parts Harves t Dump the organs. the bod y Data. Plumbing. Experiences. Relationships. Business Models. Creative. @evanwolf
  15. 15. Disposal variations: Outplacement How? Sell the whole product to another organization g in Product traffick @evanwolf
  16. 16. Disposal variations: Give up for How? adoption Donate to an NGO Users have continuity Want it? Take it. Now. @evanwolf
  17. 17. Disposal variations: Set it free How? Put the IP into the public domain Hand control to the customers or ecosystem Leave remains in the open for vultures and historians to pick over @evanwolf
  18. 18. Disposal variations: Mothball How? Suspend the product until better conditions “It’s de ad” sh e said. But we k kept h new she im clos et cold st orage i ed in n basem ent. He the might live ag ain. Some d ay. @evanwolf
  19. 19. Dig In Map, Plan, Prep, Rollout, Respond @evanwolf
  20. 20. Map what’s to be done Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage •  Detail your product’s… •  Technologies •  Operations •  Business flows •  Financial flows •  Regulatory flows •  Ecosystem dependencies •  Customer relationships •  Media relationships Deploy Close Out Done •  Staff @evanwolf
  21. 21. Scope and sequence Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage •  Define completion measures (how you know it’s dead) •  Choose how you’re going to end the product, step-by-step •  Communications/relationships plan Deploy Close Out •  Technology/operations plan •  Finance, Legal, HR plan •  Define post-product needs & plan to deploy them Done @evanwolf
  22. 22. Prepare for rollout Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage •  Execute pre-closure steps •  Announcements •  IT prep, operations, testing •  Business activities Deploy Close Out •  Cutover design •  Post-closure setup Done @evanwolf
  23. 23. End the product Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage Deploy •  Flip the switch Close Out Done @evanwolf
  24. 24. Clean up and leave Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage •  Rapid response to breakage •  Systems, relationships, legal, HR Deploy •  Dispose of product remains •  Track and handoff post-life services Close Out •  Product team debriefings, wakes •  Financial, legal, HR, real estate closeouts Done @evanwolf
  25. 25. Done Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage •  Final project reporting •  Turn out the lights Deploy Close Out Done @evanwolf
  26. 26. Done Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage So that’s how we talk about putting your product out to pasture. Deploy Close Out Done @evanwolf
  27. 27. Done Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage Let me ask you a few questions. Deploy Close Out Done @evanwolf
  28. 28. Done Signals Map Kill? How? Are you Plan ready to Stage prepare for end-of-life Deploy while your Close is product Out still healthy? Done @evanwolf
  29. 29. Done Signals Map Kill? How? Can you Plan shift to the Stage happily grim Deploy mindset of Close Out a reaper? Done @evanwolf
  30. 30. Done Are you, your Signals Kill? product’s champion, best suited and best prepared to deal death to your own products? Map Plan How? Stage Deploy Close Out Done @evanwolf
  31. 31. Done It’s probably Kill? Signals time for a new #prodmgmt specialty. The Reaper. Map Plan How? Stage Deploy Close Out Done @evanwolf
  32. 32. Share your product death stories to improve reaping Your stories from real product endings Anecdotes tell us what to test Instrumented experiments Share hard data Surveys How people think Prediction markets Test conclusions @evanwolf
  33. 33. Product Reaping could become a standalone product management discipline More science, less art More ROI, less housekeeping More brand building, less brand protection More experience, less “ooh, that’s a wheel” More up front planning and prep, less last minute scramble More reaping ecosystem: •  apps (or features in #prodmgmt apps) •  markets (for selling features, products) •  services (project support) @evanwolf
  34. 34. Done Map Plan Signals Kill? How? Stage Thanks! Deploy Close Out Done @evanwolf
  35. 35. Phil Wolff e skype v t phil@LetMyDataGo.org evanwolf +1-510-343-5664 @evanwolf @letmydatago bio cv blog About.me/evanwolf Linkedin.com/in/philwolff Letmydatago.org Hi! Email or tweet your stories, suggestions, referrals or just call/skype Phil Wolff is a consulting product manager in Oakland, California. Phil co-founded four startups, worked as a programmer, project manager, business analyst, technology architect, industry analyst, operations researcher, and tech journalist at Bechtel National, Wang Labs, LSI Logic, Adecco SA, NavSup, and privacy NGOs. @evanwolf
  36. 36. Phil Wolff Hi! Email or tweet your stories, suggestions, referrals or just call/skype e skype v t phil@LetMyDataGo.org evanwolf +1-510-343-5664 @evanwolf @letmydatago bio cv blog About.me/evanwolf Linkedin.com/in/philwolff Letmydatago.org Phil Wolff is a consulting product manager in Oakland, California. Phil co-founded four startups, worked as a programmer, project manager, business analyst, technology architect, industry analyst, operations researcher, and tech journalist at Bechtel National, Wang Labs, LSI Logic, Adecco SA, NavSup, and privacy NGOs. He volunteers in Code for America’s #OpenOakland brigade. @evanwolf
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