The 12 Milestones of Product Management


Published on

Contact the author through:

About this presentation:
This presentation gives a brief overview of the product management process milestones. This document was created based on over 7 years of experience working in product management roles at both start-up companies and corporations.

Published in: Career
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The 12 Milestones of Product Management

  1. 1. The 12 Milestones of the Product Management Process Jeroen van Rijn 1 March 4th, 2013
  2. 2. Introduction • I have worked as a product manager and with other product managers for over 7 years in start-ups and large corporations. • During this time I found the following product management process to be a good generic description for waterfall style development processes, especially for consumer electronics. 2
  3. 3. There Are 12 Milestones In The Product Lifecycle • P0 - start of planning • P1 - roadmap complete • P2 - product drivers approved • P3 - product concept approved • P4 - product development kick-off complete • P5 - design & requirement freeze • P6 - Go-to-market strategy approved • P7 - Launch preparation complete • P8 - Launch • P9 - Ramp-up complete • P10 - Mid-cycle update • P11 - Ramp-down complete 3
  4. 4. P0 - Start of Planning • This milestone marks the beginning of the product lifecycle rather than the completion of a deliverable. • This milestone is usually initiated by the Head of Product Management. • This often happens in a cyclical fashion, like once a year, with a scope of 2 to 3 years out. 4
  5. 5. P1 - Roadmap Complete • The roadmap maps out a draft product portfolio with price points, timing and estimated product volumes. • Helps forecast future revenues. • Key inputs: • Financial growth targets from C-level executives. • Market share targets from C-level executives • Engineering capacity. • Market data (esp. price elasticity). 5 2014 2015 $x 3M $x 3.1M $y 5M $y 5.5M Example roadmap
  6. 6. P2 - Product Drivers Approved • This milestone happens for each individual product on the roadmap. • Goal is to understand what drives the development of each product. • Basis for the drivers are: • The financial goals of the product (price & volume). • Which consumer segments might deliver on the financial goals. • What the product needs to represent to address the attractive consumer segments (high-level features and design drivers). • Competition in the price point and target consumer segment. • Update the business case with your best estimate. Highlight if there are unrealistic expectations. 6
  7. 7. P3 - Product Concept Approved • Between P2 and P3 you work with industrial designers, user experience designers and other creatives to generate multiple product concepts. • If needed, test the concepts in focus groups. Various agencies can help and will keep your brand name anonymous. • Analyze the concepts for cost and warranty implications. Plug this into your business case to make sure the concepts can meet the financial goals for the product. • Recommend a concept to be developed. 7
  8. 8. P4 - Product Development Kick-off Complete • This is more an R&D milestone than a product management milestone. • For this milestone, the R&D program office has assigned a program manager to the product. • The program manager pulls together an R&D leadership team for the program and delivers a resource allocation plan to meet the schedule of the product. • The product manager assists the program manager in communicating to the R&D team what the product is about. • Be enthusiastic! Nobody wants to work on a product that the leadership does not believe in. 8
  9. 9. P5 -Design and Requirements Freeze • At this point, the design and all requirements are documented, analyzed and no longer subject to change. • Requirements will require a negotiation with R&D. It may be that some requirements cannot be delivered in the schedule with current staffing levels. • This is needed so R&D can commit to a schedule. • Change is possible, but needs to go through a formal change process, where impacts on schedule, quality and cost are analyzed before the change is committed. 9
  10. 10. P6 - Go-To-Market Strategy Approved • Product Development is now underway. Time to plan how you are going to sell the product. • Work with sales and marketing to identify and prioritize channels to market. • Prioritization of channels may be necessary to deal with resource constraints or manufacturing constraints. • This does affect R&D, so make sure they are informed. • Also create a project plans with marketing, sales, and support for the completion of materials, trainings, and marketing campaigns. 10
  11. 11. P7 - Launch Preparation Complete • The main goal here is that products leaving the factory have a place to go and are supported by a marketing campaign. • Marketing materials and ad campaigns need to be prepared and ready to go. • Sales channels need to be prepared: • Retails staff (if applicable) needs to be trained on the benefits of the product. • Space needs to be allocated on store shelves. • The logistics chain needs to have been set up. • Support centers need to be prepared to deal with questions about the new product. • Warranty centers need to be ready to receive faulty products and repair or replace them. 11
  12. 12. P8 - Launch • Best feeling in the world for a product manager. • All hands on deck and solve issues that pop-up during launch. • Potential to be involved in press events. • Make sure you have your media training done! • Continued to work through your channel prioritization plan. 12
  13. 13. P9 - Ramp-Up Complete • You are getting close to being able to breathe and sleep :-) • All sales channels are now shipping the product. • All marketing campaigns are firing on all cylinders. • Products are leaving the factory and getting into consumers’ hands. • This is also a good time to measure performance in the market: • Actual sales vs forecast. • Net Promoter Score. 13
  14. 14. P10 - Mid-Cycle Update • It is common for products that are available in the market to get a mid-cycle update. These may be: • Updated colors, materials. • Software update. • Different bundling of accessories. • Major reasons for an update: • Keep the product fresh in the consumers’ mind. • Fix bugs. • Reduce warranty and support costs. • Mid-cycle updates need to be planned in a similar way as the all the steps described until here, but are obviously much smaller in scope. 14
  15. 15. P11 - Ramp-Down Complete • At the end of the product life-cycle, it is time to ramp it down. • Focus on stopping manufacturing early, so all channels can sell out their inventory. • Maintain some parts and replacement product inventory for warranty for the last customers to buy your product. • Ramp down marketing campaigns and recall marketing materials. • Very important process: • Left-over inventory can kill your business case! • Document learnings from consumers. 15
  16. 16. The End 16 Jeroen van Rijn can be contacted through: •LinkedIn: