How to Conduct a Product Opportunity Assessment

Opportunity

Product teams exist to assess opportunity and capitalize.

Product managers are tasked with finding market problems that are pervasive within a certain target market, and that people are willing to pay to remedy.  Then, once found, to guide the development of a profitable solution to those problems.

Market problems can be solved with new service offerings; new features; new partnerships; or new products.  Given limited resources, however, product teams can’t pursue every opportunity.  They must prioritize.

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The User Story Map for Backlog Visualization

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Perspective

It’s hard for a product owner to keep perspective when looking at a stacked list of features needed in a product, much less communicate the high level direction to others. Backlogs are too granular and, frequently, just too long. Often they contain many capabilities that will never be delivered!

A product’s user stories may be broken up numerous ways: by very narrow slivers of end-to-end functionality, by seams in the technical architecture, or by some other approach.

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Product Vision 2014: The Internet of Things

Internet of Things

What’s your product vision?

As a product leader, you already know that the most powerful way to align the independent teams you need — user experienceproduct marketingsales, executives, etc. — without any authority is a compelling product vision.

Adam Nash refers to a strong product leader as a force multiplier.  People respond if you paint an image of a place worth going, and a credible plan (your product roadmap) for getting there.  

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Product Managers and Requirements Gathering

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Product management teams have traditionally been responsible for delivering documents full of requirements: Market Requirements Documents (MRDs) that define problems experienced by some segment(s) of the market, and Product Requirements Documents (PRDs) that define a solution to be built.

Traditional software efforts–perhaps coincidentally–have been notoriously unsuccessful.  Many of the software efforts surveyed were internal technology projects, but commercial software products haven’t had a dramatically different outcome.

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Handling the Avalanche of Feature Requests

Avalanche

Have a product in customers’ hands?

Get ready for an unending river of feature requests!  A common problem among product management professionals is how to handle requests from clients and prospects in various market segments, along with strategic initiatives.  “They’re all good ideas!” Handling feature requests combines several distinct problems:

  • Tracking requests, usually including the submitting party and the date.
  • Identifying the underlying problem.
  • Prioritizing the changes to the product.

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Interaction Design for Product Managers

UX Diagram

What is Interaction Design?

Smartphone screens are small.  Very small.

Because they’re small, there’s no room for unnecessary information.  For this reason, interaction design–the design of exactly what is necessary for a user to flow through the system to accomplish a goal–is of primary importance in mobile. Because many mobile consumer applications also have web components, the discipline has also bled over to the consumer web.

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