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Product Management For Dummies

Book Description

Your one-stop guide to becoming a product management prodigy

Product management plays a pivotal role in organizations. In fact, it's now considered the fourth most important title in corporate America—yet only a tiny fraction of product managers have been trained for this vital position. If you're one of the hundreds of thousands of people who hold this essential job—or simply aspire to break into a new role—Product Management For Dummies gives you the tools to increase your skill level and manage products like a pro.

From defining what product management is—and isn't—to exploring the rising importance of product management in the corporate world, this friendly and accessible guide quickly gets you up to speed on everything it takes to thrive in this growing field. It offers plain-English explanations of the product life cycle, market research, competitive analysis, market and pricing strategy, product roadmaps, the people skills it takes to effectively influence and negotiate, and so much more.

  • Create a winning strategy for your product
  • Gather and analyze customer and market feedback
  • Prioritize and convey requirements to engineering teams effectively
  • Maximize revenues and profitability

Product managers are responsible for so much more than meets the eye—and this friendly, authoritative guide lifts the curtain on what it takes to succeed.

Table of Contents

    1. Cover
    2. Introduction
      1. About This Book
      2. Foolish Assumptions
      3. Icons Used in This Book
      4. Beyond the Book
      5. Where to Go from Here
    3. Part 1: Getting Started with Product Management
      1. Chapter 1: Welcome to the World of Product Management
        1. Understanding the Need for Product Management
        2. Recognizing the Critical Role of Project Management
        3. Product Management in a Nutshell: Checking Out Your Day-to-Day Life
      2. Chapter 2: Getting in Character: Discovering Your Role as a Product Manager
        1. Orientation Day: Examining Your Role as Product Manager
        2. Comparing Product Management to Other Related Roles
        3. Conducting a Self-Assessment: Traits of a Great Product Manager
        4. RACI and DACI: Understanding Responsibilities
      3. Chapter 3: Checking Out the Product Life Cycle
        1. Defining the Product Life Cycle: What It Is and Isn’t
        2. It’s Just a Phase: Breaking Down the Product Life Cycle
        3. Detailing the Optimal Product Process
    4. Part 2: Discovering, Evaluating, and Planning for Great Products and Services
      1. Chapter 4: Coming Up with Great Product Ideas
        1. Getting a Handle on the Creative Process
        2. Generating Creative Ideas: Techniques and Tips
      2. Chapter 5: Working to Understand Who Your Customer Is
        1. Moving from Markets to Segments
        2. Harnessing the Creativity of Personas
        3. Making Sure You Cover All Persona Roles
        4. Visiting Customers
      3. Chapter 6: Doing Your Homework: Evaluating Your Ideas
        1. Understanding the Importance of Market Research and Competitive Intelligence
        2. Undertaking the Market Research Process
        3. Studying Competitive Intelligence
        4. Reality-Checking Your Ideas and Hypotheses
        5. Crunching the Numbers with Financial Forecasting
      4. Chapter 7: Prioritizing and Selecting Your Ideas
        1. Prioritizing Your Ideas
        2. Applying Scoring Models
      5. Chapter 8: Planning to Plan: Choosing a Suitable Approach
        1. Adopting Planning Best Practices
        2. Deciding on the Right Amount of Planning
        3. Streamlining the Planning Process with Lean and Simple Planning
        4. Taking a More Thorough Approach: In-Depth Planning
      6. Chapter 9: Developing Your Business Case
        1. Making a Business Case for the New Product or Service
        2. Putting It All Together: Documenting Your Business Case
      7. Chapter 10: Developing Your Market Strategy
        1. Grasping the Importance of a Market Strategy
        2. Setting Yourself Straight on Strategy Tools
        3. Considering Other Components of Marketing Strategy
        4. Putting Your Market Strategy in Writing
      8. Chapter 11: Developing a Plan: Market Needs, Product Description, and Road Maps
        1. Uncovering Market Need and Creating Product Feature Descriptions
        2. Documenting Market Needs
        3. Whipping Up a Product Feature Description
        4. Plotting Your Product’s Path to Success with a Product Road Map
    5. Part 3: Building and Maximizing Product Success: From Development to Retirement
      1. Chapter 12: Shepherding a Product Idea through the Development Phase
        1. Getting the Lowdown on Waterfall/Phase-Gate versus Agile Development
        2. Unlocking the Secrets of the Product Development Trade-Off Triangle
        3. Maintaining Best Practices during Development
      2. Chapter 13: Gearing up for Your Product Launch: The Qualify Phase
        1. Getting Up to Speed on the Qualify Phase
        2. Putting a Beta Program in Place
        3. Making the Decision to Ship the Product
      3. Chapter 14: Liftoff! Planning and Executing an Effective Product Launch
        1. Unlocking the Do’s and Don’ts of a Successful Product Launch
        2. Setting Launch Goals
        3. Checking Out Different Launch Types
        4. Running a Smooth Product Launch
        5. Creating a Product Launch Plan
        6. Validating the Plan against Your Launch Goals
      4. Chapter 15: Maximizing Your Product’s Revenue and Profits
        1. Grasping the Basics of Marketing
        2. Forecasting: A Look to the Future
        3. Creating an Effective Marketing Plan
        4. Monitoring Product Success Metrics
        5. Changing Course: Making Adjustments
      5. Chapter 16: Retirement: Replacing a Product or Taking It off the Market
        1. Deciding How to Retire a Product
        2. Considering Critical Factors in a Product Retirement Plan
        3. Following Best Practices when Retiring a Product
    6. Part 4: Becoming a Phenomenal Product Manager
      1. Chapter 17: Cultivating Your Product Management Leadership Skills
        1. Identifying Traits of an Effective Product Management Leader
        2. Developing Your Leadership Style
      2. Chapter 18: Mastering the Art of Persuasion
        1. Brushing Up on Persuasion Basics
        2. Getting Your Executive Team on Board
        3. Winning Over Your Development Team
        4. Getting Sales on Your Side
      3. Chapter 19: Getting to the Next Level in Product Management
        1. Mapping Your Career Path: Setting Goals and Target Dates
        2. Mastering Your Market and New Technologies
    7. Part 5: Part of Tens
      1. Chapter 20: Ten Common Product Launch Mistakes to Avoid
        1. Failing to Plan Early Enough
        2. Not Having a Sustaining Marketing Plan in Place
        3. Shipping a Poor Quality Product
        4. Inadequately Funding Launch
        5. Underestimating the Required Marketing Exposure
        6. Driving Customers to Buy Your Competitor’s Products
        7. Announcing Too Early
        8. Not Having a Dedicated Product Review and Public Relations Program
        9. Delaying Communication
        10. Considering International Markets as an Afterthought
      2. Chapter 21: Ten (Plus One) Road Maps to Help You Succeed
        1. Theme-Based Product Road Maps
        2. Timed Release Product Road Maps
        3. Golden Feature Product Road Maps
        4. Market and Strategy Road Maps
        5. Visionary Road Maps
        6. Competitive, Market, and Technology Trends Road Map
        7. Technology Road Maps
        8. Technology across Products Road Map
        9. Platform Road Maps
        10. Matrix Product Road Maps
        11. Multiple Product Line Road Maps
      3. Chapter 22: Ten Ways Product Managers Fail
        1. Talking More Than Listening
        2. Focusing Only on Features
        3. Not Continuing to Learn
        4. Reinventing the Wheel
        5. Avoiding Seeking Help
        6. Digging In and Refusing to Compromise, Ever
        7. Never Visiting Customers
        8. Not Owning the Whole Product
        9. Adopting Agile but Losing Overall Business Focus
        10. Being a Product Janitor Rather Than a Product Manager
    8. Glossary
    9. About the Authors
    10. Advertisement Page
    11. Connect with Dummies
    12. End User License Agreement