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Product Framework for Product Managers

There are frameworks for all categories in software business – framework for startups like Lean Startup to framework for web application development like Rails. What frameworks do Product Managers have? In the last few years of working with different teams and companies I have put together a framework, I’d like to share this with others and get feedback on what others are using.

Goal of the Product
Define what problems the product is solving and who it is solving for. Define a few user experience scenarios at this stage.

Product Principles
Define what your product principles – for example Simple, Fun or Secure.

Product Requirements
This is where you define the requirements of the product. – Your PRD. Define your users stories and user experience. For example a story is something like “User should be able to create an account.” and user experience is “John downloads and installs the app on his iPhone. Upon launching the app for the first time she decides to create an account.”

User Testing
Once you have some wireframes or prototypes conduct some user testing with users. This will test your assumptions and give you confidence. You can refer to this article for mobile usability testing.

Release Criteria
Describe your product’s release criteria – like what’s an acceptable performance, scalability or usability of the product.

Define a schedule for your product, and then review it with your engineering team.

Test your PRD
Once you have written your PRD share it with your engineering and QA team, see if they get a good understanding of the product and your goals.

Managing the PRD
In all cases, point people with questions to the PRD. If any questions are not answered then enter them in the PRD and refer people back to the PRD. Remember PRD are living documents.

Data Gathering
It is said, what you can measure you can’t improve. Define what metrics you want to capture and what you are trying to learn. This will help you understand what is going on in your product, but not the why.

Talk to your customers
Data gathering will help you tell the what but talking to your customers will help you understand the why.

Depending on your organization, resources and time there will be additional steps that are involved in launching successful products, like designing the user interface, which sometime happens in parallel, or sometimes after your PRD is done.

Please share your feedback or additional steps you use in your organization.

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