Thoughts on product management software

Thoughts on product management software

Thoughts on product management software

Where is the product management software going?

As we discussed in previous blog issues — read more at this issue, the product management software industry is on an upward trajectory, expected to hit $41.58 billion by 2030. This expansion is reshaping the landscape, making tools like Notion indispensable for product managers with evolving demands in more complex products.

Complex product building requires from shaped frameworks that applies at every stage of the product life cycle. As we like to think at belowtion, software development is a knowledge activity — and just like Notion says, software should be fun too.

But when it comes to product-to-use in the product scene, the market is tight. Depending on needs, available resources, and current legacy, organizations have to decide in which software they invest their product capabilites — just like Figma does for design.

Below, there is a quick research we’ve made with ChatGPT to evaluate product management softwares by researching and refining with questions. The rank is very competed as the table shows:

Why this happens?

Well, in our opinion, building digital products is a growing trend thing that catches for the mix of abilities that co-exist in product projects: designers, engineers, business analysts, marketers, etc. Actually, we are probably more software-led than product-led and —even product managers are questioned as the Airbnb product management shift shows— we are curious to see how the role of product managers evolve within the AI era.

Product managers then needs flexible but structured tools that allow them to both diverge and converge keeping all the work and knowledge centralized in one place, in all stages of the product management cycle, including those previous to the software development.

Along with the double diamond framework, explained in this article, there are other frameworks that help us understand better the process behind building products based in software.

Look at one of our favourites, the cone of uncertainty from AACE International: describes the evolution of the amount of best case uncertainty during a project. At the beginning of a project, comparatively little is known about the product or work results, and so estimates are subject to large uncertainty. As more research and development is done, more information is learned about the project, and the uncertainty then tends to decrease, reaching 0% when all residual risk has been terminated or transferred. This usually happens by the end of the project i.e. by transferring the responsibilities to a separate maintenance group.

We like to visualize it with the following figure:

However, there are more modern approaches to building digital products just like the guys from Silicon Valley does —regarding the SVPG— and specially INSPIRED by Marty Cagan describing the anatomy of a product as follows — below figure is an adaptation from the original source:

These dimensions include value, usability, feasibility, and a fourth dimension that Marty Cagan in "Inspired" refers to as 'viability'. However, another perspective could be focused on 'competitiveness' or 'core competencies' in our opinion.

Product dimensions during the conceptualization or explore research

Business, value — customer's willingness to pay: A foundational question in product development is whether customers are willing to pay for the new product or service. This aspect of value is not just about pricing but understanding the perceived worth of the product to the customer. It requires thorough market research to validate that the problem your product solves is significant enough that customers would invest in your solution and the economics are promising.

Design, usability — simplicity and accessibility: Usability ensures that once the customer decides to pay for your product, their experience is intuitive, straightforward, and accessible. This involves design thinking principles where the user's experience is central to the product development process. Key questions to address include: Is the interface clean and simple? Are the features easily navigable? Is the product inclusive, catering to all users regardless of their tech-savviness or accessibility needs?

Technology, feasibility — technological capabilities: Feasibility assesses whether the product can actually be built with the available technology and within the existing constraints, regarding each organization. It considers the technical resources at hand and whether the current technological environment can support the development of the product. This dimension requires close collaboration between the engineering leads and product managers to ensure realistic planning and execution.

We could apply a fourth one, the competitiveness - advantage from the competition. Moving beyond Marty Cagan's concept of viability, focusing on competitiveness or core competencies can provide a more direct lens through which to view potential success. This dimension involves analyzing whether the organization has the necessary resources, knowledge, and key processes to not only build the product but to do so in a way that distinctly sets it apart from competitors. Some uestions to address include: Does the organization possess unique skills or technologies? How does our team's expertise or the state-of-the-art in our industry position us against our competitors?

Balancing these dimensions during the conceptualization phase is essential for the successful development of digital products. This holistic approach enables product teams to innovate responsibly and create solutions that are not only viable in the current market but poised for future success.

The next product thing

At belowtion, we've developing products for customers for years using Notion at different stages of the product life cycle, but patched. Now it all sticks together our future launch previewed for Q3 2024: Product OS 3.0. Stay tuned.

Would you like more? Sign-up for this mini-email-course to learn the basics of Product Management and get noticed of pre-launch exclusive news, even collaborating in the template building.

Where is the product management software going?

As we discussed in previous blog issues — read more at this issue, the product management software industry is on an upward trajectory, expected to hit $41.58 billion by 2030. This expansion is reshaping the landscape, making tools like Notion indispensable for product managers with evolving demands in more complex products.

Complex product building requires from shaped frameworks that applies at every stage of the product life cycle. As we like to think at belowtion, software development is a knowledge activity — and just like Notion says, software should be fun too.

But when it comes to product-to-use in the product scene, the market is tight. Depending on needs, available resources, and current legacy, organizations have to decide in which software they invest their product capabilites — just like Figma does for design.

Below, there is a quick research we’ve made with ChatGPT to evaluate product management softwares by researching and refining with questions. The rank is very competed as the table shows:

Why this happens?

Well, in our opinion, building digital products is a growing trend thing that catches for the mix of abilities that co-exist in product projects: designers, engineers, business analysts, marketers, etc. Actually, we are probably more software-led than product-led and —even product managers are questioned as the Airbnb product management shift shows— we are curious to see how the role of product managers evolve within the AI era.

Product managers then needs flexible but structured tools that allow them to both diverge and converge keeping all the work and knowledge centralized in one place, in all stages of the product management cycle, including those previous to the software development.

Along with the double diamond framework, explained in this article, there are other frameworks that help us understand better the process behind building products based in software.

Look at one of our favourites, the cone of uncertainty from AACE International: describes the evolution of the amount of best case uncertainty during a project. At the beginning of a project, comparatively little is known about the product or work results, and so estimates are subject to large uncertainty. As more research and development is done, more information is learned about the project, and the uncertainty then tends to decrease, reaching 0% when all residual risk has been terminated or transferred. This usually happens by the end of the project i.e. by transferring the responsibilities to a separate maintenance group.

We like to visualize it with the following figure:

However, there are more modern approaches to building digital products just like the guys from Silicon Valley does —regarding the SVPG— and specially INSPIRED by Marty Cagan describing the anatomy of a product as follows — below figure is an adaptation from the original source:

These dimensions include value, usability, feasibility, and a fourth dimension that Marty Cagan in "Inspired" refers to as 'viability'. However, another perspective could be focused on 'competitiveness' or 'core competencies' in our opinion.

Product dimensions during the conceptualization or explore research

Business, value — customer's willingness to pay: A foundational question in product development is whether customers are willing to pay for the new product or service. This aspect of value is not just about pricing but understanding the perceived worth of the product to the customer. It requires thorough market research to validate that the problem your product solves is significant enough that customers would invest in your solution and the economics are promising.

Design, usability — simplicity and accessibility: Usability ensures that once the customer decides to pay for your product, their experience is intuitive, straightforward, and accessible. This involves design thinking principles where the user's experience is central to the product development process. Key questions to address include: Is the interface clean and simple? Are the features easily navigable? Is the product inclusive, catering to all users regardless of their tech-savviness or accessibility needs?

Technology, feasibility — technological capabilities: Feasibility assesses whether the product can actually be built with the available technology and within the existing constraints, regarding each organization. It considers the technical resources at hand and whether the current technological environment can support the development of the product. This dimension requires close collaboration between the engineering leads and product managers to ensure realistic planning and execution.

We could apply a fourth one, the competitiveness - advantage from the competition. Moving beyond Marty Cagan's concept of viability, focusing on competitiveness or core competencies can provide a more direct lens through which to view potential success. This dimension involves analyzing whether the organization has the necessary resources, knowledge, and key processes to not only build the product but to do so in a way that distinctly sets it apart from competitors. Some uestions to address include: Does the organization possess unique skills or technologies? How does our team's expertise or the state-of-the-art in our industry position us against our competitors?

Balancing these dimensions during the conceptualization phase is essential for the successful development of digital products. This holistic approach enables product teams to innovate responsibly and create solutions that are not only viable in the current market but poised for future success.

The next product thing

At belowtion, we've developing products for customers for years using Notion at different stages of the product life cycle, but patched. Now it all sticks together our future launch previewed for Q3 2024: Product OS 3.0. Stay tuned.

Would you like more? Sign-up for this mini-email-course to learn the basics of Product Management and get noticed of pre-launch exclusive news, even collaborating in the template building.

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Thoughts on product management software

Complex product building requires from shaped frameworks that applies at every stage of the product life cycle. As we like to think at belowtion, software development is a knowledge activity — and just like Notion says, software should be fun too.

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