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Product Life Cycle Basics

Visualize the fundamental product life cycle as a curve, starting from zero at initial development and rising from market introduction through growth before leveling off at maturity, then eventually reaching zero again at decline and termination. Each stage of the product life cycle interacts with and is impacted by customer wants and needs, supply chain logistics and both competitive action and price pressure.

Product Life Cycle Key Terms

The product life cycle model follows a course of birth, growth and maturity and death. Direct the course of your company’s products by anticipating their position on the curve by taking a comprehensive approach to marshalling internal resources from research and engineering to sales and marketing, as well as monitoring market forces such as globalization with multi-country outsourcing and Internet connectivity.

Product Life Cycle Education and Training

If your profits are starting to decline, maybe you should re-think your company's product life cycle model. From product design to product launch, there may be real opportunities to enhance your strategies and increase your market share.

Product management - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Product management is an organizational lifecycle function within a company dealing with the planning, forecasting, and production, or marketing of a product or ...

Product Managers: Who Are These 'Mini-CEOs' And What Do They ...

Oct 12, 2013 ... Earlier this week, we had a chance to sit in on an event that brought together hundreds of product managers in the technology space under the ...

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Product Management | UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education

Kimberly Sauceda, Product Manager, Plantronics. Our five-day Product Management Program will help you create products that your customers will love. For the ...

Why Product Management is Everything | Inc.com

Feb 28, 2013 ... Many companies think they're doing product management, but they're not. Here's what it looks like, and why you need it.

Strategic Role of Product Management by Pragmatic Marketing

The Strategic Role of Product Management: How a market-driven focus leads companies to build products people want to buy.

Product Management | Business Course | General Assembly

In this 10-week course, students will learn to navigate the product cycle, from evaluating users and managing a roadmap to creating an MVP and developing ...

Product Management - Quora

Product management is an important organizational role typically in a technology company. The product manager is often considered the CEO of the product ...

Why Companies Need Full-Time Product Managers (And What They ...

Sep 17, 2014 ... What is a product manager? What do product managers do all day? Most importantly, why do companies need to hire them? Good questions.

Product Management Basics Archives - MindTheProduct

Jul 23, 2014 ... I wanted to note down my experience of the product management role as after speaking to a few startup founders I've heard a lot of differing ...

Business Guide To Product Management


Product management is the management of the production and marketing of a product. A product manager will ensure that the product is brought to the market and is marketed correctly. Product management includes development, manufacturing, advertising, and anything else that happens during the life cycle of the product.

There are many benefits of product management. For example, project management ensures that a product goes from the planning stages to the customer with as little cost and as little time as possible. When a product is managed effectively, there is less room for costly error and loss. There are also pitfalls to avoid and costs that come with product management.

Benefits

Positive Aspects of Product Management

The Product Management Association has grown steadily since 1999, rising from 43,000 members to over 500,000 members in 2009, according to the United States Product Management Institute. This shows that there is a rise in people entering this profession. Product managers have the important task of overseeing the life cycle of a particular function within a company, including the planning, forecasting, and marketing of projects, products, and services.

Who Benefits from Product Management

Product management benefits both businesses and customers. Its objective is to oversee any existing projects or products and to develop them continuously to provide the highest value possible for the customer. Businesses benefit because this allows them to establish themselves as a powerhouse within a particular industry, and customers benefit because managers use their input to make improvements that will benefit and satisfy them.

What Businesses Use Product Management

Any business that uses special tactics and strategies to develop and market products and services can benefit from a product management. Project managers oversee every aspect of producing and releasing a product, including determining release dates, tracking sales, promoting products and services, and evaluating the products of the competition.

Because product managers must always be present to oversee these tasks, outsourcing can be a challenge. While strategic planning duties would be difficult to outsource, marketing and promotional tasks can be completed by outside organizations.

Creating a Product Management Team

Strong product management teams are crucial, since the lead product manager cannot act alone. The manager, however, must oversee every aspect of the product's life cycle, so he or she must be heavily involved in the entire process. Product managers have a crucial role to play,  since the failure or success of a project relies on them. For this reason, choosing a strong team is essential to the product’s success.

Pitfalls

Product development helps to define the right product for customers’ needs. One pitfall occurs when a company uses marketing and sales to develop a new product. Customers seldom know exactly what they need because they have the inability to think ahead to future technology. The product manager must look at the demographics and learn to define what the customer needs. Then, he or she needs to use that information to create a new product.

Features versus Function

It is easy for product management to get absorbed in the features of a product instead of the benefits it provides. Product management should be able to describe at least one benefit of the product quickly for the item to useable and saleable. Too many features can increase the cost so much that it is too expensive to justify the benefits involved.

Confusing Yourself with Your Customer

Many companies confuse what the customer needs with what management thinks they need. A developer will know the product and how it works. The actual customer may have a hard time operating the product or find the functions to be confusing and difficult to manage. Product management should research the target market and know what the customer is capable of. Testing should be done on the prototype to ensure the product will be marketable.

 

Improving Products

Products are often developed with a long list of features that do not create enthusiasm. Too often, product management will improve a product by adding more features that have no true value. Product testing is often done without paying attention to the initial response of the product or idea. Adding features without changing product design will seldom create a usable product that creates value. In fact, this only makes the product more difficult to operate and hence more frustrating, so the user gives up and abandons the product for a competitor’s product.

Pricing

Product Management Costs

Hiring a product manager can make your business run smoothly. Depending on the experience of the person you hire, the salary you pay can vary. With less than a year of experience, product managers earn anywhere from $42,000 to $74,000. This is in comparison to $70,000 to $106,000 for a manager with 20 or more years of experience. You may end up paying anywhere between $40,000 to $100,000 or more for the manager you choose.

Saving Money

Product managers can help you stop wasting money on legacy items. It is estimated that 80 percent of an R&D budget is spent maintaining legacy products. Product managers can help you de-invest in these products and maintain or reduce operation costs.

Conclusion

Although hiring a product manager does come at a cost, you can offset this cost by adding value to your product and saving money in the long run. If your project manager adds enough value to the product that it leads to an increase in sales or streamlined production that saves money, then the cost of hiring him or her pays for itself. There are also pitfalls to consider, such as adding features without adding value, adding so many features that it significantly increases the cost for the company and the consumer, and adding features that aren’t functional or practical for the average user.

 

 

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