Adaptive Marketing has made an interesting analysis for product managers and product marketers in their pie diagram here. The diagram indicates that Product Management encompasses the following components:
- Market Analysis (choosing to build)
- Strategic Planning
- Product Planning (Building it Right)
While Product Marketing comprises of the following components:
- Go To Market (Marketing Effectively)
- Selling It Right (Sales Enablement)
Each of these components contains several tasks. For example, the Strategic Planning component has the following tasks within it:
- Target Market Sizing
- Product Strategy
- Buy, Build, Partner
- Pricing and Packaging
- Business Model and Plan
This is an instructive diagram, that explains a lot about what comprises strategic planning. However here are a few points to note:
Sequence of Tasks
The diagram is fairly confusing about when each component is activated and when to handle tasks within the component. If the diagram is read as a wheel, then one should either start with Market Analysis or Product Planning. Also, while the market analysis is normally done by the product marketing manager (in most cases), it does not make sense at all to handle without Strategic Analysis first. Same way, it would be a folly to start product planning without Strategic Analysis.
Relevance of Tasks
Within the product management organization, there are several levels of employees. A simple unit could have a Product head running a team of product managers, and managing a portfolio. The diagram does not indicate portfolio management within strategic planning, but it does indicate product roadmap within product planning.
In my opinion, product planning is the list of tasks that ensure that R&D teams have enough information to confidently build the product. In today’s world, if you build long roadmaps (12 months or more) and justify them to external teams, then this is a infrequent task under strategic analysis. If you work in the internet world where releases happen every week, the product roadmap is mostly a wishlist and is hardly something to work on in product planning.
The strategic planning component contains tasks called product strategy and business plan and model. In my opinion, the business plan should be the start of any product strategy, as without a business plan, you will never get the funding (if you approach a VC or angel investor) or senior management approval (if you are in a large organization). Consequently, product strategy definition is a part of the business plan. Similarly, Buy, Build or Partner will also be a part of the same plan.
Component of Market Analysis
Unlike the theory in classroom, market analysis is fraught with danger at every step. For example, if the analysis indicates that the product release does not meet customer requirements, and you mention it to senior management, it is likely that the product will be killed. Same way if analysis indicates quality issues, then there will be customer crises happening very frequently, distracting the product team from working on new releases. So rigorous quantitative analysis, whether for a new product or for a release deployed with customers, is often ignored.
This is a very good diagram that is particularly useful for explaning traditional enterprise IT software product management. However, it lacks significantly when used to analyze the range of tasks within the “productizing process” for Offshore Enterprise IT Product Management and Indian Market Consumer Product Management. Hence you should definitely see more resources to understand PM activities in details.