Product Management 101

What is Product Management?

What is the product?

At a high-level a product is the “thing” that its users use. In traditional retail environment, what you buy is clearly a product, but so is the store where you bought it, the display case where you picked it up, the cash register that rang it up and the bag you took it home in.

What are KPIs?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) represent the metrics used to judge the success of a product. For example, an e-commerce website KPIs may include overall visitors, users adding items to shopping cart, and purchases.

One of FIO’s key KPIs is Monthly Active FIO Address (MAA), which is a FIO Address which had some activity (address, mapping, FIO Request, etc.) in a 30-day period.

What are business and technical constraints?

Constraints impact the ability to develop a perfect product. They may be business related such as available budget, or technical, such as that the FIO Chain is a decentralized blockchain not controlled by the Foundation.

The last one is very important, as most centralized organizations typically have full control of their product and can change any aspect of it at any time. FIO must work together with the block producers to seek consensus on any new change.

Who is a Product Owner?

A Product Owner, sometimes referred to as a Product Manager, is a single person who is tasked with ensuring their product delivers set KPIs given the business and technical constraints. They work closely with all stakeholders, understand their needs, and ensures they are included in the product when feasible.

A Product Owner is ultimately accountable for set KPIs and therefore the “buck stops with them”. They are the final authority when making decisions regarding their products. However, they are rarely successful without establishing consensus among the stakeholders.

Good Product Owners use their intuition and past experience to make product decisions. Great Product Owners rely on data, such as analytics, market data, and usability testing.

What Product Management is not?

Not Project Management

Although there might be some overlap, Project Managers are typically tasked with executing an established strategy and focus on coordinating resources. Product Manager’s primary focus is setting the strategy that best delivers on the KPIs. In small organizations often lack professional project management organizations and Product Managers are know to take on that role as well.

Learn more about Product Management

Introduction to the Product Management Process

The First Principles of Product Management

What is a Product Manager?

What is product management? A PM 101 primer (Video)

20 Years of Product Management in 25 Minutes (Video)

The Only Product Metric that Matters (Video)