About one year ago, we initiated research on the challenges of product management. By observing the work David Fradin and I do as product managers, and conducting multiple interviews and surveys, we identified the areas of challenges are: Process, Tools, Data, Collaboration, Communication, Visibility and Authority.

     The challenges are very clear and we have decided to help our fellow product managers and product marketing managers to be much more productive by building a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution to the challenges.

Addteq would like to introduce “Productize,” an Atlassian JIRA add-on.

     Productize is a unique solution which was developed specifically to provide an integrated, one stop place, to manage an entire product management lifecycle.

     No other capability like this existed, until now.   It is designed to fix the challenges of Process, Tools, Data, Collaboration, Communication, Visibility and Authority that Product Managers and Product Marketing Managers face everyday.

The Research

     Recently, many other companies have tried to perform the same research. The information received from this research proved that the need for process maturity is increasing.  This is not surprising since businesses have known for decades that the keys to product success are:

  • Good goal definition

  • Alignment of actions to goals: Process

  • Good team participation: Collaboration

  • Good Monitoring of results: Visibility

  • Good Communication: Communications

  • Good Access to Information: Visibility

     Product Management consulting companies like Spice Catalyst, 280 Group, Pragmatic Marketing, BrainMates, PDMA, BlackBlot, PivotalPM, SiriusDecision, and Adaptive Marketing have all published product lifecycle process frameworks, toolkits and templates.

Put them all together and you see what is depicted below.

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     However, these frameworks are just pieces of paper and is not a software that can actually perform these functions. 

     These frameworks are the set of activities that Product Managers (PdM) and Product Marketing Managers ( PMM ) need in order to perform and deliver. The science form, which is easy to measure states that every activity will have an outcome i.e., artefact which is a template used by Product Management consulting companies. The art form to that is that it needs different skills to consolidate the information in the form of artefact. The consultant’s contribution to art form is much higher.

     Eventually what consultants deliver becomes a guideline and it creates an opportunity for audit. That is the only way to enforce the adherence. The big question is: what is the adoption of framework plus tool kits after the consulting engagement? I have tried reaching some of these companies and no one answered me.  My hypothesis is that there is definitely a bigger scope to make the adoption easy for long term. In the era of Web 2.0 / Cloud, why do Product Management teams still need to work with desktop based templates?

      For various initiatives, how can a VP or Director of product management set the expectations to a PdM and PMM on their deliverables. A well thought out strategy for the product and the market has to be planned and tracked . Mostly they achieve this during meetings, emails and some other collaboration platform. Every initiative is a project to a future business case. For many, the conceived notion of project management is applicable after the business case is approved. Hence, they will be reluctant to use readily available project management tools.

     If we segregate a product release into 3 parts, pre-development (PdM studying the market and identify the problem space to coming up with business case), development (PdM working with Engineering to come up solution ) and post-development (PMM working with Marketing and Sales to reach out to market), the consolidated view of what all activities being performed, visibility with live status, is missing. In the market, many available Product Management tools are too focussed on Product Roadmapping and then Requirements Management. While it should be the other way around. 

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After seeing these gaps, Addteq decided to come up with “Productize” add-on by closely working with David Fradin ( 45+ years with Product Management expertise ).

JIRA comes with good built-in features and a customizable, extendable platform. Collaboration, Communication and Visibility are inbuilt features. Many companies Engineering, Service, Sales and Marketing functions are already using this.  Even some Product Management functions are also using this, especially on Product Roadmap and Requirements Management space.

  • Customizable product lifecycle framework with status.  Use Spice Catalyst’s framework, your current framework or any other.  At activity level one task will be to add the artefact template (as a link or an attachment). This framework will enforce a comprehensive plan for Product Management function which can be consistent and repeatable.
  • Initiative is created by selecting one of the saved frameworks. While creating,the user can modify the activity set, assign and set the due date.
  • Dashboard gives clear visibility to everyone along with the progress bar. Management knows the status with ease. It provides a traversing mechanism  (Category -> Initiative -> Activity) at different levels. Team members can quickly see who is working on what and what they need to do next.
  • You do not need any external integrations when using JIRA for communication, issue tracking and collaboration.
  • Add Microsoft documents as attachments, any external link (Google docs or Survey) as weblinks to respective activities. These artefacts will become organizational assets and go to one place to find the right version needed to get the job done.

We are sure it will improve efficiency of complete product management function thereby enabling customer and business focused strategic directions beyond the tactical execution.

You can watch how it works below

Addteq invites Product Management consulting companies to integrate any of their frameworks and templates with Productize! Please feel free to contact us at m arketing@addteq.com for more information or if you may have any questions or concerns regarding integration.

If your company already has JIRA hosted, all you need to do is request the Productize add-on from the Atlassian Marketplace. In case, you don’t have JIRA, no need to worry, Addteq has a hosted SAAS offering for you. Visit www.codefactori.com to learn more!