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Frameworks for Product Success!

As product managers, we face a plethora of challenges on a daily basis filling in the white spaces between the users and the stakeholders. Some of the fire-fighting questions we face on a daily basis are :

  • How to balance between short-term and long-term goals?

  • How to make sure to keep all the stakeholders content while delivering tasks on time and within a stipulated planned budget?

  • How to establish a smooth company-wide process?

  • How to say no without causing a fracas?

  • How to prioritize a product roadmap?

And trust me this is a never-ending list and might get a tad overwhelming. The right product management framework will undoubtedly give you the knowledge and tools to help you build the right product and most importantly build it right.

A question might arise that for a product to be successful for a long period of time what factors should be considered: product-market fit, positive unit economics, and the ability to scale and grow.


Frameworks: Why do we need them?

Frameworks make problem-solving tractable. It sets the tone for thinking about a complex problem. It helps us to simplify processes in general not only in businesses but also in personal lives.

Without conceptual frameworks, the process of identifying and solving problems is difficult to scale, repeat, extend, and reuse. They can efficiently help us to understand how well a product is performing, how to build an effective organization, how to retain users, how to activate more users, how to obtain actionable insights, and how to communicate findings.


Building Frameworks

Frameworks are developed by breaking down problems. What it actually takes is to?

  • Create an effective and actionable product strategy

  • Build a reliable, predictable product creation process.

  • Find critical information exactly when you need it

  • Keeping teams in-sync and focused on the big picture.

  • Work more effectively and deliver on time

There are a lot of product management frameworks out there it can get intimidating to choose one. Here is a list of our top picks that can be useful for Growth, Marketing, and UI/UX Product Managers:

  1. AARM Method by Lewis C. Lin

  2. 5 Why's

  3. Prioritization

  4. 4P's of Marketing Mix

  5. Google's HEART


AARM Method by Lewis C. Lin

It is very important for product managers to define success metrics for any product and it's features. This is an analytical framework and it can be used to evaluate a product idea, develop a strategy, guide the success of its launch, and understand how customers move through the different stages of a customer purchase funnel. The framework is generally applied to software, application, or service-oriented products.

This four-letter acronym refers to acquisition, activation, retention, and monetization:



  • Acquisition: This stage covers everything from the inception of the product to the point until the user is acquired. Questions that might crop up are :

What problem is being solved for the customer? What value is being delivered to the customer? How will customers find and discover the product? What marketing and promotional channels will be used to make customers away from the product and communicate its value? How does a customer acquire the product? What actions do they complete to be considered "acquired"?

  • Activation: It's an important part of the customer's journey so breaking it out separately can be prudent. Analyzing what it takes to get a user from the point of acquisition to becoming a more complete customer profile will help lead to greater monetization.

What additional value does the customer gain by providing more information about themselves?

  • Retention: Acquiring a customer isn't enough. Once they purchase, download, or subscribe it's important that the product delivers value so that the customer sticks around. There are various ways to measure retention by focusing on points of engagement.

Do customers return to the product or service? What percentage of customers are returning customers and how frequently do they return? Daily actives? Weekly actives? Monthly actives? Which features of the product or service are used most often?

  • Monetization: Our ultimate goal is monetization.

How will the product or service be monetized? Which features will be monetized? How many customers are paying for the product or a specific feature set? Is it a one-time payment or subscription? Why will they pay for it?


5 Why's

To state it simply you go through an iterative process of asking questions in the manner of why to troubleshoot and get to the root cause of a problem. The framework is a loose guideline and doesn’t specify what exact questions to ask at each step.

You will need to customize the framework for the problem that you are working for but the general guideline of asking why repeatedly works great to get a drill-down analysis in place.

Let’s say in your new job as a PM, you encounter the following issue.


Issue: Server crashed again

1. Why?

Maybe because we pushed a new API to the server recently

2. Why?

Because we launched a new feature, it probably didn’t use the API correctly

3. Why?

We have a new engineer who doesn’t know how to use that API

4. Why?

Because we never trained him to use it

5. Why?

Because the manager wanted to get him on production asap with minimal training and was only given a few days to get familiar with the existing codebase.

I hope this clears out most of the ambiguity and makes the PM's ready to tackle a much tougher and bigger issue at hand.


Prioritization

Prioritization is absolutely essential for product teams and product development. Choosing the right high priority can feel daunting. But for a successful launch, it has to be done.




Once you decide the list of features on which you plan to work, but wondering which one to pick or test first, below prioritization frameworks help you in that:

  • Impact vs Effort

  • Weighted scoring

  • Kano Model

To know in detail about each model and how they help build amazing products we will come up with a comparative analysis soon. Be on the lookout for it!!


4P's of Marketing Mix

4 P’s framework help product manager & marketers in putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time. it is a model for enhancing the components of your "marketing mix" – the way in which you take a new product or service to market. It helps you to define your marketing options in terms of price, product, promotion, and place so that your offering meets a specific customer need or demand.

  • Product

  • Pricing

  • Promotion

  • Place

All in all, you just need to create a product that a particular group of people want, put it on sale at someplace that those same people visit regularly, and price it at a level that matches the value they feel they get out of it; and do all that at a time they want to buy. Then you've got it made!

As the four Ps all need to be considered in relation to one another, it doesn't really matter in what order you define them. This is why you may find them quoted in a different order from the one used above.


HEART

Need help prioritizing the many features and other initiatives competing for space on your product roadmap? One way to make better product decisions is to borrow a framework developed by Google. Google originally created the HEART framework to help its UX teams improve users’ experience with Google products.


But product managers can use it to make sound product decisions.

Google's HEART framework evaluates a product or feature idea according to five user-centric categories.




These categories include:

  • Happiness

  • Engagement

  • Adoption

  • Retention

  • Task success

Leading a product team is uniquely complex. But knowing some of the top product management frameworks can help you overcome potential bumps in your product journey.

It’s important to keep in mind that no framework can in and of itself give you guarantees that you’re focusing on the right initiatives. You’ll need to supplement the information you derive from these frameworks and consolidate the results with data from other sources, your own market research, and of course common sense.


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