By Rivi Aspler
Getting a new product manager on board, I realized recently that there are so many tasks to handle that one can easily get lost.
On one hand, this is exactly what I like about this profession; the requirement to always remember the high level product strategy while having to, on a daily basis, stay on top of each and every one of multiple and versatile tasks. On the other hand, that’s as hard as being able to draw an entire wood as if you were flying 10,000 feet above sea level while still intimately knowing and caring for each and every tree in that tangled forest.
The below flowchart is something that I use very often when training new product managers into their role. One can easily fine tune the tasks (represented by the blue rectangles) or the timeline (yellow rectangles) but the overall flow, I think is generic enough.
Looking at the above chart, one can trace the following guidelines:
- The market related tasks (competition analysis, conversations with customers and prospects and market trends analysis) drive the product roadmap.
- The product manager translates the MRD into a product backlog (the big stones).
- The product backlog is then broken down into a few Release backlogs (we maintain 4 release backlogs per year) which in their turn are broken down into Sprint Backlogs (N sprints/year).
- It’s a never-ending story …. As feedback comes in from the field and R&D brings up new constraints every day, the product manager should update the release and the sprint backlogs on an ongoing basis.
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