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StrategyDec 03, 2019

Three Steps to Prioritize Your Product Growth Initiatives

Jared Pelley

As customers expect more from products and services and internal stakeholders demand returns from product teams, it’s critical to effectively leverage your resources to maximize the value of your product or service. And while oversight of one product can feel challenging enough, what about when your organization grows and you find yourself managing a portfolio of products? Leaders must juggle multiple products, ensure the appropriate level of investment is given to the right products, and fill the pipeline with new product and feature ideas.

We’re asking product managers to be really good at a lot of different things and answer a lot of different questions:

  • Can you manage an idea through the entire growth life cycle and keep track of where all the products are?

  • Can you explain why we’re seeing slower growth than expected for some products?

  • Can you do more than repeat past successes, but adapt to an ever-changing landscape?

These responsibilities are varied and challenging. But it is truly critical for product managers to find the answers to these questions, and even more important to align with your stakeholders and your teams about what makes them the right answers.

credera’s product management strategy

At Credera, we think of product management as both the customer’s voice to the company and the company’s voice to the customer. This approach facilitates holistic discussions that drive alignment on the areas that require the most focus.

From our work with a variety of clients, we’ve found that this three-step process helps organizations simplify their product management portfolio and strategize next steps. We help companies add structure to brainstorming, ask the right questions, and achieve alignment on where to focus resources to maximize returns. Here’s how it works:

1. Assess: Score Card Exercise

Whether you’re a part of a startup or an established enterprise, the first step to alignment is an honest assessment of where every product in your portfolio sits today.

In this step, look holistically at your company, products, customers, and markets. The outcome? You get an end-to-end, current state view of your product management capabilities and can clearly see strengths to build on and weaknesses to improve.

2. Prioritize: 2×2 Matrix

The next step is to make a list of the potential projects you could pursue based on your assessment score card from step one. With that list, we work with product managers and their teams to map out the projects on an “Impact” and “Effort” quadrant. The outcome? You know your “quick wins” and strategic projects that may be candidates for a design sprint or other follow up. You also know where not to focus your resources.

3. Activate: Dot Vote

Now comes the fun part. In this last step you and your team each get a handful of dot stickers. Everyone votes by placing their dots next to projects on the 2×2 matrix they believe will have the greatest impact based on the scorecard and project mapping exercise. We discuss the reasons behind people’s votes and prioritize projects by the relative number of dots each received.

We end by organizing next steps and prioritized projects onto an actionable, timebound roadmap. The result? Your team leaves with three to five key activities, new features, new channels, or operational improvement projects to implement that can take your product or service to the next level.

next steps

Whether you need help determining the best next steps or are struggling to even know where you currently are in the product life cycle, Credera would love to be part of your product management journey. A third party can provide the structure, perspective, and guidance to take the product management process to the next level. Feel free to contact us at findoutmore@credera.com to learn how we can work together to accomplish your goals.