Product Management Frameworks: What They Are and How They Impact Product Delivery

Product Management
November 18, 2022
5 mins read
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Product management is an umbrella term for a strategic function within an organization that is responsible for a product’s overall success. 

It guides a product from ideation to delivery.

To make product management a breeze, companies use something called a product management framework.

Product management frameworks are a set of steps followed by the product team to develop and maintain a desirable product with the minimum resources while staying true to the organizational goal.

Let’s take a look at why they are necessary and how they impact product delivery.

How product management frameworks impact product delivery

The right product management framework will deliver value to the following three:

  1. The product management team: It simplifies their work easier while boosting their morale and confidence.
  2. The customers: It delivers them value fast while making the process of getting value engaging.
  3. The company: Apart from higher revenue, it keeps the organization aligned with its mission, vision, and goals.

Below are four ways in which a product management framework impacts delivery:

1. Saves resources

The SaaS product management process has a lot of variables. The market demand, competitors’ features, and customers’ expectations are a few of them. A lot of variables mean a lot of possibilities and a lot of them are not optimal.

A product management framework helps you by removing a lot of those variables. You will gain clarity on the next steps which will save your resources: time, money, and effort. This will get the solution to the customers faster while making it affordable.

2. Identifies new opportunities

Many team members with different sets of skills work together while managing a product. There are multiple processes, workflows, and lots of data. Proper communication and complete transparency are necessary for the alignment of everyone’s efforts.

One of the primary purposes of a product management framework is to ensure that everyone has access to the same data and communicates on one platform. 

This level of collaboration can equip your team to find out new methods and opportunities to deliver a better product faster.

3. Minimizes the risk of product failure

A product fails when it doesn’t have enough business value. The underlying cause is that the product didn’t delight the users. It can happen for many reasons such as the lack of market research, targeting the wrong audience, and incorrect understanding of customer demands.

All of it can be prevented by a product management framework. They help you adopt a data-based approach to product management where every step in the development or iteration process is calculated.

4. Aligns product with organization’s vision

It can be quite easy to get steered away from the organization’s vision and goals while handling the daily operations of the product management process. A product management framework helps you stick to that process while retaining the collective focus on the organizational vision.

But which of the frameworks in product management is right for you?

Let’s find out.

The top 10 product management frameworks

Here are ten of the best product management frameworks for product-based companies with an accompanying illustration for better understanding. This will give you an idea about each of their unique characteristics so that you can make the right choice.

1. Value vs. Complexity

The value vs complexity framework gives product management teams an objective way to prioritize their actions like feature development or bug fixes. Each of those actions is scored on the basis of how much value they add to the product and its difficulty.

There are two scores: value and complexity which can have sub-components as per your needs. For instance, one sub-component for the value score can be the estimated impact a particular initiative could have on your market value

Although this works like a charm for small teams, its accuracy decreases due to personal bias when more members score the actions.

2. Benefit vs. Cost

Benefit vs cost is one of the most preferred weighted scoring frameworks for product management. There can be multiple scoring criteria under ‘benefits’ and ‘costs’. 

For instance, ‘increased customer satisfaction’ and ‘higher engagement’ can be classified under ‘benefits’ whereas ‘hours of dev work’ can be placed under ‘costs’. This puts a number in front of the product management team which makes it easier to build the roadmap further.

The following image shows how easy it is to implement:

(source)

3. The Kano Model

The Kano Model directs the efforts of product management toward customer satisfaction. Every initiative of the product team will be ranked on two factors: the potential to delight customers and implementation cost.

Based on your needs, you can segment the initiatives based on the level of potential satisfaction of your customers. For example, for a music app, the ability to download music would likely be more delightful for customers as compared to having a night mode theme.

Product managers can rely on data from surveys and market research to rank their initiatives toward product management.

After that, the high-delight and low-cost initiatives are completed first.

4. Opportunity Scoring

Contrary to the other frameworks, product management teams use the opportunity scoring model not to rank their new initiatives but to identify more improvement opportunities. The customers rank the important but hard-to-use features which direct the product teams to improve the product’s usability.

This framework can be challenging to implement if you have a wide user base as different segments prioritize different features. In that case, make sure to segment your customers based on their use case before asking them to score the features.

5. RICE Scoring

The RICE scoring framework helps teams to manage their product by ranking action items on the basis of four parameters: 

  1. Reach: How many customers will be affected in a given time frame?
  2. Impact: How will they be affected?
  3. Confidence: How certain are you that it will happen?
  4. Effort: How much investment is needed?

The combined score will help prioritize all the initiatives by weighing all of them with respect to their importance to the product’s vision and the organizational mission.

This framework for product management is widely adopted by SaaS companies due to its consistent scoring nature.

6. Story Mapping

A user story is an objective or the end goal that a feature achieves, explained from the user’s perspective.

The story mapping framework visualizes the importance of each user story with regard to the overall product experience for the user. First, the areas of improvement for the product are identified and then the stories are written beneath them, which are then prioritized.

7. MoSCoW Analysis

The MoSCoW product management framework helps explain the order of the initiatives easily to the stakeholders. It is an acronym for ‘must-have’, ‘should-have’, ‘could-have’, and ‘won’t have’ which represents the decreasing order of priority.

The MoSCoW model takes little time to implement and can be modified in certain ways to fit the requirements. For instance, you could include the value and complexity scores of each initiative to make it more quantitative.

8. Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

The DSDM framework examines the impact of the product from the perspective of the entire project lifecycle. It is a broader but iterative approach that ensures that every initiative delivers value to the business while addressing its strategic goals.

This framework simplifies product management by enabling developers to deliver the required functionalities rapidly while following the business goals of the organization.

9. eXtreme Programming (XP)

eXtreme Programming is an agile product management framework that helps the product team to deal with rapidly changing requirements. It has four broad steps: code the solution; test the product; listen to the customers; iterate based on customer feedback.

The teams continuously release updates to the product through rapid testing and validation. The process is illustrated below:

The feedback loops in XP are shown below:

10. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

The Scaled Agile Framework helps cross-functional teams in large enterprises implement the philosophies of the agile framework on three levels:

  1. Team: Adopting agile frameworks like Scrum and using tools like Kanban boards.
  2. Program: Meeting the changing requirements of DevOps, designers, and engineers.
  3. Portfolio: Ensuring alignment of the initiatives and processes with the organizational goals.

(source)

Summing up

Product management frameworks are crucial for the creation and upgradation of products that customers love while achieving the company’s mission. They help in:

  1. Saving time, money, and effort during various processes by removing variables and gaining clarity.
  2. Identifying new opportunities through clear communication within the team.
  3. Reducing the risk of product failure by validating each initiative with tangible data.
  4. Aligning the product with the organization’s vision and goals through seamless hierarchical communication.

It is also equally important to choose the right product management tool that allows you to use any of the ten management frameworks described above effectively. The tool should align all the processes in product management while being flexible to your requirements.

Zeda.io is a super app for product teams that can help you adopt any of the product management frameworks. You can carry out every process of the product management process through it by integrating it with your tech stack.

It only takes a few minutes to hit the ground running.

Start your free trial today.

FAQs

  1. What are product management frameworks?

Product management frameworks are sets of steps that help product teams build and manage products that delight their customers.

  1. What are the five stages of a product management framework?

Envision, speculate, explore, adapt, and close are the five stages of a typical product management framework.

  1. What are the 3 major areas of product management?

Discovery, planning, and development are the three major areas of product management.

  1. Which framework does product management use to deliver projects?

The choice of the framework depends on a variety of factors like current objectives, available resources, and team size.

Jacob Koshy
Product Marketer at Zeda.io
A marketer in love with SaaS products. When away from work, I'm either spending time with my cats or adding miles on my motorcycle.
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