Product Management Glossary
A list of common product management terms and definitions.
Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches. Instead of betting everything on a “big bang” launch, an agile team delivers work in small, but consumable, increments. Requirements, plans, and results are evaluated continuously so teams have a natural mechanism for responding to change quickly.
Agile Definition of Done
The definition of done (DoD) is when all conditions, or acceptance criteria, that a software product must satisfy are met and ready to be accepted by a user, customer, team, or consuming system. We must meet the definition of done to ensure quality. It lowers rework, by preventing user stories that don’t meet the definition from being promoted to higher level environments. It will prevent features that don’t meet the definition from being delivered to the customer or user.
A product backlog is a list of the new features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes or other activities that a team may deliver in order to achieve a specific outcome.
“Churn” refers to the number of customers or subscribers who stop using your service during a given time period. A high churn rate can negatively impact Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and can also indicate dissatisfaction with a product.
Competitive analysis means identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your own product or service.
Customer experience is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the product. It results in their view of your brand and impacts factors related to your bottom line including revenue.
Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving. Design Thinking is described as a human-centered approach to innovation to help make decisions on what customers really want.
Dual-track agile is an agile methodology that contains two separate tracks. There’s the “Discovery” track, and the “Delivery” track. Dual-track agile enables product teams to work on research and product development in parallel.
Epics are a helpful way to organize your work and to create a hierarchy. The idea is to break work down into shippable pieces so that large projects can actually get done and you can continue to ship value to your customers on a regular basis. Epics help teams break their work down, while continuing to work towards a bigger goal.
A kickoff of a product feature is a meeting in which a product manager and related stakeholders set plans, priorities, and obligations for the work of the team on a new feature. It also sends the team a significant signal: the organization has given priority to building this function and is ready to start immediately.
A feature is an aspect of your product that aims to solve a problem.
It could be an idea (as a potential solution to a problem) or as an initiative (as a larger project to develop a feature in order to solve a specific problem.)
Feedback portal lets you create and embed a branded and customized portal to collect feedback from your users with ease.
The Kano Model (pronounced “Kah-no”) is an approach to prioritizing features on a product roadmap based on the degree to which they are likely to satisfy customers. Product teams can weigh a high-satisfaction feature against its costs to determine whether or not adding it to the roadmap is a strategically sound decision.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
Lifetime Value (LTV)
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
User personas are a fictional representation of your users that help your teams understand who they’re building for. A good user persona is realistic, easy to visualize, and tied into your day-to-day decisions and processes. Personas should also be living documents that get updated as the needs and challenges of your users change.
Product Development Process
The product development process is the entire process for taking a new product from an idea to market. There are several different models or frameworks you can adopt in your organization to effectively and efficiently build new products.
Product Life Cycle
The product life cycle model breaks down the various stages of a product’s evolution, from its debut to its retirement. Each phase comes with its own characteristics, demands, and challenges. All products travel through various stages during their existence, and the product life cycle breaks these down into specific phases with distinct characteristics.
A product vision, or product vision statement, describes the overarching long-term mission of your product. Vision statements are aspirational and communicate concisely where the product hopes to go and what it hopes to achieve in the long term.
Product Operations (Product Ops)
Whether it’s a single person or an entire team, the goal of Product Ops is to streamline and improve the product team’s work so there is a more consistent approach to managing tools and processes and the various facets of what it takes to run a successful product team.
Product Prioritization Frameworks
Product Requirements Document
Top-Down Product Strategy
User Experience refers to the feeling users experience when using a product, application, system, or service. It is a broad term that can cover anything from how well the user can navigate the product, how easy it is to use, how relevant the content displayed is etc.
A user flow is a chart or diagram showing the path a user will take in an application to complete a task. Product teams build user flows to intuitive design products, present the correct information to users at the right time, and allow users to complete desired tasks in as few steps as possible.
Unique Selling Proposition
Voice of Customer (VoC)
Voice of customer, or VoC, refers broadly to the various processes by which organizations gather feedback from their customers. It can also refer to the feedback itself in the form of customer needs, requests, and pain points.
Waterfall is a long-term product development method characterized by linear sequential phases for planning, building, and delivering new features or products. Requirements are meticulously defined upfront and implemented sequentially in the following phases: conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, production/implementation, and maintenance.
Alpha testing is the first end-to-end testing of a product to ensure it meets the business requirements and functions correctly. It is typically performed by internal employees and conducted in a lab/stage environment. An alpha test ensures the product really works and does everything it’s supposed to do.
A buyer persona is made up of the characteristics of a large group of people who have a say in the purchase process. This might involve a number of decision-makers and influencers within the company who aren’t even utilizing the product. As a result, it makes sense for product teams creating B2B solutions to create both a buyer and a user persona.
The Customer Acquisition Cost
The Customer Acquisition Cost, or CAC, is a metric that determines how much a company pays to acquire new customers. The overall cost of sales and marketing efforts, as well as property or equipment, required to persuade a client to acquire a product or service is known as CAC.
In the context of software, documentation refers to information that is either incorporated in code or published separately and defines what the code is, how it works, and other pertinent details.
Lean Software Development
Lean Software Development (LSD) is an agile methodology that focuses on reducing development time and resources, eliminating waste, and providing just the features that the product requires. The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) strategy is a Lean method in which a team exposes a bare-minimum version of its product to the market and learns from customers what they like, don’t like, and want.
Needfinding is the process of discovering a market demand for a solution in product management. The product roadmap will be developed when the product team has identified this requirement and verified it with potential consumers. Needfinding necessitates product teams interacting with consumers and observing them in their daily activities.
The planned and organized effort of a company to introduce a new product to the market and make it widely available for purchase. A product launch serves a variety of goals for a company, one of which is to provide customers the opportunity to purchase a new product. It also aids in the development of product anticipation, the gathering of important feedback from early consumers, and the creation of momentum.
The process through which development teams clean up a codebase or modify the underlying structure of a piece of software to enhance it is known as refactoring. Refactoring is designed to have no visible influence on the user, but it can make it easier for development teams to keep working on the code and add new features in the future.
Scope creep occurs when a team’s initial plan—the scope of work it committed to complete—slowly expands to incorporate additional goals, tasks, or criteria. Teams should constantly be aware of the dangers of scope creep and be on the lookout for it.