Product Management Glossary

A list of common product management terms and definitions.

Agile

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.

Backlog

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

“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

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

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

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

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.

Epic

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.

Feature Kickoff

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.

Features

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

Feedback portal lets you create and embed a branded and customized portal to collect feedback from your users with ease.

Go-to-Market Strategy

A go-to-market strategy is a tactical plan detailing how a company plans to execute a successful product release and promotion, and ultimately its sale to customers. Common elements of a product’s go-to-market strategy include:

Kanban Board

A Kanban board is a tool for visually arranging and tracking a team’s workflow. Project management commonly uses this method. Kanban boards consist of columns representing various stages of progress, such as “not started” or “in review.” Under these columns, the team adds cards describing discrete tasks and moves these cards to their appropriate columns so everyone has a clear view of the team’s progress.

Kano Model

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)

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are quantitative metrics that organizations use to track and analyze performance or progress toward business objectives.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

Lifetime value (LTV) estimates how much revenue a customer represents a business over the life of that relationship. Also called customer lifetime value (CLV, or CLTV), this is a critical metric for a company trying to gauge the cost efficiency of acquiring new customers and supporting them over time.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

A core component of the lean philosophy is the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Using MVPs correctly will help you focus on what matters the most while saving you valuable time and effort during product development.

MoSCoW Prioritization

MoSCoW prioritization, also known as the MoSCoW method or MoSCoW analysis, is a popular prioritization technique for managing requirements. The method is commonly used to help key stakeholders understand the significance of initiatives in a specific release.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A net promoter score is a method of using a single survey question to gauge customer satisfaction with a product. Businesses can send out this question— “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend [our product or company]?”—at various stages of the customer’s journey.

Persona

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.

Prioritization

Prioritization is the process by which a set of items are ranked in order of importance. In product management, initiatives that live in the backlog must be prioritized as a means of deciding what should be developed next. There are a number of prioritization methods commonly used by product managers

Product Backlog

In agile development, a product backlog is a list of all things — new features, bug fixes, improvements, changes to existing features, and other product initiatives — that product teams must prioritize and deliver in order for a product to strategically come to life.

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 Differentiation

Product differentiation is what sets your product apart from your competitors’ products. The product differentiation process involves discovering the characteristics of your product that your customers value and are unique to you.

Product-Led Growth

Product-led growth is a go-to-market strategy that relies on product usage as the primary driver of acquisition, conversion, and expansion. We dive into the benefits of a product-led growth model and key metrics of success.

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. 

Product-Market Fit

Product-market fit describes a scenario in which a company’s target customers are buying, using, and telling others about the company’s product in numbers large enough to sustain that product’s growth and profitability.

Product Vision

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

Ask a few people that question, and their specific answers will vary, but they’ll all probably describe it as a physical item you find in a store or order through Amazon. In reality, the term product refers to a much broader range of goods and services.

Product Manager

The role of Product Manager (PM) is a vital and pivotal position within many companies, and it’s often not well defined. While the responsibilities of PMs vary quite a bit across industries and businesses, all PMs drive the development of products and are ultimately responsible for those products’ success.

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

Prioritization in product management is the disciplined process of evaluating the relative importance of work, ideas, and requests to eliminate wasteful practices and deliver customer value in the quickest possible way, given a variety of constraints. Here are frameworks to leverage.

Product Requirements Document

A product requirements document (PRD) is an artifact that product teams use to describe the solution they are providing in order to solve a specific problem.

Release Notes

A release note refers to the technical documentation produced and distributed alongside the launch of a new software product or a product update (e.g., recent changes, feature enhancements, or bug fixes). It very briefly describes a new product or succinctly details specific changes included in a product update.

RICE Framework

The RICE scoring model is a prioritization framework designed to help product managers determine which products, features, and other initiatives to put on their roadmaps by scoring these items according to four factors. These factors, which form the acronym RICE, are reach, impact, confidence, and effort.

Roadmap

A roadmap is a high-level strategic document that is created and maintained to communicate the strategic vision and objectives of a product. Roadmaps are used by managers in a number of fields, such as product, IT, and marketing.

Scrum Master

Scrum Master is a role defined in the Scrum framework that is responsible for helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values. If you’re filling the role of Scrum Master, here is the meaning and your responsibilities.

Sprint

In agile methodology, a sprint is a period (e.g., 14 days) in which an agreed-upon set of development tasks takes place. The agile methodology embraces short, frequent bursts of development, and iterative product releases. In contrast to more traditional product development where larger chunks of functionality are built at a time, release cycles may be months-long and don’t ship until everything is completed.

Stakeholder

Stakeholders are individuals (or groups) that can either impact the success and execution or are impacted by a product. The first “upstream” category includes everyone who must contribute to or approve the activities required to design, build, and bring the product to market. The second “downstream” batch consists of both those who purchase or use the product and those who must support, sell, and market it.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a planning framework that a business can use to identify a strategic endeavor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The term SWOT is an acronym for these four factors. In a SWOT analysis, a project’s (or product’s) strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. Strengths might include the company’s domain expertise or intellectual property. Weaknesses might include missing skillsets or a lack of budget. Opportunities and threats, by contrast, are external and refer to competition, the market, or changing trends that could affect the company.

Top-Down Product Strategy

Definition: A top-down product strategy is one where high-level objectives and a long-term vision are defined first and then used to inform what follows. In top-down planning, the roadmap conveys the strategy but is not built and prioritized until goals and the vision are in place.

UAT

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a type of testing performed by the end user or the client to verify/accept the software system before moving the software application to the production environment. UAT is done in the final phase of testing after functional, integration and system testing is done.

User Experience

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.

User Flow

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

A unique selling proposition (USP) is a clear and succinct description of how your product is both different from and better than those of your competitors.

User Story

A user story is a simple description of something that a user of your product wants to achieve. It often involves one feature or aspect of your product, and is written from the user’s perspective. Here’s everything you need to know.

Value Proposition

A value proposition is a statement that identifies measurable benefits prospective customers can expect when buying a product or service. When done well, it serves as a competitive differentiator. It motivates potential customers to choose a product or service over others in the marketplace, thus giving organizations a powerful competitive advantage.

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.

Wireframe

A wireframe is a basic, two-dimensional visual representation of a web page, app interface, or product layout. You can think of it as a low-fidelity, functional sketch. Product designers and UX (user experience) professionals draw up wireframes to communicate how they plan to arrange and prioritize features, and how they intend for users to interact with its product or website.

Waterfall

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 Test

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.

Buyer Persona

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.

Documentation

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

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.

Product Launch

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.

Refactoring

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

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.

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