Product management frameworks Blog Feature

Product Management Frameworks: Techniques for Successful Strategy

In terms of technology, we are living in exponential times. Meaning, every time we blink, there is a new invention making our lives easier. 

And we have product managers to thank for it. đź‘Š

As a product manager, you serve as the liaison between engineers and consumers. It’s your job to gather intel on what customers want most—whether it be a new product or a new feature of an existing product—then communicate those wish lists to the product development teams. 

Sound complicated? It can be—but product management frameworks help simplify the process. Below, we explain what product management frameworks are, how they’re implemented, and the best framework for your business. 

What Are Product Management Frameworks?

Product management frameworks are standardized processes of improving a product. Essentially, a product management framework takes a product (or a feature of a product) from vision to post-launch, helping to keep all teams on the same page. 🙌

While each framework is unique, it typically follows five stages, which are all critical to the success of the product. These stages include discovery, definition, development, launch, and growth—taking a product from a far-off vision to a tangible product in the hands of consumers.

Overview of Specific Product Management Frameworks

The right product management framework can be the difference between a successful launch or a complete flop. And yet, according to a study by McKinsey, 75% of product managers state that product management best practices haven’t been adopted by their respective companies.

To set your team (and future product line) up for success, consider utilizing one of these tried-and-true frameworks. đź“š

Double Diamond Design Process

The Double Diamond model is often used in user experience (UX) design. The model features two diamonds: one representing the problem, and the other depicting the solution. In other words, product managers use the first diamond to map out core problems of a product, then use the second as a design brief—helping to formulate and test potential solutions.

The CIRCLES Method

The CIRCLES Method is a sequential framework allowing product managers to ask essential questions about new products and/or features. The method emphasizes seven critical steps (one for each letter in “CIRCLES”):

  1. Comprehend the situation
  2. Identify the customer
  3. Report customers’ needs
  4. Cut through prioritization
  5. List solutions
  6. Evaluate trade-offs
  7. Summarize your recommendation

The CIRCLES method is meant to serve as a checklist of sorts, allowing product managers to identify goals, constraints, and the context of new product launches.

The AARRR Pirate Metrics Framework

Designed by Dave McClure, a Silicon Valley investor, the AARRR framework outlines five metrics every product manager should be tracking. The five metrics include: 

  1. Acquisition
  2. Activation
  3. Retention
  4. Referral
  5. Revenue

The model contains two key benefits. One, it helps companies hone in on those metrics that directly impact the health and longevity of their business, and two, it ensures companies use the right data to measure the success of their product management efforts.

The HEART Framework

Developed by Google, the HEART Framework is an acronym for five user-centric themes: 

  1. Happiness
  2. Engagement
  3. Adoption
  4. Retention
  5. Track success

Google developed the method to help product managers improve the user experience of each product feature.

To quantify each measure, product managers use the Goals-Signals-Metrics approach (also developed by Google). Team members define the goals of each feature, the signals that point toward progress, and metrics to calculate whether they’re hitting their objectives.

The Kano Model

The Kano Model uses customer emotions to measure the success of each product. Built on the belief that customer satisfaction starts with an emotional response, the Kano Model measures five response types: 

  1. Must-be features
  2. Performance features
  3. Attractive features
  4. Indifferent features
  5. Reverse features

Using a scale of “delighted” to “frustrated,” product managers measure the type of response each product feature triggers in a user.

6. The RICE Scoring Model

The RICE Scoring Model helps product managers prioritize which features to launch first. The model evaluates product ideas based on: 

  • Reach
  • Impact
  • Confidence
  • Effort

A final score is given to each submission. The idea with the highest score shows the highest potential and is then placed on the product roadmap first.

7. The North Star Framework

Whereas other frameworks in this list measure products on a variety of features, the North Star Framework measures a product’s potential based on a single metric. Dubbed the “north star,” this crucial metric calculates the value the product delivers to customers. In essence, this one factor is meant to measure customer happiness and the success it could bring to your startup.

8. The MoSCoW Method

The MoSCoW Method helps product management teams prioritize tasks. The acronym stands for:

  • Must-have
  • Should-have
  • Could-have
  • Won’t-have

This framework helps to determine the nonnegotiables of each product. If key stakeholders disagree on which features carry the most weight on the product roadmap, they’ll use the MoSCoW Method to calculate how much internal resources should be dedicated toward each feature launch.

Similarities and Differences Amongst the Frameworks

Just as each of the above frameworks is unique, there is a degree of overlap between them. Similarities between the above frameworks include:

  • They’re used to measure which products and/or features will bring the highest customer happiness
  • They’re used to calculate which features will result in the highest profit for the company
  • Leveraging the above framework can simplify the workload for product managers, while preserving company resources

That said, these frameworks differ in when and how they’re used throughout the product life cycle. For example:

  • Product strategy: Some frameworks are meant to be used in the product strategy or decision-making phase, helping to create a vision for the product team. For example, the AARRR framework and CIRCLES Method will be used early in the process, helping identify profitable opportunities for the company
  • Product prioritization: Prioritization frameworks are explicitly built to help teams determine the importance of various tasks. For example, the RICE Scoring Model and MoSCow Method help a product team decide where features are placed within the product roadmap
  • Product design: Once product planning is complete, many frameworks help teams carry out design and execution. For example, the Double Diamond and HEART frameworks help bring great products to life

Integrating Agile Methodologies in Product Management

The Agile Methodology framework is a project management framework that breaks down projects into distinct phases. These phases—known as sprints—give teams the time and space to reflect on what worked (and what didn’t), thereby making tweaks before they move into the next phase.

So, what do agile methodologies have to do with product management? Launching a new product and/or feature is—by nature—a project. And using the right project management tools can help you launch that product on time, on budget, and with the right features to meet customer needs.

Product management frameworks: ClickUp's 3.0 Board view simplified
Oversee tasks and projects at a single glance and effortlessly drag-and-drop tasks, sort, and filter with a fully customizable Kanban Board view

There are different types of agile methodologies, including:

  • Kanban: Kanban is a visual approach to project management. Typically, teams use online Kanban boards to easily arrange tasks by priority, status, or assignee
  • Scrum: A Scrum is a common methodology where a single person (the designated scrum master) clears obstacles for a project. A Scrum board serves as a visual to-do list, managing roadblocks and tasks for an ongoing sprint
  • Extreme Programming (XP): Extreme programming is a software development methodology that helps teams produce a working model in very short sprints
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM): With a more rigorous foundation, the DSDM model focuses on the entire life cycle of a project. The DSDM model takes a project through four phases, including feasibility, prototyping, design, and implementation

How to Implement Product Management Frameworks Into Your Workflow

Each product management framework helps launch successful products, and one is not necessarily better or worse than the others. However, many teams find that one model is a better fit for their unique company. To help your product team successfully implement a new framework, follow these steps.

1. Determine your goals

Are you looking to launch a brand new product, address a specific customer problem, or acquire a new target market? Before choosing a framework, gather all decision makers and determine your objectives. This will help decipher which frameworks are right for your organization.

ClickUp Goals dashboard feature
Track your goals down to the most essential KPIs and automatically get detailed views into your progression

Fortunately, with ClickUp Goals, you can achieve your objectives faster. ClickUp Goals allow you to set clear timelines, define measurable targets, and track your progress toward implementing your new framework.

2. Don’t start from scratch

Here’s the good news: The above frameworks have been tested by companies for decades, so you don’t need to start from scratch. With ClickUp’s Project Framework Template, you can create a structured set of procedures for implementing your product framework. From there, you can leverage dozens of ClickUp product management templates to get your team from ideation to launch.

Product management frameworks: A screenshot ClickUp’s Project Framework Template
Organize and execute a successful project with ClickUp’s Project Framework Template

3. Keep customers involved

The entire goal of product management is to increase your value proposition to customers. Therefore, after you implement a new framework, continue to collect customer feedback. Did the new framework help improve the customer journey, or do tweaks need to be made?

A screenshot of ClickUp Product Feedback Survey Template
Learn from your customers and enhance your business with product feedback from this detailed template and optimize your offerings, attract new customers, and increase revenue

Fortunately, with the ClickUp Product Feedback Survey Template, you can easily collect product feedback from customers.

4. Remember to stay flexible

Just because a particular model works now, doesn’t mean it will always be the best fit.

The best framework will always depend on your goals as a company (revert back to step one). As customer pain points fluctuate, your team gets new product ideas, or the functionality of your product expands, you might need to find a new framework. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different models at different stages of your company.

Making the Right Choice for Your Strategy

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a framework. Before you decide, take stock of the following:

  • Company size: Are you a growing startup or an established company? If the former, you might look for a framework that takes you from ideation to launch (like the HEART framework), while the latter may be searching for a framework that helps them prioritize existing initiatives (like the RICE Scoring Method)
  • Product type: What type of product are you launching? If you’re simply launching a new feature or iterating an existing product, the Double Diamond can help greatly improve the overall user experience. However, if you’re launching a brand new product, the Kano Model can help determine if the invention will be attractive to your target persona
  • Team expertise: Are you staffing a team of experienced or junior product managers? If you have a VP of product management with years of experience launching effective products, you might implement the North Star Framework (as this individual might be capable of pinpointing the single factor leading to a product’s success)

ClickUp: The Future of Product Management

ClickUp is the all-in-one productivity platform that streamlines all jobs to be done in the product life cycle. With ClickUp Product features, product development teams can bring their vision to market with the following tools. 🤩

ClickUp AI

Product management frameworks: ClickUp AI Product Requirements Document Example
Use prompts with ClickUp AI to quickly build out product requirement documents (PDRs) in a flash

With ClickUp AI tools, product managers can easily generate documents, collect customer feedback, and ultimately launch products faster.

Product roadmapping

A screenshot of ClickUp's Product Roadmap Template
Product development is a breeze when using Product Roadmap Template by ClickUp

Product roadmaps are a tool of working backward from launch to planning—and every micro decision in between. With the ClickUp Product Roadmap Template, teams can move in sync by seeing which tasks come next.

Visual collaboration

Team members collaborating on ClickUp 3.0's Whiteboard
Visually collaborate with team members within ClickUp Whiteboards to brainstorm and turn ideas into actionable items

With ClickUp Whiteboards, product management teams can create a visual of their best ideas. ClickUp Whiteboards allow you to brainstorm, strategize, and create a first draft of your product roadmap with the entire team.

Automated workflows

Product management frameworks: Creating an automation in ClickUp
Save time and focus on what matters with ClickUp Automation

Streamlining the product management process ensures you get your product to market on time. With automated workflows from ClickUp, you can automatically set priorities, leave comments, assign tasks, and get approvals from upper management.

Single-source documentation

Rich formatting and slash commands in ClickUp Docs
ClickUp Docs allows rich formatting and slash commands to work more efficiently

With ClickUp Docs, your entire team can collaborate on roadmaps, requirements, and new feature ideas. With rich editing features and the ability to tag team members and assign comments, you don’t get caught up in “versionitis”—and instead move toward a successful product launch.

Move Toward a Successful Product Launch With ClickUp

Product management frameworks help determine which products and/or features will be most profitable for the company. While each model differs, all help measure customer happiness, simplify the product management process, and take new products to market.

To implement a new product management framework, choose ClickUp. ClickUp helps product management teams operate more efficiently through must-have tools like AI, collaborative Docs and Whiteboards, and automated workflows. Plus, ClickUp comes complete with thousands of templates, hundreds of integrations, and multiple views to help launch new products. đź‘Źđź‘Ź

Ready to see how ClickUp can lead to a successful product launch? Try ClickUp for free today.

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