What Is Product Management? (Processes, Tools, FAQs)
Curious about what is product management?
Product management is the process of managing the complete product life cycle, from development to deployment.
Sounds like a tough task, right?
Sure, there are complex steps like research, creating a roadmap, product development, and more.
But here’s the payoff for all the hard work:
A quality product delivered to the customer within the given timeline and budget.
And more importantly, you’ve developed a product that’s loved by everyone.
Just like that perfect slice of a pizza!
And as an added bonus, we’ll share our secret sauce to help you manage the product management process easier.
- What Is Product Management?
- What Is The Product Management Process? (Step-By-Step)
- What Are The Benefits Of Effective Product Management?
- FAQs About Product Management
Let’s get started.
What Is Product Management?
Product management is the process of developing, managing, and successfully deploying a great product that meets customer needs. It’s a multistage process that spans tons of steps, ranging from setting goals and objectives to executing them.
But why do you need product management?
Effective product management helps you:
- Define personas and understand user needs
- Set a product vision and strategy
- Determine specific product requirements
- Deliver a product based on customer demands
Let’s learn all about this process in detail.
What Is The Product Management Process? (Step-By-Step)
The product management process involves these four simple steps:
- Step 1: Ideation and market research
- Step 2: Product strategy and roadmap
- Step 3: Product development and testing
- Step 4: Product marketing and sales
Sound like too much to handle?
Don’t worry! ClickUp has got you covered.
Whether it’s project ideation, developing a business strategy, or tracking goals, ClickUp’s product management features help you execute all steps smoothly.
Bonus: Check out our product management glossary! ⭐️
Let’s take a look at each product management step and how ClickUp helps you with them:
Step 1: Ideation and market research
Just like the process of making a pizza starts with preparing the dough, every product starts with an idea.
But first, you need to be crystal clear about your ideas.
After all, they can’t be half baked.
Here are a few ways to ensure this:
- Get a clear understanding of your customers’ demand and current market trends
- Identify the ways your product can benefit the target market
- Set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure product success
For a great start, extensively research the target market with the help of surveys, interviews with focus groups, or observations of market trends.
Let’s see how ClickUp makes this step of the product management process a breeze:
A. Expand on your ideas with Mind Maps
Use ClickUp’s Mind Maps feature to transform your ideas into beautiful free-form mind maps and organize them in no time.
ClickUp offers two modes for creating mind maps:
- Tasks mode: map out the entire structure of your workspace for all your existing projects and tasks. You can create, edit, delete, or rearrange them to form a logical path.
- Blank mode: create powerful mind maps from scratch and convert any node into a task at any point in time
Additionally, you can share your mind maps with product people outside your Workspace, helping them stay updated on how the projects are progressing.
B. Manage your important documents with ClickUp Docs
Use ClickUp’s Docs feature to create documents, wikis, and knowledge bases for anything you want.
Here’s what you can do with Docs:
- Share docs and add comments for easy collaboration
- Create tasks from within the doc
- Use rich text editing to format your text
- Publish online to be indexed by Google
- Give your product management team members the ability to edit in real-time without any hiccups
C. Organize your thoughts in a virtual Notepad
Not everyone can carry a pen and paper along with them all the time, right?
Nearly 50% of employed Americans are afraid of becoming burnt out from having to juggle so many different technology tools or apps for work. With ClickUp, you won’t have to!
Its online Notepad feature helps you jot down ideas quickly, especially handy during product brainstorming sessions.
With Notepad, you can:
- View and revert changes made to a note
- Convert a note into a task
- Add checklists (and nested checklists)
- Customize any note with rich text editing
So whether it’s scribbling down your product planning ideas or creating a list of your favorite pizza joints, you can easily do that in Notepad in the comfort of your privacy!
Step 2: Product strategy and roadmap
You can’t prepare a pizza by just chucking all the ingredients in a bowl and giving it a mix, right? That’d be an example of a failed execution (and bad pizza making skills).
Similarly, to execute an idea you need a thought-through strategy.
And how do you do that?
By creating a product roadmap!
A product roadmap represents your strategy and helps you control all the steps of the product development process. It clearly describes every stage of the process for everyone involved in product development.
Sorta like a recipe book!
Here’s how ClickUp helps in this product management process stage:
A. Track the product roadmap with Milestones
Milestones signify the end of a large task group, like the release of a new feature.
Bonus: Manage feature releases with these release management tools!
Use this ClickApp to set significant tasks as progress markers in a roadmap.
In the List and Calendar view, you can quickly identify which tasks are Milestones with the diamond icon and emboldened task name.
And in the Gantt view, Milestones are represented as colorful diamonds, which is a great way to track project progress.
Step 3: Product development and testing
Now that you have everything in place, it’s time to execute the plan. Chop chop!
And who does that?
The product development team.
Essentially, the development and testing phase involves steps like:
- Developing the product
- Performing rigorous testing
- Collecting actionable customer feedback
And when you’re ready with a quality product, add the extra relevant features to meet all the customer demands.
Just like your favorite toppings on a pizza!
Here’s how ClickUp makes this stage a cakewalk:
A. Visualize product management process with Gantt Charts
Use ClickUp’s Gantt Charts to get a bird’s eye view of all your tasks and projects in your Workspace.
With Gantt Charts, you can:
- Manage resources
- Visualize task dependencies
- Track project progress
- Calculate the critical path for your project
Check out our blog post on Gantt charts.
B. Keep tabs on your projects with Dashboards
ClickUp’s Dashboards offer a high-level overview of your entire Workspace.
Sorta like a mission control center!
It provides quick visual summaries of your projects to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Customize your Dashboard with various Agile charts like:
- Velocity Charts: view the task completion rate
- Burnup Charts: see the amount of work completed in a project
- Burndown Charts: analyze the work remaining in a project
- Cumulative Flow Charts: view your project progress over time
C. Manage dynamically with Multiple Views
Not everyone loves pineapple on pizza, right?
That’s why you have various different pizza toppings!
Just like ClickUp!
With Multiple Views, you can view your tasks from any angle you like.
ClickUp offers various views, like:
- Required Task Views: easily drag-and-drop your tasks around with Board view or use List view to view your tasks as GTD-style to-do lists
- Box view: get an instant high-level overview of your tasks
- Me Mode: view all the tasks, comments, and subtasks assigned only to you
- Calendar view: plan and manage your project schedule in no time with this view
Step 4: Product marketing and sales
The marketing strategy should be delicious enough to sell the product.
And that’s where the product marketing manager comes into the picture.
A product marketer takes your product to the customer and explains all the features in detail and the value it adds.
Moreover, after a successful product launch, they also collect important sales data and regular customer feedback.
With data on the market response, you can:
- Measure the product success against set KPIs
- Analyze users’ opinions against reviews
- Modify the pricing models of your software
And tracking these important metrics can help any product marketing manager guide their team towards the further development of the product.
Let’s find out how ClickUp helps in product marketing and sales of your product:
A. Measure your product success with Goals
ClickUp’s Goals are high-level containers that can be broken down into smaller, measurable Targets.
For example, if the Goal for a pizzeria marketing manager is to increase customer engagement, then their Targets could be ‘conduct three rounds of the survey’ and ‘get feedback from 20 customers.’
So how do you achieve these Goals and Targets?
Simple: Complete all the Targets within a Goal!
ClickUp offers a variety of units to measure a Target.
So if your Goal is to ‘become the #1 Pizzeria in the block,’ your targets could be measured as:
- Number: total number of pizzas sold in a day
- True/False: monthly target achieved or not
- Currency: revenue generated in a month
- Tasks: such as ‘train staff members’
Every time you update a Target, ClickUp auto-updates the completion percentage to show you how far you have come in achieving your Goal.
Is that all?
ClickUp offers tons of other useful features, like:
- Workflow Automation: automate repetitive workflows with 50+ pre-built automation commands or create your own according to your needs
- Pulse: find out which tasks your teams are focused on at the moment
- Task Checklists: manage your product backlog with simple to-do lists
- Multitask Toolbar: quickly make changes to multiple tasks at once
- Assign Comments: assign comments to product management team members to ensure that they take action on your comments
- Integrations: ClickUp integrates with third-party apps, like Google Drive and Zoom, to streamline your workflows
Also check out these handy product management templates to kick start your product management!
What Are The Benefits Of Effective Product Management?
With all the steps executed and the product out of the oven, it’s time to enjoy the benefits of your hard work.
Here are the key benefits of effective product management:
1. Develop customer-centric products
How do you know if you’re building a successful product?
By having an in-depth idea of why you’re building it!
And the product management process helps you do that with a thorough understanding of customer needs. Additionally, collecting feedback in the post-production stages of the process also ensures continued customer success.
2. Collaborate seamlessly
The product management process requires different teams to work together in a bigger, cross functional team
Sounds like too much to handle?
Don’t worry. The product manager takes care of it.
The product management role ensures smooth communication between all parties and prioritizes productive collaboration over all else.
3. Reduce the risk of product failure
Effective project management ensures that your developed product is a success in the target market.
Initially, a business analyst and the marketing team spot the market gap. This product management skill of understanding market trends allows them to identify new selling opportunities for their target customers.
This crucial intel helps the product team to design the new product and create its roadmap. As you’re taking customer and market trends into consideration from the start, you’re minimizing your risk of failure!
FAQs About Product Management
Still looking for some answers?
That’s why we have FAQs!
Take a look at some of the frequently asked questions about product management.
1. Who is a product manager?
A product manager is an organizational role that looks after the product management process. They lead the cross functional team and work with each stakeholder throughout the process, keeping everyone on the same page.
2. What is the role of a product manager?
The product manager role revolves around creating the product roadmap and defining the features of a product.
To be more precise, a successful product manager:
- Defines the product vision, strategy, and roadmap
- Gathers and manages customer requirements and market trends
- Manages the product lifecycle
- Acts as the customer advocate articulating the customer needs
- Works closely with every stakeholder, the product management team, and customers
- Delivers on product goals
3. What is Agile product management?
As the name suggests, Agile product management focuses on developing products through the Agile methodology.
What’s the Agile methodology?
The Agile methodology is based on the principles of the Agile manifesto. It’s an iterative approach for product development. Agile product development takes place in a collaborative environment that encourages continuous improvement based on customer feedback.
In the Agile product management framework, a large development project is broken down into smaller cycles called sprints. At the end of each sprint, the team takes customer feedback and implements it into the next cycle. This process continues until all customer demands are met.
Take a look at our detailed guide to Agile project management.
Effective product management is the easiest way to ensure business success.
But just like pizza, everything comes at a cost!
You need to invest your precious hours to create an effective product management plan.
However, with a product management tool like ClickUp, the process can feel less daunting.
Get ClickUp for free today and (che)easily execute any product management activity!