Product Strategy Template for Agile Product Managers

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When it comes to successful new product development, productivity is key. Entrepreneurs seeking to remain relevant, efficacious and profitable must continuously conceive and develop new products that not only make it to the market, but also deliver great value to target audience members. It’s crucial for businesses to understand what consumers want, whether similar products already exist on the market and how they can create products superior to those developed by their competition. To take great product ideas and translate them into even greater final physical products, a new product development strategy (NPD strategy) is of the essence.

Steps to a new product development strategy

Your NPD strategy should be systemic, customer-driven and sales-goal oriented. Here are the basic steps:

Congratulations! You made it to the commercialization stage of new product development. Your product and all associated marketing strategies are ready for launch. Now it’s time to implement a full marketing plan and production process.

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User Persona Template for Agile Product Managers

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Defining user personas is a technique used in product development to model target customers, formalized as realistic, yet still fictional, characters. Creating user personas in UX involves a certain degree of research. You need to get to know your target audience to be able to create goal-directed archetypes that focus on customer needs, behavioral attributes, context and demographics to successfully serve your product management needs. There are several types of user personas for UX, including complex, lean (proto-personas), empathy, goal-oriented/design and marketing/demographic personas.

How to Create Diverse User Personas?

A few ways to make sure that your user personas will really represent a wide range of customers:

User Personas in Agile Management

The use of “personas” is extremely helpful in designing effective product management workflows. They allow brands to visualize their products from the customer’s point of view. Yet, agile timelines are not always afforded the lengthy periods needed to invest in complex personas. Lean personas for UX can still provide the value and insights your product management team needs, presenting only as much information as your PM team needs to mull and complete the project. Usually built more from qualitative data than from quantitative, the lean UX process is faster and friendlier on the company budget, provided, of course, that your product owners or stakeholders do not demand multiple reviews before approval. Our user persona templates are best suited for lean personas.

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Product Roadmap Example for Agile Product Managers

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A product roadmap is a document that defines your value guidelines and helps to focus your resources on critical technologies needed to achieve defined goals. This help is important, as it allows to use limited investments and research more effectively. Roadmaps help big companies, research organizations and other industry foundations to plan their actions for success in the future markets. In the creation of technology, roadmaps are the path to the definition of a service or product requirements, combined with their technological alternatives, and the development of necessary technology plans creating or obtaining the goals, etc. That is why every product manager should learn how to build effective roadmaps as part of their skill set.

How to Build a Sustainable Product Development Roadmap

Here are 4 steps to making sure your product roadmap will weather the storms:

Visual Product Roadmaps in Agile Management

Agile product roadmap templates can take many forms, but basically, an agile product roadmap consists of a multilayer, chart association, which is based on the time factor, allowing to link technology development to market trends and driving forces. It’s true that visual roadmaps can also be manually designed as a PowerPoint or Visio diagram, but visual roadmapping usually refers to an existing tool with existing designed templates, where you only need to enter the data rather than wrestle with PPT SmartArt, ClipArt and other forms of art. The beauty of working with an existing (usually web-based) tool, is that they often come with a variety of views for displaying your roadmaps, according to need and convenience.

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Kanban Board Example for Agile Product Managers

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Kanban is a visual system for managing work, visualizing both the workflow process and the actual work passing through it. The word “Kanban” translated roughly from Japanese means “a visual card” or a “placard”. First introduced by automotive giant Toyota during the early 1940s, the Kanban process represents a scheduling system that tells us what, when, and how much to produce. This system of workflow management turned out to be a huge success since it ideally controlled and tracked the entire work process. Since then, it has been adopted by a variety of businesses, regardless of their size or industry. The Kanban method is a process that can gradually improve the workflow of any business and subsequently reduce working time while increasing the value of your products and services. The Kanban board is the main means of implementation of this method. It’s a simple system of vertical and horizontal lanes that gives you the ability to map out your unique workflow, making the working process transparent and easy to track. And here is the deal: Its strongest asset is the ability to create a picture – a visual display of the process which helps our brains process the information faster and complete the tasks more efficiently.

Benefits of Kanban boards

Thanks to Kanban boards, nothing gets ignored or skipped, here’s why:

Kanban boards in Project Management

Online Kanban board tools, such as Jira, provide much easier access to project planning for members of a team wherever they are. They enable keeping more comprehensive information regarding each step of the working process. There is no need for frequent team meetings as an online board automatically informs team members about the progress of a project, as well as any changes that might have occurred. Save time on planning and documenting every alteration and each step of the project. An online Kanban Board can be updated at any time, from any place, and to any necessary extent. That’s very important for teams and stakeholders who don’t always share an office space to be able to visualize the work process. Reports and metrics generated by online Kanban boards are more sophisticated and take far less time to generate than physical boards. The predictability based on actual data you collect while working on a project is one of the most powerful attributes of Kanban.Online Kanban boards are flexible, customizable, and modernized to achieve greater work management efficiencies. The good news is that nowadays many project management tools, such as Craft, offer digital Kanban boards as a feature.

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User Story Template for Agile Product Managers

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User Stories are one of the basic tools that help product developers keep the user in mind while defining the product and its features. They are best defined as tiny bits of functionalities written from the user perspective. While User Personas highlight who your users are, User Stories examine what they do. The fact that the user story is written from the user perspective allows designers and developers to relate to the task and understand the reasoning behind it. The format of the user stories enables development teams to better understand the task and how it relates to the other parts of the product.

The basics of user story mapping

Each agile user story map is composed of 5 carefully yet intuitively structured stages:

User Stories in Agile Management

Story mapping is perhaps the most simple, yet important stage in the agile product management process. For collaborative teams, it will often spark new ideas and discussions relating to the user stories, ultimately contributing to the improvement of solutions. As opposed to the one-way definition of specs and requirements, user stories leave room for discussion and improvements. Effective story mapping is a viable starting point in the organization of your backlog and the product roadmap in an outwardly organized manner. It is a product discovery tool that helps to make requirements understandable, build its common comprehension, distinguish crevices the gaps in backlog and catch the interdependencies, better perform the relative estimation. Furthermore, it can help with the backlog slicing into the timely releases and other arrangement activities.

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