What is rational product management?

Rational product management entails pursuing product/service development from a shared pool of improvement-oriented business resources, i.e., channeling available time, finances, personnel, equipment, and other necessary resources to a centralized and comprehensive product/service development initiative.

With its roots in the software industry, rational product management allows multiple distinct inter-dependent product/service development teams to collaborate to harmonize common improvement-centric goals.

 Rational Product Management Context

In a rational product management approach, a development team pursues product/service and product/service improvement-centric activities via two interdependent tracks/routes, i.e., outcome management and technical optimization.

The two improvement-focused routes progress incrementally concerning each other through continuous and seamless information interchange between route-specific products/services.

Consequently, product/service development based on the rational product management approach entails realizing two interdependent improvement-centric product/service-focused objectives:

Developing a Comprehensive Product/Service Management Perspective

As with other business process models, the management aspect of rational product management entails realizing optimal resource utilization in the pursuit of product/service improvement goals.

In this regard, achieving a comprehensive product/service development management perspective begins by defining the required scope of work necessary to achieve a desired product/service improvement.

Hence, the management component of a rational product improvement team undertakes comprehensive market research to identify existing product/service development opportunities.

The team then embarks on a strategic plan to realize the corresponding product/service improvements, i.e., defining budgetary, time, personnel, equipment, and other improvement-centric resource requirements.              –

Define Required Improvement-centric Technical Capability

After defining desirable product/service improvements, the technical component of a rational product management team can then determine the technical capability required to realize desired improvement-centric objectives.

In this context, a product/service improvement task force establishes the availability of skilled personnel and production/manufacturing/engineering technologies/methods required to realize desired product/service improvements.

Rational Product Development Stages

While rational product management entails the pursuit of two-interdependent routes, the overall process itself is defined by four main stages, namely,


The initial stage has a product/service development engaging improvement-centric interdepartmental brainstorming sessions and conducting in-depth market research. The two activities allow for identifying a viable product/service improvement idea.


After obtaining the desired product/service development objective, an improvement task force then embarks on defining the required scope of work, i.e., determining accompanying objective-specific tasks/activities to realize the desired product/service improvement.


The next step in product/service development initiative based on rational product management tools entails coming up with product/service prototypes that are then beta tested. End-user feedback gathered during product/service testing is used to realize improvement-centric iterations.


Finally, a product/service offering realized through rational product management is deployed to a target consumer market. This product/service launch typically includes unveiling customer care, tech support, and other end-user follow-up measures.

A rational product management approach endows a product/service improvement task force with the ability to centralize improvement-centric activities to pursue high-value product/service offerings, i.e., products and services with a high ROI and Value-for-Money.

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