Product Responsibility Framework v0.1

UPDATE: New Version v0.2

I’ve been thinking about how product teams are organized. I have seen several good frameworks out there, but none felt quite right to me. There are traditional models, but of course, I want to try something new. I took the framework from Pragmatic Marketing and started moving things around.

I put the columns into chronological order when thinking about building a product and bringing it to market. One thing I realized was that Product Marketing has a responsibility in the beginning and the end of the product life-cycle. Here is a little breakdown of my initial thoughts.

Product Intelligence
This is the time for research. I think almost every department has a role to play with interacting and interviewing customers, however, some responsibilities are very specific. I think having a department focused on this would be beneficial. This is typically a product management or product marketing task in more traditional companies.

Product Planning
This is the meat and potatoes of product management. Figuring out the roadmap, developing use cases and requirements. Defining the problem space in detail and prioritizing different projects. Planning is a crucial part of product development and often left to executive whim and the squeaky wheel.

Product Design
This is supposed to be the User Experience department, but often is done in product management anyway. This is where the design/build spec is formed. It’s alot of work. I’ve blogged about this particular area for a long time.

Product Positioning
I actually do alot of work in this area. For my current company, I write and maintain demos and train everyone internally. Additionally, I work on outside training and support. I have tremendous respect for people who can create a pricing plan that monetizes properly, doesn’t leave money on the table AND is easy to understand. It’s a real art.

There is so much that goes on in Marketing from demand gen to events to Account Based Marketing. The sheer number of marketing technologies is vast. One area often overlooked is branding. Most companies do not spend time on their brand. They assume it will take care of itself.

All of these areas (if left to chance) will break your company. You need all departments pulling their weight. Of course, these aren’t the normal titles of the departments in Silicon Valley. Product Management, Product Marketing, Sales Consulting, Sales Enablement…these are the names of the departments we are used to.

Maybe, just maybe, if we change the labels we put on things, we will change the way we think about those same things. If we call it Product Intelligence, how would we staff it? Who would it report to?

This is version 0.1 alpha. I will be working on it further, but I appreciate your input. If you want to have lunch with me to talk about it, just let me know.


Whatya think?