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A Score Card for Product Management

A Score Card for Product Management


The business intent of Product Management is to increase an organization's competitive advantage through various product initiatives. Competitive advantage is defined by product differentiation and process efficiency. An XY chart displays a competitive advantage score in terms of differentiation and process efficiency. This type of score card provides actionable information that a Product Management team can use for self-diagnostic in process improvement initiatives, and for performance comparisons between business quarters, or between different teams within the same organization. Standard charts enable comparisons across an industry.

You can use this score card as a sample. Create one table for each of the Seven Pillars. You will want to adjust the strategies to be in context of each pillar. Take the aggregated scores for each of the Pillars and combine them into one score for Differentiation. Computing a percentage achieved out of total possible will make your graphic representation easier to read and comparisons more meaningful. After you’ve completed the assessment in each Pillar you switch and look at process efficiency. We use the same Seven Pillars to establish business goals. The objectives of processes within each Pillar are listed at the end of this post for reference. Remove the ones not valid for your organization. For each remaining objective, you'll need to identify specific strategies your team is performing to accomplish the specific objective.

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Agile, Waterfall - Wait its WaterGile! (Trademark it!)

How Agile Product Management has evolved in the last few years An interesting thing has been happening in the market, and it’s not just that everything is moving to the Cloud, or that Facebook is about to go IPO, it’s the very real, and very concrete adoption of agile methodologies across the software industry. Originally a concept that gave birth to the Agile Manifesto (I know I can’t believe I’m referencing Wikipedia), Agile has really taken over as a concept everyone strives for, but rarely achieves. Why is that?

From a corporate stand point, many of the other processes at a company, like fiscal budget planning, employee performance reviews, and marketing campaigns, go through yearly planning and longer cycles. Can you imagine if you “iterated” on your performance review weekly, with a full day spent reviewing your objectives and decided what to focus on the next week? But wait – maybe that’s not such a bad way of approaching it, it provides quicker feedback from your manager and peers and keeps you completely aligned. And that is the heart of the issue, people just aren’t sure how much better that faster iteration is for everyone, they have this fuzzy feeling that there’s value to be had, but it’s hard to draw a line in the sand to say just how much.

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Competitive Advantage and Transformation Programs within Integrated PM

Competitive Advantage and Transformation Programs within Integrated PM

"If we use Integrated PM in our Transformation programs, then we can benefit from systematic change aligned to strategic plans, but we will need to spend time in change preparation across multiple disciplines."

High performing enterprises, as well as those lagging the leaders, are always on the lookout for the levers that give them a business performance edge, and are always striving to maintain that edge. A business strategy discipline has numerous frameworks and tools that are used by enterprises to formulate their competitive strategies. Enterprises recognize the equal importance of possessing the strategic execution capability needed to effectively implement a competitive strategy. This "must have" strategic execution capability is also the capability of Program Management within Integrated PM.

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Consensus in Innovation

Consensus in Innovation

"If we use the community groups of the pmNERDS community, then we can support many of our innovation requirements, but we will need to learn how to use the community groups"

Community Groups within the Innovation Value Chain

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Constraint Analysis

Constraint Analysis

“If we used Constraint Analysis then we’d be able to isolate and address the key constraint effecting our practice performance, but this requires specialized skills and we just don’t have time to do it.”

The diagram above illustrates the concept of project constraints which all organizations experience all the time. Regardless of how well your project processes function, there is always a constraint. Projects should be producing either products and services designed to increase collected revenues, or reduce operational costs.

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Establish Policies & Procedures for Strategic Practices

Establish Policies & Procedures for Strategic Practices

“If we use standardized policies and procedures, then our projects will deliver their strategic intent, but this requires micro-management of projects. ”

High quality, repeatable, and consistent project performance is a goal of most organizations. Governance, whether in the form of a PMO, Committee, or just policies and procedures, attempts to address this need. The complexity that must be managed for a project to be successful can be overwhelming. For managers to be able to understand correlations and interrelationships between factors in project, portfolio and program management and perform effect-cause-effect thinking that leads to higher levels of performance, the system components must be defined and categorized. Instead of trying to define policies and procedures for every practice and monitor all aspects of the project, the Integrated PM approach to governance leverages system thinking to identify critical variables, leverage points, and constraint analysis to identify the strategic practices that need to be managed through governance.

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Integrated Program Management

Integrated Program Management

“If we use Integrated PM to optimize program performance, then the organization’s competitive advantage will grow, but integrating the roles of the program manager and the systems engineer can be difficult.”

Programs are initiated to create something new or to cause a change, and technical programs generally involve a high degree of engineering. It is not uncommon for these programs to involve multiple contributors, have a high degree of ambiguity or uncertainty, and many interfaces within the program components and the environments in which they will function, in other words, these programs exhibit a high degree of complexity.

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Project Management: Governance & Approvals

Project Management: Governance & Approvals

“If I want to have a focused project with a uniform approval process, then I need to have strong governance principles, but I am not sure how to build a foundation of good governing practices.”

When I hear, someone mention the term “governance,” I automatically think about men in powdered wigs standing around shouting at each other. I can’t really tell you why my brain automatically goes to the 18th century, but the term, governance, nevertheless speaks to the same set of policies, regulations, functions, processes, procedures and responsibilities that define an establishment, a government governs their people.

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Role-Based Training Diagram

Role-Based Training Diagram

“If we modify our practices, then we can improve our project performance, but we’ll need focused training because we don’t have time to sit in irrelevant courses.”

During almost every performance improvement initiative that I’ve been involved in, someone brings up their concern over training. It goes something like this, “Is everyone going to have to go through yet another process training session? Too bad we can’t just email everyone the changes.” Role-based training requirements can easily be derived from the EFBD.

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