Product Management Methodologies

The Project Management Institute (PMI), known for its project management training and certification, defines product management as a framework that is used to structure, plan, and control the process of developing an information system.

When new product managers are at the beginning of creating a product, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the methodologies that are available. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, certain methodologies tend to be superior to others. What’s more: each one has its own benefits, drawbacks, and core principles.

Waterfall Methodology

Waterfall models (sequential models) determine the software development process through distinct phases, each with a specific set of tasks and objectives. Many of these models do not consider user validation until later in the process. They are rigid frameworks that tend to ignore user input during development, making them problematic when it comes to improving the software’s usability or features.

 The waterfall model, once the method of choice for software development projects, is no longer used very often. Today’s changing industry and consumer demands require a more flexible methodology. Instead of using procedures from the waterfall model, businesses have access to new agile techniques. These can help streamline software projects and keep up with consumers’ swiftly advancing needs.

Lean Methodology

 The lean methodology, which originated from the Toyota Production System, centers on reducing waste, improving processes, and encouraging innovation. It is not a new concept but has been evolving outside the manufacturing boundaries in the business world today. The two main pillars are continuous improvement and respect for people.

In this fast-paced business world, managing product development can be tricky. The concepts of lean and agile methodologies help businesses develop products faster — in times of uncertainty. With these methodologies, agile experts can quickly evolve products based on customer feedback and guidance.

Agile Methodology

Agile methodology is an adaptable model of product development. It is an iterative approach to product development with multiple iterations known as ‘sprints,’ which help teams bring the people aspect of development together. Today most successful companies — even big ones — adopt agile. It has become a standard approach for software product development.

Agile companies develop products with hypotheses about user requirements. They then validate these hypotheses by interviewing users. Based on the results, they iterate the product features and functionality. The process is repeated several times even after launching the product.

 Most agile methodologies start with constructing hypotheses about user requirements. These ideas are then validated against user interview results. Based on the results, the product is iterated again and again until it meets users’ needs perfectly.

Kanban Vs. Scrum

When it comes to product development, Scrum and Kanban are two of the most popular frameworks under agile methodology. While Scrum is a time-bound framework, Kanban is not.  Scrum uses epics, user stories, story points, backlog, backlog grooming, stand-ups, etc as part of its own taxonomy, different from Kanban’s.

 When speaking about frameworks of the Agile Methodology, Scrum and Kanban are two of the most famous ones.

 Scrum or Kanban — there is no one true way. It is important to experiment with different processes and find the process that works for you and your team. Ask yourself if the method is helping you and your team move more efficiently toward your goals.

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