July 7

Managing Existing Software Products

Want to know a dirty little secret about product management that isn’t so secret? Product management isn’t always about launching the new amazing product that is going to drive your organization to unicorn status. Sometimes (most times?) you have to identify incremental changes on existing products to make them more appealing to your customers. It may not be as glamorous, but working on existing products is an essential aspect of product management.

What is in-life product management? Once you’ve launched a new product, you aren’t done. You do some more planning, see what additional features customers want, and refine the product to produce another, better version. The period up to launch is known as New Product Development (NPD), and the time after launch is known as In-life Product Management. The folks at Product Focus explain what in-life product management is and how it fits within the Product Management Lifecycle.

(via @ProductFocus)

How to manage your product’s strategy & roadmap throughout its lifecycle. Luke Gallimore provides an overview of how the product manager role shifts throughout the life cycle with specific reference to the product strategy and roadmap. At each stage, he also describes common pitfalls and opportunities at each stage to be mindful of.

(via @luke_gallimore)

Maintaining a product after launch. The launch celebration is over, the product is live, and there’s finally time to take a (quick) breather after weeks of intense work. But what happens after a product launch? The product manager still has a large role in maintaining a product after it launches. Glen Chen provides a high-level overview and covers several aspects of the post-launch phase.

(via @prodmanagerhq)

How to replace legacy products and avoid the feature parity trap.  A lot of Product Management literature focuses on introducing new products but ignores legacy product modernization. In practice, however, many Product Managers find themselves modernizing or replacing legacy software and are asked to ensure feature parity (i.e., the intent to create a modernized replica for all current system functions) between the previous version and the future product. Alex Young explains why expectations for feature parity results in negative user and business outcomes and how to instead apply lean Product methodologies to meet user needs and modernize successfully.

(via @devbridge)

Managing existing products.  Every wannabe product manager dreams of building the next “It” product, but most of the time when they actually get hired in a Product Manager position they discover that the product they’re supposed to manage already exists. This product most likely is someone else’s “baby”, filled with technical debt and complicated coding decisions that can instantly overwhelm even the sharpest minds. Laura Vaida explains how to prepare for this challenging task of managing a product built by someone else.

(via @sitepad)

Kent J McDonald

About the author

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent practices his craft with a variety of product teams and provides just in time resources for product people at KBP.media and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.


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