Managing Existing Software Products

Sure, developing new products is fun and exciting, but that work needs to be funded somehow. Unless you’re in a startup, that funding usually comes from the revenues produced by your existing products. Without invoking a slew of animal analogies (cash cow, golden goose) here are some ideas to help you manage existing products so your organization can keep developing new products.

Becoming the product manager for an existing product. Many of the conversations in the podcast and blogosphere about Product Management focus on bringing new products to market. However chances are, you’re not creating a new product, you’re joining a team to manage an existing product further along its lifecycle. If you find yourself in this situation, remember that there are some things you need to do differently than when you work on a new product. Nils Davis explains these differences and how to approach the management of an existing product.

(via @NilsDavis)

Incorporating disruptive technologies into existing products. Incorporating disruptive technologies into an existing product comes with some challenges including the technology itself, changes to how the product is used, the ecosystem built around the product, and how your customers will react. Russell Doty takes a look at these challenges and explains why you generally don’t want to combine disruptive technologies with an existing product.

Making sure your existing products maintain product-market fit. Product-market fit is a concept that captures how closely your product aligns with the desires of the market. It should be a consideration at the forefront of your mind when you launch new products or tailor existing ones. Not only does product-market fit have a significant impact on your top-line revenue and market capture, but it is related to customer satisfaction, retention, and cross-sell/upsell opportunities. With all this in mind, the folks at the Top Line Strategy Group explain how you can optimize your existing products’ product-market fit to ensure success.

(via LinkedIn)

Creating new revenue streams from existing products and services.  You may suspect that your product’s existing capabilities have new revenue opportunities just waiting to be unlocked. And you’ve probably also realized that finding and developing those opportunities can be difficult when your day-to-day focus is on meeting sales goals from proven revenue streams. Stephen Tucker explains how you can find the balance between a focus on proven revenue sources while also prudently pursuing new revenue opportunities.

(via PMPathLights)

What do your existing products deliver to your customers? Some product managers devote themselves primarily to launching new products, but many organizations rely on maintaining existing products throughout their product life cycle to drive operating and financial results. Peyton Marshall explains how you can manage the value produced by products and services that are already on the market.

(via @LeveragePoint)

Kent McDonald
kentjmcdonald@gmail.com

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has IT and product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent currently practices his craft for a leading agriscience company and provides just in time resources for product owners and business analysts 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.