Product management is involved with most internal groups, but not equally and not all at the same time. PMs need to exert enough gravitational pull to keep each organization in its correct orbit, and still save some energy for customers. So let’s give our planetary analogy a spin. Starting with Engineering… In the traditional waterfall model, a typical project is scheduled for 9 months, but inevitably takes a year to complete. So we’ll assign classic software development groups to Earth in our product solar system, with a 365 day cycle.
This article captured an April 2007 talk I did at SVPMA. The original slide deck is here. I’m talking with more and more with companies considering a shift from traditional licensing models to hosted software-as-a-service (SaaS). It’s important to recognize the radical changes such a move may force within your entire company. This column serves up a metaphor for the mental and organizational adjustments needed to move from a “product” model to a service business.
Much of my consulting lately involves on-demand services (aka software-as-a-service, or “SaaS”). I’m seeing ever-growing interest from business customers in subscription pricing and online services, especially since they pay much less “up front” versus software licensing. This necessarily slows down early revenue to the vendor and intensifies the need to upsell your installed base.