Introduction to Lean Product Management

Introduction to Lean Product Management

Introduction to Lean Product Management

In this introduction to lean product management we explain why a new way of developing products is important, what implications it has and which new product management techniques are required.

The world has changed very rapidly in recent years and the pace of change and disruption due to technology, digitalization and the internet is growing exponentially. This is a challenge for most companies and also for many professionals. It requires a value-oriented organizational structure, new product management techniques and a new mindset.

We know that between 40% and 70% of new products fail, and there are several reasons for this that we explore in this article.

Companies need to structure themselves to become true lean product organizations, and to succeed they require a very specific and fundamental role: The Digital Product Manager or Lean Product Manager. But, neither the Product Owner, nor traditional product managers, nor Business Development Managers can develop that role successfully.

In fact, the Lean Product Manager or Digital Product Manager is the sum of the three previous roles, as it is responsible for the product strategy, the design and evolution of a sustainable and scalable business model and for coordinating all efforts for the iterative and incremental evolution of the digital product or service that delights customers and generates business growth.

The figure of the Lean Product Manager or Digital Product Manager is not new. What is new is its application to the digital or software sector. Where initially there were Business Product Managers and Project Managers, later on they moved to Business Product Managers or Business Owners and Product Owners on the delivery teams. But the needed evolution consists in merging all responsibilities in the figure of the Lean Product Manager.

At AKTIA Solutions, within our Digital Product Management services, we have designed a series of programs to help our clients develop this skillset, fix the organizational gap and lead them to sustained growth and leadership. We work from the most advanced product management techniques, to the organizational structure or design of the product strategy.

Specifically, in our two-day Lean Product Management workshop we develop the fundamental techniques that any digital Product Manager must master and then complement it with additional in-house modules or support programs, and product management coaching.

The Problem

The current high demand for Digital Product Managers is indicative of a trend towards the professionalization of digital product teams and a change of mentality in companies that want to lead their markets.

Companies face the need for great growth and the lack of qualified profiles and high turnover. To do this it can be helpful to develop talent internally.

In order for companies to grow and lead their markets, it is essential that they be structured in autonomous product teams led by a Digital Product Manager with proven experience in Lean Product Management. This person is fully responsible for product success, including: strategy, P&L, budgeting, sales, marketing, go-to-market, development.

This requires skills that most of the professionals we have mentioned do not have: product strategy, market research and prospecting, competitive analysis, pricing, business models, marketing, results-oriented management, customer development, etc …

But, to lead a lean product team, you need a professional with a combination of technical skills, business and product management techniques very difficult to find. And, when companies need a modern Product Manager to lead a digital product team, they find the following options:

  • Product Owners without business skills
  • Business Profiles with little or none knowledge of Agile and Lean Startup
  • Technical profiles with no experience in modern product management.

The problem we find is that most Product Owners have very good knowledge of Agile and most come from a technology background, but they need to develop additional skills to successfully lead product teams and help their company achieve their goals.

On the other hand we have profiles such as traditional Product Managers, Project Managers or Business Development Managers with a lot of business experience but who need to develop the basic notions of iterative and incremental product development. What in essence would be Lean Startup.

We have another group of professionals who would be technicians or engineers with great experience in Agile but who want to make the leap to digital product management.

Lean Product Management

Lean Product Management is nothing new. What happens is that due to the momentum of Agile and Lean Startup methodologies and the rapid change we are experiencing, the figure of the Lean Product Manager has become a fundamental piece for those companies that want to develop products that delight their customers, innovate and lead their markets.

Success of this figure requires a reorganization of the value flow in Value Streams or autonomous product teams.

If we put an expert Lean Product Manager in an organization by silos or functional units she will get frustrated. On the other hand, if we put an inexperienced role in a lean product organization, she will not be able to lead development and innovation successfully.

Therefore, from AKTIA Solutions we have designed several training, consulting and coaching programs to help companies want to take the step. Specifically, our Lean Product Management training lays the foundation for any profile mentioned above to successfully lead a digital product team.

In our Lean Product Management training we cover the following 8 key modules where we deal with various digital product management techniques:

  1. Product Life Cycle
  2. Business Models
  3. Product-Market Fit
  4. Product Strategy
  5. OKRs
  6. Lean Product Roadmap
  7. Prioritization Techniques
  8. Lean Analytics (Lean Metrics)

Lean Product Management Guide

Download our Lean Product Management guide and learn how to successfully apply Lean Startup techniques to deliver better products to market faster!

Digital Product Management

In addition to the Lean Product Management workshop we offer top-notch consulting programs to help your company become a modern Lean Product Organization that grows steadily and leads its market.