Making Product Management a Modern Business Process

by nils  - February 5, 2014

Central System of Record

Having a central record of truth – a system of record – has propelled the modernization of business processes over centuries, from the notion of “the ledger” in accounting, through ERP, to CRM, to the code repository for a software company. Product management is one of the last business organizations to work with ad hoc records – emails, Office documents, Post-it Notes, and wiki pages.

Not quite – this is a system of tape. We’re looking for a system of record. (CC 2.0 licensed by Dean Terry)

All the inputs to product management are ad hoc and random:

  • Emails
  • Documents
  • Tweets
  • Ideas from the idea management system
  • Phone calls
  • Defects from the defect tracking system
  • Enhancements from the defect tracking system
  • Support requests
  • Executive “suggestions”
  • And so on

These all need to brought into a single repository, and organized so they can be of use.

Simply making the step up to having a “source of truth” for all PM artifacts creates incredible advantages for product managers and their companies. And if the product management system of record actually understands product management processes, and how the different pieces of information interact, then so much the better.

This is an excerpt from my upcoming new book, a template that product management organizations can use to automate the PM process. Look for it soon from an e-book distributor near you. To be notified when it’s available, please sign up for my mailing list over in the right sidebar.


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The Right Level of Abstraction, Also Called “Chunks of Value”


Your host and author, Nils Davis, is a long-time product manager, consultant, trainer, and coach. He is the author of The Secret Product Manager Handbook, many blog posts, a series of video trainings on product management, and the occasional grilled pizza.

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