Product Management buzzwords and what they mean

Have you ever been in a discussion with your cross-functional teams and had no idea what they were talking about? It could come from the engineering team, the design team, or even other product managers.

We don’t blame you. Because product management is evolving at such a rapid pace, it is difficult to keep up with the terminologies and phrases. The discipline serves as a hub for product knowledge, market research, customer input, and other responsibilities which are crucial for developing a valuable product.

So, here is a list that will help you to understand the buzzwords and jargon. These product management buzzwords will be helpful if you’re: new to product management or want to start your career as a PM.

1. Product-Market Fit

Product-market fit was coined by entrepreneur Marc Andreesen who says it “means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” He adds that when an entrepreneur identifies the need in the market and builds a solution that fits the customer’s needs, this is more relevantly called the product-market fit.

Product-market fit is a scenario in which your customers become your salespeople. In other words, it is a condition in which the company’s customers are buying, using, and telling others about the product.

In the long term, this condition is profitable for the sustainable growth of the product and its profitability. That’s much like word-of-mouth marketing.

To fit into this bubble, companies must find out the untouched areas of the target customers, solve their pain points and define the unique value proposition.

Ask a few questions before deciding on a new product or making changes to existing ones; How will the product affect customers? Will it offer better quality? Is it providing value?

2. Go-To-Market Strategy

GTM or Go-to-market strategy is an action plan that the product managers create to reach their end customers. The plan revolves around the strategies that a company will employ to reach, sell, and promote the product to its target customers. Now, this is much like a blueprint that the Product managers create to focus on the areas for selling and promoting the product. Hence, GTM focuses on the factors such as sales distribution channels, pricing, and promotion.

This is much similar to creating a business plan except that the business plan is broader in scope and considers various other factors.

GTM is crucial for any company since it can help predict the success of the product. Further, this strategy can help create a clearly defined path for the stakeholders so that they can make informed decisions.

GTM is one of the key skills for any Product manager that majorly focus on five core components:

  • Which market to target to sell products and services?

3. Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

MVP or minimum viable product is a concept where the company creates a product with the basic features so that they can get the required attention from the customers. The additional features are added further only when the product receives sufficient feedback.

The benefit of adapting the MVP technique is that the marketing team or the product management team can easily find out the strengths and weaknesses of the product.

MVP has three major components using which the company can decide the future of the product:

  • The first is to include as many features as possible in the basic version to attract the initial audience.

4. Product Roadmap

The product roadmap is a high-level strategic document that the product manager creates and maintains so that they can find the objectives and the vision of the product.

This can also be called the outline of where the product is going and how it will evolve. The product management team can use the product roadmap tools to communicate better improvisation between its internal team and stakeholders.

Now, there are different roadmaps for different levels of the organization. For example, the roadmap for the internal team includes the agile methods, and these roadmaps highlight the problems in a timeline.

For the sales team, the roadmap must-have features and benefits so that the sales team can initiate better conversations.

5. Design Thinking

Design thinking is a human-centric approach that refers to the product manager’s sensibility to determine and match people’s needs. This technique can help match people’s needs and find what is technologically feasible.

In simple words, design thinking is a technique that includes a profound understanding of the customers or audiences for whom the company is creating the product or service.

Design thinking helps us to solve various questions so that the product gives expected value to the users. Thus, design thinking is like re-framing the problems in human-centric ways and generating ideas in brainstorming sessions so that the product can be efficient enough.

We have divided design thinking into five main components or phases:

  • Empathize with the users

6. Agile software methodology

Agile is one of the most common methodologies that is frequently used in software companies but also can be used by various industries to iteratively complete projects.

In this method, the team works briefly or what may be called a sprint, and they regroup frequently to review the product and make changes.

This working framework can also be called Scrum.

The agile method usually aims to deliver the product by creating small chunks of functionality and by creating a small team to gather quick customer feedback.

Thus, the agile method has helped to reduce the challenges faced by the companies that go with the policy of delivering large chunks of features in a longer period of time when the customers’ demand may change frequently.

Agile methodology reduces the chance of the wrong product being delivered and reduces waste of resources and time.

7. Material design

Material design is one of the popular buzzwords in product management. It’s a design language that aims to enhance the user experience of a product using a certain visual design style.

According to Wikipedia, Material Design is a design language developed by Google in 2014. Expanding on the “cards” that debuted in Google Now, Material Design uses more grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects such as lighting and shadows.

The main purpose of material design is to combine good designs with scientific innovations. Material design can help solve the problem of imagining how the product will behave by delivering a predictable experience.

8. User Onboarding

Onboarding is the backbone of product management. It is a process using which the new users can become proficient enough to use an application. This includes creating the journey that includes initial experience in the application, online or offline training, goal-setting, and the organization’s customer success process.

If the onboarding process is proficient enough, the churn rate is drastically reduced.

Now, the onboarding includes various metrics such as the rate at which the users completes the onboarding and how long it will take to complete all the necessary elements of the onboarding journey.

9. KPI

KPI or Key Performance Indicator is one of the most used terms in product management. It includes various metrics for measuring the success of the product.

Hence, KPI is crucial to determine the success or failure, get feedback and improve the product.

KPI counts metrics that include activities, revenues, costs, and usages. It depends on the product managers to choose the KPIs to map their product success.

But the most common KPIs in product management include customer performance, product usage, CAC, LTV, churn, and financial performance indicators.

Collectively, product managers will use 5–6 KPIs to determine the performance of a product and use the additional ones; if necessary.

To further streamline the process and map product lifecycle, the product managers must use KPIs by following methods:

  • Identify only a few metrics that matter. (Don’t get overwhelmed.)

These are some of the most popular product management buzzwords. If you want to work in product management, you should be familiar with these terms. Not just the definition, but a thorough understanding of each of these terms and the process involved is required.

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Zeda.io aims to make Product Management and Development Simpler & Smarter. We write about Product Management, Product Design, Product Development, and startups.