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From Idea to Launch: The Role of Product Management Frameworks

Read this guide to learn what product management frameworks are and why they’re important for business growth.

A project management framework is an umbrella term that covers different processes, tools, and tasks that takes a product from the idea stage to completion.

It collects each step, stage, and action needed to make a concept into reality and lays everything out for everyone to see and visualize to track the progress of the project. Each component has subsections that further break down the work that needs to be done, what's expected to come next, and the overall status of the project.

Having a product management framework is important because it provides guidance and structure and helps improve the quality of a product. Product management frameworks exist to set your products up for success.

In this article, we'll go over the product management process, why companies use product management frameworks, the types of frameworks, and more. Continue reading to learn how to use a product management framework to your advantage.

What is product management?

Product management is the act of taking a thought or concept and turning it into a finished product. The process can be applied to anything from software to children's toys.

Having the best product management frameworks will help you make your concept into reality while reducing the potential for things to go wrong as the product development process moves forward. It's essential to developing a successful, effective product for your business.

The three major phases of the product management process involve the following:

Product discovery process

The product discovery process is where you determine if your idea is good enough to turn into a product, also known as a minimum viable product. It's where you fill in the gaps, look at the concept from different perspectives, gain insight from other parties, and determine if you should move forward or not.

Product planning process

The product planning process is where you start to bring together all the various aspects of the product and put it to the test. You need to figure out the final form of the product, what needs to go into its creation, the price point, and its distribution.

This is also a phase where you look at the future of the product and create your product growth strategies.

Product development process

The product development framework typically has six or seven stages of progress that take the product from the planning process and turn it into a real product. It begins with the original idea, then moves on to the following:

  • Defining the idea and its concept
  • Conducting market research to determine how to price your products
  • Creating a business plan and finding funds
  • Creating and testing a prototype
  • Coming up with the final design and production
  • Marketing and distributing the product

Why do companies use product management frameworks?

The main purpose of a product management framework is to set goals that are reasonable, create product teams and assign them specific tasks, and name a product manager to oversee the work.

The product manager has the job of tracking progress and keeping key stakeholders updated as to the current state of the development process. The framework also helps the project teams compare their progress against each other and shapes expectations as to when a product team can expect to receive work completed by another team.

The product management framework can be used to create any type of product by businesses of all sizes. It's a written process that helps create a product strategy, makes the process visible and tangible by all involved, and keeps everyone involved accountable, whether it's a single person or a hundred. You can make your concept into reality when you use a framework for product management.

There are a few other reasons why companies use product management frameworks. They range from:

  • Creating a repeatable process for future success
  • Keeping costs in line during development and production
  • Identifying problems and solving them before production
  • Measuring customer satisfaction with product prototypes
  • Setting goals for the product
  • Determining a "drop dead" date for which to start production

Types of product management frameworks

There are quite a few product management frameworks that you can apply to your product development process. Each one has a central theme to which your product team and product managers pivot around to create a viable product.

Strategic frameworks

A strategic framework takes a goal or a mission for the product and defines a strategy to reach the stated goal.

For example, you want the product you're producing to be the most popular or desirable and outshine the competition. That means learning about the needs of the customer, paying close attention to customer feedback, how the product fits into the lives of the user, and how other companies have marketed similar items.

Make sure the product managers know that they need to stay flexible and nimble when it comes to making necessary changes as the framework progresses.

Prioritization frameworks

Product management prioritization frameworks contain consistent details that the product teams use when putting in features.

That is, the team has to consistently use these features as part of the development process because the details are vital to the product. Product managers have to ensure that the priorities are adhered to during the process.

Discovery frameworks

Discovery frameworks are a deep dive into the viability of a product and using the resulting evidence to refine the product further.

The product teams do most of the work during the early stages of the project to reduce costs, eliminate problems, and make it easier to get the product developed for the market.

Stages of a product management framework

All product management frameworks have a core structure that consists of several key stages. It's possible to take some out or add more in as needed, but the core stages help you move from one process to the next while minimizing the potential to overlook something vital.

Ideation stage

The ideation stage is when you introduce the concept and ask for input from the product team. This is where questions about the product strategy are brought up, if there are any priority features, and if the final product is going to be a minimal viable product or fully developed when the process is completed.

Concept development stage

The product's definition is solidified at this stage, and its scope is set. This is where costs, revenues, and profits associated with the product are determined.

Other tasks at this stage include package design, manufacturing, and distribution of the product concept to get customer feedback. The product's market segment is also determined to find the niche that it will occupy and where it will be marketed.

Design stage

The design of the product is finalized at this stage. All of the features and/or elements that have been approved by the stakeholders are now put into the final prototype that goes out for the test phase.

This goes for a minimum viable product as well as a product that's loaded with features or details. The product that's released to the public doesn't have to be considered finished, but it should be a long way towards its final form when it goes to market.

Launch stage

This is the point where the product is offered to the market at large or aimed at a target demographic. You should have support staff trained and ready to answer questions when the product reaches the market to help set your brand apart from the competition with excellent customer service.

Feedback and improvement stage

After the product has launched, you take the customer feedback and use it to improve your product. If customers like a feature, you know to leave it alone and work on features that customers complain about or don't otherwise like.

Examples of product management frameworks

The following are examples of the best product management frameworks that are used by companies of all sizes:

Minimum viable product

A minimum viable product framework focuses on putting in the least amount of effort to create a viable product and make it work according to customer expectations. Also known as a lean startup method, the minimum viable product framework helps you deliver a product now and improve it later.

Working backward

Working backward, also known as the Amazon method, begins with the product team visualizing that the product is ready to go to the market and creating a press release, then working backward through the framework.

This is also a great way to figure out how to sell a product online because it starts with a fully-formed marketing plan, with the remaining effort going into creating a webpage to position the product.


DIGs is short for:

  • Dramatize the situation
  • Indicate the alternatives
  • Go through what you did
  • Summarize your impact

The DIGs framework consists of team members acting out any number of emotional reactions to a product, then using that information to develop the product further.

Product growth

The product growth framework is one of the best product management frameworks to help a product gain more market share. It's a multi-step framework that starts with identifying the company's growth stage, sets growth priorities, then works on execution.

Dual track agile

Dual track agile is a framework for product management that uses two tracks: discovery and delivery. The discovery track is the conceptual side of the process, and the delivery track focuses on turning the concepts into a product.

Double diamond

The double diamond framework is named as such because it uses a double diamond-shaped planning process. One product team works on the problem, the other works on a solution, and both converge/diverge at set points during the development process.

Choose the right product management framework for your business

There are a lot of options when it comes to picking a framework for product management. You want to pick the best product management framework that makes sense for your idea, whether you're looking to create a business idea or plan out a new product.

Identify what it is you want to accomplish, then look at the various product management frameworks to find one that provides a process that meets your needs.

At Mailchimp, we can help you find a framework for product management that works for you as well as help you build your online business ideas with the right product management frameworks.

We'll give you access to analytics and tools that provide you with the information you need to refine your product management process at all steps and help your product become a success.

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