Product Lifecycle Management Research Center

Product management aligns your products and services to enterprise strategy and priorities, helping you deliver the RIGHT value, to the RIGHT consumers, at the RIGHT time.

Becoming a product-centric organization is not a linear journey. Teams need to focus on these three key transformation areas:


Product Lifecycle Management

Enabling the long-term and evolving delivery of value to customers and stakeholders based on business and user requirements.


Product Delivery Management

Improving time-to-value by creating a continuously improving agile delivery pipeline for your product and service changes.


Application Portfolio Management

Discovering, rationalizing, and modernizing your application portfolio to deliver business value.

These pieces fit together to help teams improve alignment, awareness, and decisions. Extend your product management and delivery value by improving your requirements management and software quality assurance processes. Visit the Agile / DevOps Resource Center to help make the transition to Agile DevOps to enhance your product delivery pipeline.

After establishing your product management and delivery alignment, review your org design to better align teams to your new product-centric model. Make Your IT Governance Adaptable to update and modernize your IT governance.

Define Your Products and Services

Projects end, but products and services live on. Product owners shift focus from incremental changes to product maturity. Teams need to view the product or service as a long-term entity that will be managed, enhanced, and adapted to meet the organization's changing needs. Consider starting with Make the Case for Product Delivery.

  1. Projects can still be the source for funding. The project release milestones or phases are tied to the product releases. Project is simply the team funding method for the product lifecycle. In a hybrid model, product owners now use their roadmaps and backlogs to generate and manage release scope. This aligns to your continuous delivery of product value and longer-term alignment to enterprise goals.
  2. Teams still need to focus on key milestones and releases, especially when other teams are impacted. Project managers continue to manage milestones and PMO governance gates but no longer manage tasks and work assignments (Agile uses self-managing teams). If the team does not use PMs, then the product owner or scrum master takes over these responsibilities.
  3. As you improve product management and delivery maturity, product releases can follow your CI/CD delivery pipeline and coordinate timed releases when end users are impacted or require training/communication.

Align your transition to product delivery with your Agile transformation

While product management ensures we deliver the highest ROI improvements aligned with enterprise goals, product delivery is essential to implementing those changes. Visit our Agile / DevOps Resource Center to find ways to improve your delivery capabilities.

Deliver on Your Digital Product Vision

To achieve outcomes that are aligned with the needs of your organization, you need a clear product vision and a tactical plan to bring that vision to life. Product owners need to build a roadmap and backlog strategy aligned with their product vision and fulfill the product goals. Product owners should start with Deliver on Your Digital Product Vision to build their product strategy playbook.

  • Product organizations are under pressure to align the value they provide to the organization’s goals and overall company vision.
  • You need to clearly convey your direction, strategy, and tactics to gain alignment, support, and funding from your organization.
  • Products require continuous additions and enhancements to sustain their value. This requires detailed, yet simple communication with a variety of stakeholders.

Operationally Align Product and Services to Enterprise Goals

Your organizational goals and strategy are achieved through capabilities that deliver value. Your product hierarchy is the mechanism to translate enterprise goals, priorities, and constraints down to the product level where changes can be made.

Align and group product owners to your operational product structure to translate enterprise strategy down to product changes that deliver value-enabling capabilities.

  1. To align product changes with enterprise goals and priorities, you need to organize your products into operational groups based on the capabilities or business functions the product and family support.
  2. Product managers translate these goals, priorities, and constraints into their product families, so they are actionable at the next level, whether that level is another product family or products implementing enhancements to meet these goals.
  3. The product family manager ensures the product changes enhance the capabilities that allow you to realize your product family, division, and enterprise goals.
  4. Enabling capabilities realize value and help reach your goals, which then drives your next set of enterprise goals and strategy.

Build Better Product Owners

Mature and Scale Product Ownership

Strengthen the product owner role in your organization by focusing on core capabilities and proper alignment. Product ownership is not one-size-fits-all or static. It must be tuned and structured to meet the delivery needs of your organization and the customers it serves. Create a culture of product management trust and empowerment with product owners aligned to your operational product needs.

Unfortunately, most product owners operate with incomplete knowledge of the skills and capabilities needed to excel in the role. Common gaps include focusing only on product backlogs, acting as a proxy for product decisions, and ignoring the need for key performance indicators (KPIs) and analytics in both planning and value realization.

Build a Better Product Owner and the Info-Tech Product Owner Capability Model help product and service owners understand the needed skills for their role, assess their current maturity, and build a personal development plan.

  • Understand the types of product owners and how to scale product ownership to align to your operational structure and product needs.
  • Leverage the product owner capability map to better define the role and provide a development path for product owners.
  • Define the impact of cultural factors to the success of product owners and develop strategies to improve your transformation to product ownership and dedicated product owners.

Enhance Product Delivery to Improve Time to Value

Product Management feeds your product delivery pipeline with the Right Changes, for the Right Users, at the Right Time. To improve quality and time to value, look for opportunities to improve your delivery capabilities and throughput.

Understand Your Application Portfolio

  • Ensure your application portfolio delivers the best possible return on investment.
  • Application Portfolio Management is the mechanism to ensure the applications in your enterprise are delivering value and support for your value streams and business capabilities. Understanding value, satisfaction, technical health, and total cost of ownership are critical to digital transformation, modernization, and roadmaps.
  • APM establishes a program and record of applications used in your organization, an assessment of how well they are supporting their core functions, and guidance on where modernization efforts are needed. The dashboards help support conversations and improve IT planning and product management. It cannot tell people what to fix, how to fix it, or why an app is underperforming, but it helps teams focus their limited resources on areas and diagnostics that can improve ROI and IT satisfaction.

Align Organizational Design and Governance to Optimize Product Value

Product delivery can exist within any org structure or delivery model. However, when making the shift toward product management, consider optimizing your org design and product team structure to match your capacity and throughput needs

Start with Phase 4 “Bridge the Gap Between Product Families and Delivery” in Deliver Digital Products at Scale. When you find an opportunity to improve your organizational alignment to improve product management and delivery, use Redesign Your IT Organizational Structure to make that transformation easier.

Shifting to adaptive governance is critical to improving business agility and making sure teammates understand their accountability. Begin your governance transformation with Make Your IT Governance Adaptable.

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