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The Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge: ProdBOK(R) Guide Paperback – August 15, 2013
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About the Author
Greg Geracie is a recognized product management thought leader and the president of Actuation Consulting, a global provider of product management training, consulting, and advisory services to some of the world’s most well-known organizations. Greg is the author of the global best seller Take Charge Product Management and led the development of the ProdBOK Guide as editor-in-chief. He is also an adjunct professor at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.Steven D. Eppinger is professor of management science and innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management. Professor Eppinger teaches MIT’s executive programs in product development and complex project management. He has co-authored a leading textbook, Product Design and Development (5th edition, 2012, McGraw-Hill), which is used by hundreds of universities around the world.
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Top customer reviews
Section 1 is broad primer of the background, history, roles and marketing concepts relevant to the job. For those new to the role, or those who have roles adjacent to product management, there may be some fundamentals here worth understanding. For experienced practitioners, this may be worth leafing through as refresher.
Section 2 is really the meat of the book, and walks through a seven-phase lifecycle framework from inception to retirement for a product. It attempts to capture major activities that MAY be part of the needed process for creating new products and services or advancing existing ones. It is not intended to define the only way it can be done. It also tries to identify who the major collaborators may be with product management and also the trade-offs that may exist in any specific organization. For those with more experience, there may be some guidance in getting past some issues that may be hampering you.
Section 3 is complementary to Section 2 to provide some specific examples of tools and checklists for each of the lifecycle phases.
The major goal of the book was an attempt to bring together a cohesive view of product management and to provide a useful reference for all of the activities required in delivering products to the marketplace. In that regard, it's probably more of a Product Management 101/201 reference book than an attempt to address more advanced topics like strategy, politics, conflict and other issues that can sidetrack the role.
The challenges associated with creating this book were many. First, the breadth and depth of the book required the involvement of many individuals, and weaving together many inputs in a relatively cohesive manner was no small task. My complements to the editors for their tenacity and skill in pulling it off.
Second, the role of product management across industries, companies and products varies dramatically, and trying to capture a generalized view without getting too prescriptive was a constant focus. This often required stepping back and trying a different track to cover a broader view.
Third, product management success lies more in the close association and working relationships with other functions and individuals in the company than in the rote activities and product management framework. Product management cannot succeed as an island. This book attempts to identify those needed relationships in addition to processes that have proven to be successful when applied in a collaborative environment. If you find yourself in a situation that's not effective or satisfying, this book may give some hints as to how to find a winning formula.
Lastly, your specific experience or current role definition may vary significantly from what is defined in this book. The intent is for you to identify what is working and stick to it, and there may be ideas to make it work even better. For those activities that may have challenges, or are new for the role in your company, this book may provide a foundation for getting over the hump in establishing new ways of doing business. Apply them in a way that works for you and with the support of others in your organization.
This is just the initial release of the ProdBOK, and has many opportunities for improvement going forward. Hopefully, it provides a useful first step in helping product management be successful.
- Don Vendetti
- Steve Starke
One of the challenges in this field is that people have a lot of different views on what it is or should be, and where it fits relative to engineering, marketing, sales, etc. Further, there are legitimate differences for the role of a product manager based on company stage (i.e. startup vs. an established company with mature product lines), vertical (i.e. technology/consumer goods/media/etc) and other internal and external factors. While the exact answers to that will be specific to an organization, the ProdBOK does a remarkable job tackling these diverse issues and will be invaluable to any individual/organization striving to have an effective product management role.
From defining the various roles commonly ascribed to a PrdMgr, to establishing some best practices for those roles, and putting them into a real world context, this book is something I wish I had when I started my career -- the book would have been a valuable reference at every stage, not to mention being bookmarked, highlighted, and annotated extensively!