Features
Start Free Trial
Start Free Trial

Glossary: Product management

Hand-picked product management terms, definitions, and frequently asked questions. Each product management term is defined and explained simply by our research team.

All
Product management
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

A

A/B Test

An A/B test is an essential comparative process used to identify which version of two items is most effective, such as PPC ads, landing pages, and more.

Read more →
AARRR Framework

AARRR stands for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral and Revenue. Bringing these metrics together in the AARRR framework helps start-ups to grow and scale.

Read more →
API

API is an initialism for application programming interface. An API allows two different applications to speak to each other, by acting as a software intermediary that can both send and receive information.

Read more →
Action priority matrix

The Action Priority Matrix is a diagrammatic framework which helps product managers to prioritize their tasks and make the best use of their limited time. It does this by plotting the impact of a task against the effort it requires.

Read more →
Affinity Diagram

An affinity diagram is an organizational tool used to consolidate large volumes of information or data according to their similarities, or affinities.

Read more →
Affinity Grouping

Affinity Grouping is a collaborative tool used for gathering qualitative data and sorting it based on shared themes. The process also involves prioritizing the groups formed and agreeing on actions that should be taken based on the results.

Read more →
Amplitude

Amplitude is a product intelligence app that gives companies greater insights into the relationship between their customers and their product. This allows businesses to make data-driven decisions, to improve their marketing, and their customer retention.

Read more →

B

Behavioral Product Management (BPM)

The application of the study of human psychology to product design.

Read more →
Beta Test

A limited release of software or an application to assess it for bugs and other issues before it is released generally.

Read more →
Bill Of Materials (BOM)

A bill of materials is an exhaustive list of the components, parts, and raw materials required for manufacturing a product.

Read more →
Bubble Sort

Bubble sort is a beginner's algorithm in programming that can be used throughout your career. It sorts data from high to low (or low to high) by comparing each element to the one that comes after it.

Read more →
Bucket Sort

Bucket Sort is a sorting algorithm that separates elements in a dataset into different buckets (also known as categories or bins). The buckets are then sorted individually and recombined to produce the final, sorted dataset.

Read more →
Bugs

Bugs are issues that disrupt a software’s performance, in one or more ways. Bugs may be small enough to go unnoticed until a product hits the market, or big enough to render software unusable.

Read more →
Business Intelligence (BI)

Business Intelligence refers to the uncovering, interpreting and application of relevant data and information to help businesses make better decisions.

Read more →
Business Model Canvas

A short summary containing strategic details of the requirements to get a product to the marketplace.

Read more →
Business-to-Business (B2B)

Business to business is a transactional model that describes companies who sell products or services to other companies.

Read more →
Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

Business-to-consumer is the most popular commerce model in the business world. It is used to refer to companies that sell products or services directly to individual consumers.

Read more →
Buy-a-Feature

Buy-a-Feature is a gamified approach to prioritizing a product’s development. Teams work directly with a group of customers or stakeholders to learn which features they value most as a collective.

Read more →
Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a functional tool that helps businesses maximize their customer experiences by creating products based on a concrete understanding of the people buying (but not necessarily using) them.

Read more →

C

Cannibalization

Product cannibalization is when a company has several products that compete with one another within the same market.

Read more →
Captive Product Pricing

When pricing captive products, businesses usually follow a twofold strategy that combines a lower price for the core product with a higher price for accessories or replaceable items.

Read more →
Change Management

A methodical approach to aiding staff covert from one system or process to another.

Read more →
Chief Product Officer (CPO)

A Chief Product Officer, or CPO, is an executive title given to the person responsible for overseeing a technology company’s full range of product operations, including strategy, innovation, management, and marketing.

Read more →
Concept Review

A concept review is a discussion where you evaluate different or competing concepts and decide which ones you're going to invest in and see through to completion.

Read more →
Cost of Delay (CoD)

The Cost of Delay is a prioritization framework that helps product managers make informed decisions by weighing in the monetary implications of being late to market.

Read more →
Critical Path Method (CPM)

The critical path method is a modeling algorithm designed to help product managers escape inefficient scheduling and gain a clear overview of all tasks at hand.

Read more →
Customer Advisory Board (CAB)

A customer advisory board is a group of customers brought together by a business to provide expert advice and share insights about its products and services.

Read more →
Customer Development

A framework that assesses whether or not the product fulfills the customer’s needs.

Read more →
Customer Empathy

Customer empathy is the ability to see the world through your user’s eyes. This understanding helps you see where your product fits into their lifestyle, and where it can really add value.

Read more →
Customer Journey Map

A customer journey map outlines each step, across all touchpoints, that a user takes to interact with or buy from your product, service or brand. Customer journey maps can increase empathy with users and reveal areas for added value.

Read more →
Customer Success

Customer success is a relationship-focused business strategy. Its primary focus is to help a customer achieve their goals when using a product or service — and to do so in an engaging, satisfying way.

Read more →

D

DACI Decision-Making Framework

The DACI Decision-Making Framework is a model designed to make group decision making faster and more effective by assigning specific roles to team members. These roles establish clear responsibilities and help avoid unhealthy disagreements.

Read more →
Data Product Manager

A data product manager is an emerging role in product development. A data PM is responsible for championing data-driven insights in design, and actively leveraging the flow of data, too.

Read more →
Dependency

A dependency describes the relationship among activities and specifies the particular order in which they need to be performed.

Read more →
Design Concept

A design concept establishes the core idea of driving the design and development of a product. It outlines what a product is, who it’s for, and how it works.

Read more →
Design Ops

Design ops applies to the process of organizing and optimizing a design team’s workflow, structure, and processes to maximize its value to a company as a whole.

Read more →
Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a user-centric approach to innovation and problem solving. Focused on empathizing with users, Design Thinking is concerned with developing meaningful products that keep users’ genuine wants and needs at heart.

Read more →
DevOps

Principles used to transform a workforce mindset so that it can better communicate and collaborate in developing and releasing a product.

Read more →
Digital Transformation

Digital transformation refers to the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business to redesign processes and products for the digital age.

Read more →
Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive Innovation refers to a product or solution that establishes a new market, business model, or industry (ultimately, “disrupting” those that already exist).

Read more →
Divergent Thinking

Divergent thinking, often referred to as lateral thinking, is the process of creating multiple, unique ideas or solutions to a problem that you are trying to solve.

Read more →
Documentation

This is the explanatory details relating to either the products or processes.

Read more →

E

F

Feature Flags

Used within software product development to change and deliver programming code.

Read more →
Feature Audit

A feature audit provides businesses with a quick snapshot of their product's feature usage. Using a graph that plots customer activity on two axes, they outline how features are performing.

Read more →
Feature Bloat

Feature bloat relates to products carrying excessive features, perhaps becoming overloaded to a point that core functions are impaired.

Read more →
Feature Factory

A feature factory is a company that consistently comes out with new features for an existing product. This is a derogatory term, as it implies that the features are poorly implemented or simply not necessary, and only serve to prop up a mediocre product.

Read more →
Features

Features are the defining attributes of a product that make it valuable to customers and distinguish it from the rest of the market.

Read more →
Features, Advantages and Benefits (FAB) Analysis

A FAB analysis describes the features, advantages and benefits of a product, and how they work together to help differentiate a product within the market.

Read more →
Five Whys (5 Whys)

The Five Whys is a technique used to understand the root cause of problems, and identify counter-measures that prevent them happening again. It focuses on rectifying underlying issues rather than their symptoms.

Read more →
Freemium

Freemium is a business model many SaaS companies leverage. They offer two core versions of a product: free and paid, though the latter may consist of multiple packages tailored to different users.

Read more →
Fundamentally New Product

A fundamentally new product is a breakthrough that delivers functionality and a user experience unlike any other product currently available. This may hinge on the technology utilized, the business model, or both.

Read more →

G

H

I

J

K

M

Market Requirements Document (MRD)

This is a document that attempts to identify demand for a product.

Read more →
Market Validation

Market validation is the process of verifying a product of concept with a target market, usually via interviews.

Read more →
Mind Map

A mind map is a brainstorming tool which allows you to explore a central idea, and all of its related topics, in a non-linear way.

Read more →
Minimum Viable Experience (MVE)

The term MVE: Minimum Viable Experience refers to how a customer feels when they interact with a brand’s MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

Read more →
Minimum Viable Feature (MVF)

An aspect of a product that is experimental and includes the smallest possible attributes.

Read more →
Mission Statement

A mission statement is a clear definition of a business, its goals, its ethos, its reasons for being and its primary customers.

Read more →
Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a popular SaaS tool used to monitor customer behavior. It offers high reliability and deep insights. Businesses can use Mixpanel to understand their customer engagement, track trends among their users, and optimize their marketing.

Read more →
MoSCoW Prioritization

MoSCoW Prioritization is a method for organizing project requirements based on their priority level. “MoSCoW” is an acronym for Must-Have, Should-Have, Could-Have, and Won't-Have.

Read more →
Mockup

A mockup is a model or replica version of how a final product is going to look and feel. Mockups are used by designers to acquire user feedback and inform changes throughout the various stages of product development.

Read more →

N

O

P

Persona

A persona is an imaginary profile designed to represent the details of a set of end-users.

Read more →
Personalization

Personalization is the act of tailoring a service or a product to accommodate a specific individual or group.

Read more →
Pivot

Pivot is a strategy that is used to redirect the business objective of a project or product.

Read more →
Platform Product Manager

A Platform Product Manager is responsible for the management of not just a single application, but an entire platform. Examples of these platforms include operating systems, operating environments, and web services.

Read more →
Prioritization

This is a process by which a set of tasks are assessed for the order in which they will be developed.

Read more →
Priority Poker

Priority Poker / Planning Poker is a technique designed to help product teams prioritize their backlog in a way which is fair, democratic and a little gamified.

Read more →
Product Architecture

A product architecture map uses basic geometric shapes to express the functionality of a product. This allows the developers and designers to hone in on the right functional choices without being too concerned about the aesthetics of the product.

Read more →
Product Brief

A product brief is the first step towards building a high-quality product. It sets the course to success by aligning all product teams under a unified strategy.

Read more →
Product Description Sheet

A product description sheet defines the scope of a product in specific terms. The document is used during the planning phase to create a clear idea of what the final product should look like, and is then passed on to the development team for execution.

Read more →
Product Design

Product design refers to the process of conceptualizing, creating, launching and improving upon a product that solves a user problem (while adding value to the business). Winter coats are an outcome of product design, as is the laptop computer.

Read more →
Product Development Manager (PDM)

A Product Development Manager (PDM) is responsible for researching, assessing, and coordinating the development of innovative and compelling new products. They also work on the development and improvement of existing products to better meet customer needs.

Read more →
Product Development Process

A methodical approach to aiding staff covert from one system or process to another.

Read more →
Product Differentiation

Product differentiation is how a business distinguishes a service or product from others that are available in the same category.

Read more →
Product Discovery

Product discovery is the customer-centric process of determining whether or not a product or feature should be developed. It requires in-depth customer knowledge, to identify and validate which user problem(s) a build could solve.

Read more →
Product Disruptor

A product disruptor is an innovation that adds new value to a business, by future-proofing against market threats, competitor rivalry or customer behavior change.

Read more →
Product Enablement

Product enablement increases awareness and understanding of a business’s product(s) across the entire organization, with the aim of making each and every employee higher performing.

Read more →
Product Excellence

Product excellence refers to a framework for developing a product or feature based on a deep understanding of user needs. Product excellence enables businesses to innovate more efficiently, enabling them to get the right products to market quickly.

Read more →
Product Launch

A product launch describes the time a new product, good or service first hits the marketplace — and how it performs in the months that follow. Many teams will be involved in a successful product launch, including marketing, sales, finance, and development.

Read more →
Product Lifecycle

The product lifecycle is the journey each product takes from the inception of an idea all the way through to a product’s retirement.

Read more →
Product Management Audit

A comprehensive assessment concerning the processes and strategy of an organisation’s product management.

Read more →
Product Management Talent

Product Management Talent refers to a selection of candidates who have the skills and qualifications required to be successful in a particular product role.

Read more →
Product Manager

A product manager is responsible for the success of a product. The product manager has profound knowledge on the developed product and everything that goes with it.

Read more →
Product Marketing Manager

This is the person who’s chief objective is to broadcast the value of the product to the market.

Read more →
Product Ops

Product ops, referring to product operations, supports a cross-functional product team to constantly ensure and improve their efficiency.

Read more →
Product Owner (PO)

The product owner (PO) represents next to the ScrumMaster and the development team a key player in a Scrum team.

Read more →
Product Portfolio Management

This refers to the strategic administration of all the products owned by the organization.

Read more →
Product Requirements Document

A product requirements document (PRD) is a detailed outline of all functionalities a software product must fulfill when being delivered.

Read more →
Product Requirements Management

Product requirements management refers to the process of collecting, analyzing, tracking, and prioritizing product requirements. These requirements are usually communicated later on to key stakeholders.

Read more →
Product Roadmap

Product roadmaps the vision and strategic objectives for a product over time. They give development teams and stakeholders a ‘single source of truth’ that captures all the steps needed to deliver against objectives.

Read more →
Product Spec

A product spec provides teams with critical information to guide them as they bring products to market, covering such contextual details as the target audience, user goals, and intended outcomes.

Read more →
Product Stack

This refers to the tools that a product manager has at their disposal in order to get the product to the marketplace.

Read more →
Product Strategy

A product strategy is your business’s goal(s) for a product and the in-depth process for achieving success

Read more →
Product Tree

The Product Tree is a visual tool used by product managers to prioritize and manage product feature inputs from both customers and stakeholders.

Read more →
Product Vision

A product vision aims to describe the future state of a product. It is the core essence of the product.Ideally, the product vision will serve as a guide for the stakeholders, as it will remind them of the general direction the product should be taking

Read more →
Product-Market Fit

Product-market fit refers to the way in which a brand’s product is capable of satisfying the current market, by supplying enough units of a high-enough quality to meet demand. 

Read more →
Program Management

The grouping together of multiple projects to meet a strategic objective.

Read more →
Program Manager

A program manager’s essential objective is to reconcile multiple projects and teams by coordinating them and giving strategic guidance to the company’s project managers.

Read more →
Project Manager

A project manager is responsible for the execution of a project from start to finish. A project manager is often the bridge between the team, deliverables and upper management.

Read more →
Project Roadmap

A project roadmap is a visual overview capturing all critical elements of a project, from kickoff to final delivery.

Read more →
Prototype

Prototypes offer teams a valuable opportunity to conduct in-depth testing on products and concepts during the development process.

Read more →

Q

R

S

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis framework assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business, their rivals, or their project planning. SWOT is an acronym for these four factors.

Read more →
Scope Creep

Scope creep describes the tendency for projects to gradually expand, and take on a different scope of activity or output than was initially planned.

Read more →
Ship Products

Shipping products is part of an iterative workflow, in which an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is released to gather valuable feedback. This information inspires future updates to improve the product and deliver a better user experience.

Read more →
Six Thinking Hats

The six thinking hats is a method used to make creative discussions more productive. It's based on the work of Dr. Edward de Bono, a widely respected psychologist and author.

Read more →
Soft Skills

Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance our ability to perform our professional roles. Problem-solving, communication, and emotional intelligence are some of the most sought after soft skills.

Read more →
Stage-Gate Model

The stage-gate model is a process used to structure the product development cycle into a series of stages and gates. Each stage represents a milestone, and a gate separates each stage, where teams decide if and how to move forward.

Read more →
Stakeholder

This is a person or group who can influence the success of the product, or in contrast, be affected by the product.

Read more →
Stakeholder Analysis

This is an assessment of all of the people who will either have an impact on the success of the product or will be affected by it.

Read more →
Stakeholder Management

The identification, assessment, and planning, of actions that are designed to engage with a business’ stakeholders.

Read more →
Story Mapping

Story mapping is the visualization of a user’s journey with your product, breaking each step down into user stories. This exercise can help you see clearly which features and functionalities are essential for your MVP.

Read more →

T

Technical Debt

The accumulated later cost in the development of a project - in time and resources - of a mistake or technical decision.

Read more →
Technical Product Manager (TPM)

Responsible for getting the product to market and its success or failure, and similar to a product manager but with more in-depth technical expertise.

Read more →
The 5 Forces

The 5 forces, also known as Porter’s 5 forces, is used in strategic business modeling to assess the strengths and weaknesses of any industry. 5 forces can be used to evaluate the industry structure of a specific company along with its place in the market.

Read more →
The User is Drunk

"The user is drunk" is a unique concept in product design and development: a website or app should be so user-friendly that even a drunk user will have a pleasant experience. This can help product teams to create more streamlined, satisfying software.

Read more →
Theme in Product Management

A theme in product management is a simple way to convey a product’s value, comprising multiple features or initiatives which contribute to this overall objective.

Read more →
Top-Down Product Strategy

This is a strategy based on information passed downward from leadership to the product manager.

Read more →
Total Addressable Market (TAM)

Total addressable market (TAM) refers to the maximum possible revenue a product or service could generate if it was able to activate every single relevant customer.

Read more →
Tribe Model Management (TMM)

Involves dividing product development staff into specific units for the purpose of working more flexibly.

Read more →

U

V

W

Newsletter

Building better products
starts here

Receive thought-leading content delivered straight to your inbox:
From product management, prioritization, roadmaps to strategy,
we’ve got you covered.