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Agile Product Management

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What is agile product management?

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Agile product management definition

Agile product management is a modern approach to project management. It falls somewhere in between having a firm, immutable plan and having no plan in place at all. A plan is created, then as each milestone within that plan is accomplished, the team engages in a retrospective. 

During each retrospective, the team looks at what's working and what isn't, what can be improved upon, what should be cut out, and how best to move forward. This allows the product to evolve effectively as it takes shape. 

Generally, to ensure that key aspects of the vision aren't changed during agile development, certain requirements will be set in stone. Others, on the other hand, will be subject to change as time goes on. 

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Benefits of agile product management

Constant learning

One of the key benefits of agile product management is that it allows your team to learn constantly. Rather than statically creating a product and releasing it, the process of iterating on the product never really ends. 

This gives your team a continuous opportunity to learn from the customer, uncover the strengths and weaknesses of the product, and come up with creative solutions to keep the product feeling fresh. 

Routinely deliver value

Agile product management also has the benefit of delivering value to the customer on a routine basis. As improvements are made and new features rolled out, the customer is constantly getting an even better version of the product they already love. 

Not only can this improve customer loyalty, but it can build confidence in your product early on. This is because customers will know that the team behind the product is actively invested in its success and their opinions. 

Stay adaptable

Lastly, agile product management has the benefit of keeping your team adaptable. In traditional development, it's not uncommon for a team to veer in the wrong direction. 

But these traditional strategies don't always allow opportunities for course correction. Agile product management avoids this problem, reducing the chances of launching a lackluster product. 

Challenges of agile product management

Feature bloat

Here’s a very common challenge that occurs in agile product management: feature bloat. Feature bloat is when features begin to be tacked onto a product "just because" — without adding significant value to the project.

This can create a confusing and unwieldy final product. This problem can be especially detrimental when it comes to bringing in new users. 

>> Get the most from agile working. Check out our guide to avoiding feature bloat here.

Losing sight of the vision

Another issue with agile product management is that it can be easy to lose sight of your original vision. As the product grows and changes, it can become harder to understand its purpose. Similar to feature bloat, this makes it difficult for new users to jump into the product and understand what it's for. 

>> It’s difficult to lose sight of your product vision with a north star metric in place. Learn more by clicking here.

Inconsistent team workflows

Lastly, agile product management can create challenges in your team's workflows. Since this method of work is less rigid than traditional methods, it can lead to different teams or segments of your team developing their own styles and workflows. 

This can create disparate processes that make staying on the same page difficult. It can also lead to a product that is a bit scatterbrained. 

>> Regular check-ins help keep an agile product management team together. Get your standups up and running with our handy guide.

How to learn agile product management 

There are a plethora of online courses available for learning agile product management.

Managers can also read books or attend in-person conferences to start learning the fundamentals of the agile approach.

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Get our All You Need To Know About Product Management eBook

A comprehensive look at what product management is and how to distinguish what good product management looks like.

Get the eBook

General FAQ

What is agile product management?
Agile product management is an iterative approach to project management. It allows the plan for a product to evolve with each milestone, keeping things adaptive and fresh. 
How can agile benefit a product team? 
The agile approach can benefit a team by keeping creativity high, making it easier to recover from missteps, and putting the team in touch with the customers' wants and needs.

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