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Rational Product Management

What is Rational Product Management?

Definition of Rational Product Management

Rational Product Management is used in product development, offering an improved way of organizing and managing products: bringing management and technical teams together.

This provides managers with a framework for effective planning and iterative development. Rational Product Management also enables teams to verify quality throughout the development process and control all changes implemented. 

How does Rational Product Management work?

The software specialists who devised the Rational Product Management approach established two key areas that companies can use to oversee development: the management perspective and the technical perspective (see below).

Businesses utilizing the Rational Product Management approach can achieve a more balanced focus as they progress through the development process. They will cultivate a better understanding of their technical limitations and essential market factors at each stage — benefiting the entire product team. 

What are the differences between the management perspective and the technical perspective?

Management perspective: This focuses on conducting market research, identifying opportunities that may become apparent during said research, and understanding the limitations of the budget. It typically starts with brainstorming to pinpoint a viable idea for a product, before progressing to development planning and constructing the product in a strategic way.

Technical perspective: This requires product managers to choose engineering approaches, monitor quality control, and manage the technical resources available. Progress will be overseen from a technical perspective concurrently with the management angle, placing an emphasis on iteration. That applies to the planning, testing, etc. necessary for the product’s incremental advancement from one developmental stage to the next. 

The Rational Product Management approach lets organizations focus on both the management and technical perspectives at the same time. Progress in one informs progress in the other while helping in the identification of product priorities. 

General FAQ

What is rational product management?
Rational Product Management is an approach businesses can leverage in their product development processes, to maximize quality, identify technical constraints, recognize market opportunities, run efficient testing, and more. It involves two perspectives — management and technical — which intertwine, despite having separate focuses.
What is product development?
Product development involves bringing a product from the ideas stage to the market, and any ongoing maintenance/updates required to retain value. The term encompasses the entire process of building, releasing, and maintaining any digital or analog product.
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What is Rational Product Management?
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