Predictive vs. Reactive Product Strategy

Creating sound and profitable product strategy is a key responsibility of product management. Because they deal with inputs and information from so many sources, product managers must proactively seek out and refine information that will lead them to create products their markets want to buy. In this episode of the Product Management Pulse, Michael and Ivan Chalif — the “Productologist” — discuss three keys to successful product strategy:

  • Listen to your market
  • Proactively plan for product success
  • Create a vision

Ivan also discusses the importance of usability design, especially for product managers who work with B2B software. He also gives a fresh perspective on what executives can do to improve product management in their organizations.

You can follow Ivan on Twitter and read more on his blog The Productologist.


#1 David Locke on 05.28.09 at 10:01 am

Proactivity extends beyond planning. When you make a decision before all the data has arrived, you need to develop that data. When you make an assumption, you need to delineate the validity before the assumption sinks you.

Decisions lead to actions. Plans are delayed actions. Reactive decisions get made in the in you face situation. Proactive decisions get made to keep issues at a distance. In neither case do you just make a decision. You decide to do something, something to be done now, not later.

Proactive decision making aims to influence the future, which takes action, not plans.

#2 My interview w/Michael Hopkin @ ProductManagementPulse | The Productologist: Exploring the Depths of Product Management on 05.28.09 at 12:57 pm

[…] Give a listen here: […]

#3 Dr. Jim Anderson on 06.01.09 at 7:45 pm

Great coverage of proactive planning. All too often we are held back by our engineering roots that tell us that we need to have ALL of the information before we can possibly make a decision. Product Managers who can make the right decision when not all the data is available are the ones who are worth their weight in gold.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
The Accidental PM Blog
“Home Of The Billion Dollar Product Manager”
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#4 mhopkin on 06.03.09 at 8:48 pm

@David – I like your word choice ‘proactive decision making.’ Decisions can be tough to make at times, but they are key to progress.

@Dr. Jim – I totally agree, it’s too easy to get caught in the ‘I need all the information’ trap. The ability to get to the right answers without all the info requires great skill.

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