WRITING A PRD

BETA VERSION

 

LIFECYCLE

+ What is the product life-cycle mindset?

Most people when thinking about building a new product, are thinking in terms of how it would be used by the customer only. This approach however, only covers one aspect of the product life-cycle. In order to build a successful product, that meets the needs of both your company and your customer, you have to think in terms of the "product life-cycle".

Product Life-Cycle (from birth-to-death):

+ Research & Development (ODM, NRE, PRD, ERD)

+ Certification (CE, FCC, ROHS, etc)

+ Manufacturing (cycle time, safety, efficiency, tracking)
+ Shipping (sea, air, land, regulatory)

+ Taxes (import, carbon, etc)

+ Warehousing (storage and retrieval)

+ Retail (product demos, user experience, attractiveness, tracking)

+ Customer (user experience, lifetime value, sharing, etc)

+ Customer Service (technical support, servicing, tracking)
+ Warranty (replacement, repair, tracking)
+ Disposal (end-of-life, recyclability, environmental)

A great product will be able to balance the requirements of all the different stages of it's life cycle. As a Product Manager, you will need to maintain this balance at all times. This means that your product will not only be a pleasure to use, but also a pleasure to build, cheap to sell, quick to repair, and safe for the environment. 

 

STAKEHOLDERS

+ What are examples of "Stakeholder Statements"?

Marketing: “The product should be red, to stand out in media and print. Everytime you use it, the software gives you an incentive to share it with friends.

 

Engineering: “The product should have HDMI, USB-C and have a maximum CPU temp of 55C at an ambient temperature of 32C.”

 

Software: “The product should allow us to do OTA firmware updates after launch, and its processor must natively support encrypted network communications.”

 

Finance: “The product must cost <50USD, <5USD to ship, <1USD/mth/unit to store in our warehouse.”

 

Management: “The product should last for 1 year (warranty), and it must be manufacturable for 5 years (life cycle). We need to launch our product in 6 months, to be ready for the Christmas Holidays.”

 

User Experience: “The product must sing, dance and burp. This makes users happy. It is likely that our users will choose the burp feature first. The product must also be quiet when not in use. Here are my user stories.”

 

Logistics: “The product and it’s packaging should be <3 kg, and less than 50 cm wide, so it’s easy to carry. Otherwise we will need a forklift.”

 

Design: “The product should look like a sleek rocket, we project that it will be the new trend in the next quarter. Here are some concept sketches I’ve made.”

 

Sales: “The product should be easy to demo to customers. It should be in packaging that is attractive to customers, and is easy to unbox.”

 

Customer Service: “The product must be disassembled, repaired and reassembled in 5 minutes or less. It should come with an online manual, and be serialised so that we can link products to customers. Ideally the failure rate should be no more than 5% in 6 months.”

 

Environmental: “The product should contain no mercury, and it must be 50% recyclable.”

 

Regulatory: “The product should not contain nor be able to use pirated software, and it must be CE and ROHS certified for the European and Asian markets.”

 

PRIORITISATION

+ What is one method of prioritising product features?

As you can tell, there are many forms of stakeholder requirements, all vying for your attention. You can group requirements into 2 categories, so that during development, we may prioritise some features over others; Remember that some features could be incompatible, as an example, perhaps the red paint contains mercury so the Environmental requirement is incompatible with Marketing’s desire for a red product.

 

Categories:

+ Need To Have (Product cannot be used/marketed/sold without this requirement)

+ Want To Have (Product can be used/marketed/sold without this requirement)

Furthermore, you may also prioritise Stakeholder Requirements:
+ Regulatory
+ Finance
+ Management
+ User Experience
+ Marketing
+ … etc

Writing a PRD is more of an art than a science. The savvy PRD writer would be able to identify features / requirements that overlap or that display synergistic properties, and then steer his company toward building products that create harmonious relationships. As an example, having an ROHS certified product already means that it won’t contain mercury in harmful amounts.

 

LABELLING

+ How can I label my product requirements in the PRD?

To improve communications between your team and Khadas, it would be necessary to label your requirements, so that they are traceable and embeddable in the ERD.

 

Example labelling:
+ REG001 - Regulatory requirement 001.
+ FIN007 - Finance requirement 007.
+ UEX003 - User experience requirement 003.

In this way, when you communicate with our team, we will all literally be "on the same page", with respect to which feature we are currently discussing, and it's priority in relation to the requirements of your Stakeholders.