Manipal ProLearn’s 5i Framework for Product Management
By Aditi Bhat
Product Management is a fairly daunting task. However, Manipal ProLearn has deconstructed the Product Management field of study to create a simple, yet powerful framework for its course to produce world class Product Managers. It focuses on the 5i’s of Product Management, namely:
1.Ideation isn’t about coming up with a million ideas, it is about the one BIG idea. The goal of the ‘ideation’ process should be to create the best solution to satisfy unmet customer needs of the company’s target audience at a price point that allows them to get the job done more effectively and conveniently.
Once an idea is generated, the product manager forms focus groups to determine what the customers want from the product. At the same time, he/she also studies the market to determine where the product will stand and create value propositions. A product manager is also required to weave a cohesive story that resonates with all the stakeholders involved in building the product.
2.Innovation is the most hands-on process in the 5i framework while building the first product prototype. And keeping the first prototype in mind, the product manager creates the initial market strategy for the product. Customer insights should be considered through feedback from focus groups and the market strategy should be improved gradually.
A product manager is also required to take on the role of a financial analyst and study financial requirements for the product to ultimately reach the market. In addition to financial skills, the product manager should be able to negotiate between teams and influence the product build in the direction of the original vision and not get derailed with the flood of ideas from stakeholders.
3.Implementation involves finalizing a product strategy based on market studies, customer feedback and internal findings during the initial stages of the product build. It also involves validation of the Go-To-Market strategy in its final stages.
The product manager then works in tandem with all the teams involved, by bringing in the right people at the right time to understand how the product will be engineering from the ground upwards. He/She should build a strong team that can carry the product right through to the finish line.
4.Industrialization is the auxiliary process that begins once the product is in place. It involves creating and finalizing strategies to get the product into the hands of the end consumer. This requires the product manager to start at the top with manufacturing and move through product marketing, distribution and support including after-sale services. He/She must motivate those working on this product to create the best market for the new product in hand.
5.Improving the product based on customer feedback is important to increase its longevity in the market. If feedback is not taken into consideration, the product manager will have to start working on discontinuation strategies before the product life cycle has taken its course.