The Product Management Canvas, is a strategic management and entrepreneurial articulation tool. It allows you to describe your product. It can also be used as a checklist by a Product Manager to ensure they have considered all aspects of Product Planning. For an ever evolving product, it can also be used to communicate the current state to various dependent functional teams. It serves different purpose from a Product Model Canvas or Roman Pichler’s Product Canvas.
• The Product Management Canvas, is a
strategic management and
entrepreneurial articulation tool
• It allows you to describe your product
• It can also be used as a checklist by a
Product Manager to ensure they have
considered all aspects of Product
• For an ever evolving product, it can also
be used to communicate the current state
to various dependent functional teams
• It serves different purpose from a Product
Model Canvas or Roman Pichler’s Product
WHERE DOES THE
Where should the Product Management Canvas fit in Product Development life cycle?
(Lean) Business Model
High Level Product
Value Delivered Review
Rethink Design, Tech and Business Features
Reimagine Solution and Business Plan
• Using Elevator Pitch & Product in a Box, we describe the
product we want to build. However, no product exists in a
vacuum and is part of an ecosystem. We then layout the
Product Ecosystem that enables the key product. The product
is then described using the Product Management Canvas.
• A Product Management Canvas then informs the process
of Epics. Adding a business case to these we arrive at
a Product Backlog. Each item in the Product Backlog can lead
to one or more stories. When these stories Go Live and the hit
the market, in the spirit of build-measure-learn, we learn and
periodically do the Product Backlog Grooming.
• The Elevator Pitch & Product In A Box, (Lean) Business Model
Canvas, High-Level Products Layout and Product Management
Canvas are explained in the blog post above.
• Epics, Product Backlog, Stories and Build-Measure-Learn are
standard terms that are described as part of the Agile
• I think this sits one step before Roman Pichler’s Product
Canvas and used to plan and describe a product, rather than
track the agile product creation/development.
SECTIONS OF THE
A short note of each section and what goes in there
• We start with describing the original problem or
opportunity that the product addresses. It can be a unique
need, a dormant need (we are creating the market)
or aspiration (of the user/customer) that needs to be
• Once the above is stated, it is important to connect it what
the idea of the product and state how it addresses the
• Start by stating the market size (defined as the market
volume or the market potential). VCs will want this to be a
very big number. Big enough to accommodate you and all
• The state the market opportunity your product
addresses from the whole market size. This should be a
more realistic number that should allow you sufficient
growth so as to allow you to give investors a good rate of
• A product never exists in a vacuum. There is an ecosystem
of partners that enable it. We should note all key partners
(data suppliers, data consumers, channels, SDKs and so on).
• What’s fun without any competition? It is important to note
competition and track them. If you have analysed
competition in detail, you can add the link to that document.
My thoughts on how to do Competition Analysis.
• Identifying if the product is B2B or B2C is sometimes
obvious. But going one level deeper is important. (does my
B2B target Startup, SME, Business Houses, MNC, etc. or
does my B2C target BPL, LMC, MC, UMC, HNI, etc.) is
• Does my B2B target Startup, SME, Business Houses, MNC, etc. or
does my B2C target BPL (Below Poverty Line), LMC (Lower
Middle Class), MC (Middle Class), UMC (Upper Middle Class), HNI
(High Networth Individuals), etc.)?
• Also important is to identify Early Adopters, Influencers,
Recommenders and Innovators who try something new.
• Large organisations that create a lot of products need to
ensure that there is a product – organization fit. This
would involve making sure that it fits in tot established
ecosystems, reuses tools used, etc and does not create
whole parallel infrastructure requirements.
• The product – market fit is very important and needs to be
• There are many revenue models available and many times
the same product will have multiples of them. State the
considered revenue models in this section.
• Cost Analysis is a complex task but having a broad idea of
the cost of producing the product that reflects the pricing
model is recorded. Even when the aim is to invest in seeding
the product, it is important to state and communicate the
revenue – cost ratio.
• It is important to state the key Regulatory &
Compliance items. These should not slip through cracks of
• It is important to state the value propositions / USP and
communicate it uniformly. Not every differentiation is a USP,
nor should it be. Along with USP, the other key
features that set us apart, make usage simple or make us
better than competition should also be noted.
METRICS • We all talk about success metrics. But before a product is
successful there are some metrics that are minimal a
product should achieve. These should not be ‘not meeting
success metrics’, but independent ones.
• Eg: while achieving an MAU of 1M is the success for your
chat app, the number of messages exchanged is not
growing at the same rate as user adoption is a failure
• Failure metrics are important as they tell us how key
hypotheses could be wrong and it is time to reassess them
and re-learn and re-build.
• Viability metrics are good to have to make sure we are on
track to success.
• Product evangelism is, as Guy Kawasaki put it years ago,
“selling the dream.” It’s helping people to imagine the
future, and inspiring them to help create that future.
• Many things need to fall into place for an Evangelist to be
effective. This section offers a checklist of essential items
need to enable an evangelist.
• This includes an elevator pitch, relevant content generation
is a content strategy to keep it updated,
uniform terminology across all departments and
collaterals, SEO strategy so content is geared to show up in
right searches, right brand assets, and social media
• Using all possible social networks is not the right approach.
Choose and state ones that are relevant to the product, the
audience and manageable by the team.
• This section offers a checklist of essential items need to
establish a visual identity.
• Product name, logo, icons, brand playbook,
presentation/docs/stationery templates, product docs
templates, Social Network assets (cover picture, etc.)
and display ads assets.
• This section offers a checklist of essential items to formulate
an effective go to market strategy.
• In the case of a new product, time of launch is an
important date/period. Product Manager should initiate and
collaborate in the launch strategy & related collaterals,
describing sales and product delivery
channels, positioning & promotion strategy, identify and
help reach out to decision
makers, influencers & recommenders, sales
collateral, marketing collateral, user support
docs and training collaterals.
• Often a product leads to changes in processes and people.
The product manager has to think about a change
• Stating key resources is important as it allows a product
manager to track them. This includes licenses (eg: SSL
licenses as anybody can forget to renew on
time like this, this and this), 3rd party
platforms like SDK, analytics tools, etc.
RISKS • State the known shortcomings and assumptions made.
This helps plan the build-measure-learn better.
• Product managers need to be paranoid about the product
getting disrupted. Disruption Readiness is important to
consider by identifying processes and methods that can be
all be replaced in one go.
Get the PDF version here: http://bit.ly/get-pmc
Dinker Charak • www.ddiinnxx.com • @ddiinnxx