Proposal for a public product management kit
Some weeks ago I open sourced startup_TOOLS.
To open up more to the eager first testers and potential future users (Everything is open and free, have a look :D), I decided to open up my product management documentation as well.
Here’s a short intro into the first product management parts with the example of startup_CRM.
startup_CRM Development Board
As for almost everything, I use Trello for the development of startup_TOOLS. To get a good overview of the future development and to flexibly move forward, I mostly follow the Burndown framework ideas that the Drift team outline here.
That being said, startup_TOOLS is not a multi-team production right now, so most of the collaboration principles are a little over the top for a single-developer setup. Still, here’s the best things about the product development approach:
A single version of a single feature per release.
Splitting up the workload by defining clear tasks and task packages forces you to focus on one thing at once, which helps execution quality. Also, by avoiding multitasking, you decrease your mental strain and keep up your productivity.
Combination of long-term roadmap and short-term feature execution
By having abstract future feature ideas on the far right of your list of boards and the next scheduled releases on the left side, the Burndown framework fuses the strategic and tactical perspective on product development. This provides necessary context on minor and major changes and helps with product decisions.
User needs as a cultural foundation of product development
User-centric product development can only become a reality when it’s deeply implemented into real-life development lifecycles. To implement user feedback and user need research right from the start of startup_TOOLS, I open up this channel and transparent documentation. Future product features are derived from early user feedback and will be developed further with a growing installed user base.
I also included a Changelog to make the development history of any Tool more transparent and show people if it might be attractive for them to upgrade.
I also put up a tool-specific Google Form for feature input and bug reporting. This is linked to a lean feature prio backend and will get prioritised for the startup_CRM Development Board. The form is very short to reduce barriers until feedback can be sent. Also, I included optional contact mail if a feedback is interested in discussing a specific feature request or wants to be notified when that feature is officially released as part of the tool.
Outlook on future product development
Open sourcing startup_TOOLS is an important step in bringing down the price of starting a business worldwide. Adding open product development workflows provides access and transparency for entrepreneurs to contribute and better implement startup_TOOLS in their business.