Archive for February 19, 2013

Wow! That’s quite a performance!

In order to maximize the performance of a product, you first have to measure the performance.

So, how do you measure performance?  Well, with an athlete, you might time their run over a specific distance.  With an automobile, you might calculate the horsepower or the fuel consumption.  With a detergent you might observe the number of stains removed from a specific material.

But what do all of these things have in common?  They all consist of statistics, measurements, and data.

Data is the cornerstone of performance measurement.

So, what can you measure for a product to determine its performance?  And where do you get that data?

There are quite a few possible ways to measure a product’s performance.  In my template, I’ve separated the data into two areas.  Measurements of market performance and measurements of development performance.

For market performance, you want to determine how the product is being sold, and how it is being perceived in the market, and how it is making (or not making) money.

For development performance, you want to find out how the product is being developed.  How is the quality?  How complete is it?  How is it being marketed?  How is it being supported?

So, these are the types of data that the template attempts to organize and the types of questions it attempts to answer.

My PM Survival Kit item #4: Product Performance Analysis TemplateAssociated Spreadsheet

Since this template is centered around data, there is also an accompanying Excel spreadsheet that helps to calculate the charts that the template is based upon.

So, in this case, what you need to do is first compile the data and put it into the appropriate worksheet.  The worksheets are, of course, just a starting point.  If your data doesn’t fit the worksheet, then please do alter the worksheet so that it fits your situation, but understand that altering it too drastically might require some fixing for the word document to update properly.

But once you have the data organized and can articulate it through the charts in the template, then you can begin the process of maximizing the performance of your product.