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Projects-to-Products: What's in a Name?

By Brian Nathanson posted Oct 04, 2019 01:05 PM

When making the product transition, a common question I hear from customers goes something like "We don't have products; how does this product transition stuff apply to us?"

Whether or not you call them "products" will often be based on a series of factors:
  • Internal or external audience
  • Your particular industry
  • Nature of the value being delivered
As long as whatever it is meets the criteria outlined in my previous post, it could be considered a product for the purposes of making this transition.

Here are just some of the terms that we have heard used in various customer organizations for "products":
  • Capabilities
  • Platforms
  • Systems
  • Applications
  • Jobs (to be Done)
  • Experiences
  • Value Streams
  • Work Streams
  • Business Units (in cases where a BU focuses on a single product)
A key point for us at Clarity PPM is that this nomenclature often reflects the unique culture of your organization. As such, you should try to preserve it as best you can while still applying the product management techniques we are discussing here.

Does your organization use one of these terms? Have you heard any others used in your organization (or other orgs)? Do you prefer a particular term or not and why? Jump into the comments to fill us in on your experience.