How to write documentation for product management

I’ve been engaging with the question “how do I document the different products that I’m working on” at the moment – mainly from a governance and communication perspective. Product management is not a discipline that is necessarily well recognised here in Australia, although everybody does it. Think about the last time your company, or yourself, decided to start a new product line or tweak an existing product to match a customer’s new or changing requirements…that’s product management.

So I’ve been asking questions of myself like:

  • How do you create a strong product management process, that suits the way our culture works?
  • How do you document the various developments as you go, to make these changes transparent?
  • What kind of sign-offs and decision points are used in agile product organisations? And what documentation is required around this for good governance?
  • How do you ensure that what you develop will actually be used by customers? And how do you (again) ensure this is the focus of our work (rather than the focus being the ‘building’ of that product).
  • How can we do this in a lean, and agile, way? I still believe in the agile manifesto of working software over heavy documentation…but I’m also aware that we’ve had some problems were software has ceased to work and the documentation was too light on to allow our teams to re-configure it easily.

I wanted to share a few of the links and resources I’ve found, that I’ve been leaning on fairly heavily as I think about this. You can also check these out on my profile, under the (growing tag) productdocumentation.

On that, I’d really recommend reading/following the work of Marty Cagan from SVPG (Silicon Valley Product Group). All of his stuff I’ve read so far has really helped inform my thinking. Thanks Marty.

What are your favourite links/articles on documenting product management? Please share in the comments section below!

4 thoughts on “How to write documentation for product management

  1. Aww, was hoping for insight and recommendations… not just questions and linkbait… tell us more about your experience?

    1. Lol – I was hoping for insight and recommendations!

      My experience so far is that this could be done a whole lot better, by
      myself especially. I find I’m great at saying “oh yeah, let’s build that!”
      and then encouraging or playing with the team in an agile methodology, but
      actually managing the product, and the sign-offs required around that in an
      organisation with complex moving parts, is another issue all together. It’s
      my feeling that many people probably also suffer this problem. They find
      that the actual building of the app is the easy bit…getting people to use
      it, as well as getting support from clients/internal stakeholders, is much
      much harder.

      I’ll be sure to write another post when I’ve got more of a framework about
      how to manage products, and a few insights to accompany that, sometime in
      the future!

      Thanks for the nudge 🙂

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