The Product Manager's Desk Reference

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Book DescriptionPublication Date: August 26, 2008 | ISBN-10: 0071591346 | ISBN-13: 978-0071591348 | Edition: 1stIf you loved the first edition of The Product Manager's Desk Reference - You'll want to get ...
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Book Description

Publication Date: August 26, 2008 | ISBN-10: 0071591346 | ISBN-13: 978-0071591348 | Edition: 1st
If you loved the first edition of The Product Manager's Desk Reference - You'll want to get a copy of the 2nd edition.  The Product Manager's Desk Reference 2nd Edition greatly expands on the body of knowledge, with new tools, graphics, and emphasis on areas that include:
  • The role of the product manager and how he or she engages cross-functionally
  • How the complexity of global teams can be made easier
  • An updated Product Management Life Cycle Model that includes "discovery and innovation"
  • Expanded focus on product design and definition, including the use of prototypes and early designs to engage customers and to get to market sooner!
  • Improved methods to help you garner market insights and influence strategy
  • Amplified focus on managing the business and financial performance of your products
  • Use of storytelling to gain support and lead teams
  • New career development tools

"The Product Manager's Desk Reference is outstanding in covering the breadth of the tasks and thought processes involved in product and innovation management."
-George Castellion, SSC Associates
"Every product manager will greatly benefit from having this reference manual in their office as they live through the exciting twists and turns of product management."
-David Anderson, Managing Director, B2B Channels, United Airlines
"An excellent tool for beginners and experts alike. Steven Haines's practical experience and knowledge shine through at every step."
-David Rosshirt, Director of Product Management, First Data International
"From now on, this book will stand as an important reference point for all product management teams."
-Mark Elliott, Vice President Product Management, Smiths Detection
"The Product Manager's Desk Reference is the book all product managers have been waiting for. It is concise, to the point, and comprehensive."
-Jeff Anderson, Senior Vice President Product Management, Franklin Covey
"Steven Haines covers this multifaceted topic in a systemic manner that makes the book easy to navigate. His groundbreaking proposal that Product Management become a formal disciple is an accurate reflection of the acute need for these skills in the business community."
-Dan O'Day, Senior Director Product Management, Thomson Reuters
About the Book
Whether a business sells tangible goods or services, product management holds a critical position in the organization's pursuit of profits. Because traditional departmental roles continually evolve, and because the business climate is so competitive, the job of product manager has become exceedingly critical--yet it remains very complex. The Product Manager's Desk Reference is the first book to lay down a comprehensive body of knowledge for this critical function, and it is the only book that can effectively guide product managers so that they can establish and build a successful career in product management.
Here, product management expert and practitioner Steven Haines clearly illustrates the entire product life cycle, from beginning to end. This outstanding work is packed with an array of best practices and helpful hints which are critical to the efficient management of products.
The Product Manager's Desk Reference is punctuated with useful diagrams, tables, and templates and will help you:
  • Create a master plan of record for your product
  • Formulate actionable strategies
  • Incorporate market data into important decisions
  • Set the stage for creating innovative products
  • Optimize existing products and product portfolios
  • Apply financial techniques to manage product profitability
The Product Manager's Desk Reference embodies everything "Product Management." It is a comprehensive, versatile, must-have resource for anyone who works in any company, in any industry, who seeks to successfully and profitably market and manage products and services.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steven Haines is the founder of Sequent Learning Networks and The Product Management Executive Board. Sequent Learning Networks is a global training and advisory services firm based in New York City. Its mission is to help its clients improve the structure and function of Product Management so they can produce great products. The Product Management Executive Board is a professional association of senior executives who share a common bond in their quest for product excellence. Steven’s books serve as foundational bodies of knowledge and Product Management best practices for product managers, product leaders, and executives across the corporate landscape.

Steven spent more than two decades in corporate leadership roles in industries as diverse as wholesale industrial products, intimate apparel, medical products, communications, and software & technology. Further, he spent twelve years as an adjunct professor at Rutgers University’s business school.


Product Details

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thorough resource October 7, 2008
The Product Manager's Desk Reference is a comprehensive reference for the product management process, useful for anyone who works in product management and product marketing.

The PMDR's The Product Master Plan is the 'plan of record', considered an anchor, an archive, and a point of reference for people who may come and go. The chapters on Leadership, Cross-Functional Teams, and Decision-Making are well-presented. Haines offers valuable guidance about finance for product managers who have no formal training in this discipline.

The second module, Making the Market Your Primary Focus, includes discussion of Industry & Competitive Analysis, Segmentation, Forecasting, and Strategic Planning, with clear explanation and practical tools such as The Customer Visit Plan Template in the segmentation chapter.

The third module's sections on The Start of the Product's Journey and the New Product Development Process are practical. The Business Case chapter and the Marketing Plan for the Product are well-organized and applicable.

The fourth module, Continuing the Product Journey: Post-Launch Product Management, considers what happens after the product is in the market. Haines offers auditing techniques after the launch, as well as a logical way to 'run the business of the product'. These tools enable re-strategizing, re-planning, and overall financial and market optimization. The chapter on Life Cycle Product Portfolio Management considers products as investments, and efficient ways to evaluate how products contribute to the business, across individual life cycles. Haines also offers practical guidance for product discontinuation.

The end of each chapter includes a section called Raise Your Product Management Experience Quotient, offering helpful tips and tools for product mangers. The book is easy-to-read, accessible, and well-organized. This is a worthwhile reference for anyone in product management or product marketing.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
There are some books that are destined to become classics in their field. The Product Manager's Desk Reference by Steven Haines is one of those books. Anyone working not just in Product Management but also Marketing and Business Development, should take the time (and it is a hefty volume of 700 pages!) to read and absorb the comprehensive body of knowledge that Steven has organized around Product Management. If that sounds too daunting, be reassured by the fact that this is a reference book as well, so specific topics can be accessed easily without reading the entire book.

Steven demonstrates his vast knowledge of the true scope of the Product Manager's role. After explaining the basics in the first module that goes through the Foundational Elements of Product Management, the Desk Reference then explains the myriad details that position the Product Manager as the end to end owner of the business. Starting with the market analysis of the industry and competition, he then moves onto the fundamental elements of the role by teaching customer need analysis, market segmentation, forecasting and product planning. However he doesn't forget that a Product Manager needs to be the champion who can keep the process moving along with the Product Development team as well as being able to persuasively argue the business case to management to justify the product investment.

In particular, I appreciated that he sees the Marketing function as intricately linked to the Product with the Marketing Plan and details of the Launch synchronized together with the Communications Team and Sales Channels. In Module Four, he ups the ante with a clear-eyed explanation of auditing the launch results as input to running the business and going through the details of the entire lifecycle of Product Portfolio management, including End of Life.

The book has accessible Executive Summaries at the start of each chapter as well as easy to read diagrams and charts and a section at the end of each chapter called PMEQ that are a series of questions and suggestions for raising a Product Manager's Product Management Experience Quotient. Finally, there are two modules at the end about how to be professional and develop your career as a Product Manager and how to develop your employees, if you manage Product Managers. Taking this advice together with the last module, which is a Toolbox for Product Managers, leaves the reader with a full compliment of tools to successfully and methodically manage products, whatever the industry. As an endnote, I liked the extensive glossary, references and resources section, bibliography and comprehensive index.

This is the type of book that you will want to pick up often to check against an idea, template or list, so don't be surprised if it becomes dog eared as you find pages that you will want to get to quickly over and over again. This comprehensive guide should appeal to both neophyte product managers and those with experience, who just need to check a particular area or topic.

Amanda Noz
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product Management Resource January 27, 2009
Steven Haines has does an amazing job of providing a resource that is useful to Product Managers regardless of experience level. The novice Product Manager would benefit from reading the book cover to cover to get a good understanding of what Product Management is about, where the experienced Product Manager can use it truly as a desk reference to get into the details when needed.

With every company defining Product Management differently, Product Managers often end up being the catch all. Steven has done an excellent job of bringing a standard definition of the roles and responsibilities of this "accidental profession" to the industry, and provided a path along with tools to improve your skills within the product management profession.

Short Answer: Buy this book and use it as the valuable resource it is.

Brian Weber
Product Manager
Thomson Reuters


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