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What are the Different Types of Product Management Processes?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

Product management processes are those which govern the life cycle of a product. A process of this kind creates a model for the whole life of a product, allowing a business to create a strategy and budget for handling a product through each of its stages. There are two primary types of product management processes. One kind of process describes a product from an engineering perspective and is a significant aspect of a company's information technology structure. The other kind of product management process describes a product from a marketing perspective and concerns factors such as cost, pricing, and sales.

When product management processes are used in an engineering context, they focus on the material construction of a product and rely on factors such as needed raw materials, tools and equipment required for production, and transportation. There are four different stages in this process: conception, design, realization, and operation and maintenance of a product.

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Each of the four stages of this kind of product management focus on human involvement as well communication through the Internet, telecommunication services, and industrial software. During the conception stage, for example, designers may use 3D software and even clay models to create an aesthetic for a product and work out details such as dimensions and placement of certain parts. The realization stage require programmers to develop tools that can make the product, program specific instructions, and communicate with designers to ensure that details of a product match those determined during the conception stage.

The second major product management process refers to commercial aspects of a product's life cycle. These processes are meant to manage behaviors of a product while it is on the market. Like the processes associated with engineering a product, this management process also includes four different stages. They are introduction into the market, growth, maturity, and decline.

Each stage of this process reveals a different projection of what can be expected in terms of cost, profitability, and marketing. During the first stage, in which a product is introduced into the market, professionals assume that cost is high and that demand is created through the use of aggressive marketing campaigns designed to target the right demographics. The second stage accounts for a product's growth, and specialists assume that cost decreases and profits rise. Competition also increases in this stage, requiring a company to lower prices in order to attract more customers.

The maturity and decline stages of this process refer the point at which a market is saturated. Profits decline in these stages and marketing campaigns may slow down. Many businesses concentrate on distribution instead of selling in the final stages of this product management process.

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