Product management attempts to reduce the risks associated with building a solution that isn’t valuable, viable or feasible.
Marty Cagan describes these types of risk:
- value risk – whether customers will buy it or users will choose to use it.
- business viability risk – whether this solution also works for the various aspects of our business.
- feasibility risk – whether our engineers can build what we need with the time, skills and technology we have.
- (Cagan also includes a usability risk – whether users can figure out how to use it, but for simplicity I’m going )
For a charity, these risks show themselves in slightly different ways, but a product still has to be valuable, viable and feasible.
The value risk is tackling a problem no one wants solving, or providing solution no one wants to use. To be valuable, the solution has to tackle a non-trivial problem that affects enough people significantly that it’s worth solving.
The viability risk is tackling a problem that the charity isn’t the right one to be tackling. To be viable, the solution has to fit the organisation strategy, be a legitimate problem for the charity to be tackling, and be fundable.
The feasibility risk is of not having the skills, knowledge, technologies, to create the solution. To be feasible, the solution must be within the capabilities of the charity to build and, just as importantly, maintain.
Valuable, viable and feasible
Creating a solution that is valuable, viable and feasible is the challenge of product management in charities, but reducing the risk of not doing so is the value product managers bring to charities.