Advice on PRDs: Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

Product Management

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The most frustrating feeling in the world? Spending hours and hours on a project that bears no fruit. This hold for pretty much everyone. Engineers. Product managers. Product marketers. Salespeople. All of us.

We recently hosted Matt Vlasach, head of Product at Wandera, at one of our Customer Spotlight webinars. Throughout the course of his 20-minute demo, Matt walks us through how the Wandera team uses Wizeline to make sense of feedback from the field, prioritize features intelligently, and plan, communicate and track their product roadmap items.

He also offers some helpful tips on product management in general. Perhaps my favorite:

"You can spend a lot of time on product requirements documents for something that isn't a priority. ... It's like [putting] the cart before the horse."

This sentiment is spot on. What’s worse than burning calories on an overwrought product requirements document (PRD)? Burning calories on an overwrought PRD that nobody reads — or that never results in actual development work.

In Matt’s case, he and his team use Wizeline to stay focused on areas that are actual priorities. Via our Salesforce app, Wandera’s sales team submits customer needs and feature requests on an on-going basis. This data flows into Wizeline, where the Product team reviews it alongside other decision criteria.

When features attain a certain number of requests or revenue potential, they’re naturally given greater attention. Only when it’s evident that a feature would address a significantly pervasive or important customer need does Matt’s team dig in to scope product requirements, define user stories and outline other details for the engineering organization.  

The takeaway? Before you dive into a PRD, check your priorities by referencing some data. It may just save you from that most frustrating feeling in the world...

 

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Peter Moore Posted by Peter Moore on Friday, January 29, 2016.

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Sep 25, 2017

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