Entries by Paul O'Connor

7 Common Mistakes About Platform-Levers

What’s not a Product-lever in Product Line Strategy When teaching product line strategy, I hear managers argue about what is and isn’t a platform-lever. To aid the discussion I offer two quick tests.  The first test is whether the factor in question can cut across cross multiple products. The second test is whether the factor […]

Jobs-to-be-Done and Product Line Strategy

Jobs-to-be-Done and Product Line Strategy Jobs Theory suggests people don’t buy products and services. Instead, the theory says people “hire” products and services to achieve an outcome – a job done. Recognizing how customers “hire” products helps marketers to better understand buyer decisions and choices. The “Job” ties direct to outcome measures[1]. And these measures […]

What is a Product Line Roadmap?

How Product Line Roadmaps Differ From Product Roadmaps And Why You Need Both A product line roadmap is a timeline graphic that communicates how a team intends to carry out a product line strategy. It shows milestones and key relationships between strategy parts. At least one platform-lever[1] is central to most product line strategies. Teams […]

Product Line Pivots: Understanding Major Strategy Moves

The “Pivot” is synonymous with successful startups. Experts love to tell the stories about how pivots are the key to success. Paypal, Starbucks, and Twitter all found fortune through a pivot. And you’ll also hear business school and consulting jargon thrown at the topic. Phrases spring to mind like strategic agility and business model re-alignment. […]

Informing Innovation through Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping

Innovation can drive business growth. It’s a key to every organization’s well-being. But many companies carry out innovation haphazardly. They’re more likely to count on serendipity, not strategic thinking, to drive gains from innovation. Unfortunately, management teams have little clarity on why, how, or when to advance product offerings. No wonder Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen […]

Multi-Generational Product Plans (MGPP) Vs. Product Line Strategies and Roadmaps

I’m often asked, “What’s the difference between Multi-generational Product Planning and Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping?” The answer needs a short discussion. And exploring the differences and similarities is insightful. Multi-Generational Product Planning[i] (MGPP) and Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping[ii] (PLSR) are different. But MGPP and PLSR are also closely related. To understand, let’s first […]

WHITEPAPER – Good Product Line Strategy Matters

Management teams know how technologies and markets are changing. Yet many still foundered. Could it happen to your company? I argue it could, no matter how strong the competitive advantage your company has built. Just think about Sony’s decades-long losing struggle against Samsung or GE’s faltering power turbine business. Learn how and why good Product […]