Product Line Systems Definitions
Are you seeking to improve your product line’s performance through a system approach? Consider a few critical definitions to help anchor your thinking.
Product Line Operations
Guiding and directing a product line’s forward progress. The job includes everything that happens within a company that affects the product line system’s flow. Its focus cuts across an organization and spans both the near and long term.
Product Line Dynamics
The changes, movements, and flows of the objects and forces that comprise a product line system, even when the parts are separated by time and distance.
Product Line Velocity
A measure of the change over a time period toward a product line’s objectives and key results (OKR’s related to cash flow, customer satisfaction, and competitive position.) The speed at which the product line’s system progresses or flows from point A (a current state) to point B (a future state) relative to specific OKR’s. Product Line Velocity combines the speed of movement with the direction of that movement. See More on Product Line Velocity HERE.
This is an interactive and dynamic approach toward advancing a product line. It is an ongoing and continuous approach to cause and respond to changes in the product line’s system parts and forces. It’s goal is to drive faster product line velocity by eliminating roadblocks and hindrances and through the creation, development and in-market management of related products and services. Responsive Roadmapping is based on a systems construct to product lines and their strategies. See More on Responsive Roadmapping HERE.
- Strategy Moves and Pivots – A product line strategy move defined by a set of coordinated actions that advance the performance of a product line. Notable moves that change the Product Line’s Strategy are called Pivots. Major moves that change a business approach are called Transformations.
Here are the three critical components of a good product line strategy, one that drives superb system flow.
- An advantage gained from a platform-lever and that can extend across multiple products. Leverage plays out through notably attractive product performance to development cost ratios, faster development times, and quicker market penetration. These gains have major influence on the likelihood of a product line succeeding over an array of competitive alternatives.
- using Incremental and Radical Innovation – matching the attributes of a product or service to the needs, wants and desires of customers within a targeted market segment.
Organizational “Chain-link” Alignment
- The alignment of all functional strategies and approaches (e.g., supply chain, marketing, operations, finance, etc.) with a product line’s strategy and roadmap. Gaining and keeping alignment across chain-link functions drives faster product line performance results.
More on Product Line as a System
Here are some other resources to help you better understand Product Lines as a System.
- Responsive Roadmapping: A proactive approach to help product line management
- Product Line Strategy: Creating a Vision and setting up the game plan to drive a Product Line’s performance
- Product Line System Parts: See a more complete discussion
- Multi-Generational Product Plan (MGPP) Vs. Product Line Strategy and Roadmap
- Trapped in a Single Product Mindset
- Other Sources