Product Design Strategy

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Product managers’ role is to figure out “What the product must do.” What markets, what products, what specifications, what price, what cost. The answers to the “Whats” are product strategy. Product engineers, on the other hand, must figure out ‘How to make the product.” How to meet the specifications, how to allocate requirements to subsystems, how to make design trade-off decisions, how to achieve the cost targets. The answers to the “Hows” are product design strategy.

Certain “How” factors can have a significant impact on the commercial success of the product line and deserve the product manager’s attention. These factors include how the company’s design strategy will

  1. Ensure architectural advantage
  2. Leverage product platforms
  3. Structure the product
  4. Achieve cost targets
  5. Make design vs buy decisions

Your company’s approach to these five product design factors will have a big influence on your ability to

  • Create competitive advantage,
  • Tailor your offering to target market sub-segments,
  • Meet profitability targets, and
  • Service your installed base