Product Management Consulting

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Here in Silicon Valley, the head of Product is often second only to the CEO in their influence and impact on a company.

Product Management capability is emerging as one of the most important for innovative companies. Product Management takes three things – raw talent, organizational capability and influence. TCGen helps companies gain Product Management capability. We help to build product managers into influencers, through superior decision making and leadership.

Product management is the branch of marketing that is responsible for creating winning, new product offerings, along a continuum from incremental improvements to discontinuous innovation. Product managers are about inbound marketing, bringing the voice of the customer into the organization and leading the product definition, while product marketers are responsible for outbound marketing. Product managers are primarily responsible for developing new products, and for ensuring that offerings meet market requirements and have the right features. 

Product management is about creating products the market wants. Or, even better, it is about creating markets – creating a vision for the future. Product marketing is about shaping the perception of the product in the marketplace. Our product definition and product portfolio management expertise clarify the fragile front-end and ensure the timely delivery of more predictable, winning new products.

 

Build your Product Management capability.

 
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John Carter has been a widely respected adviser to technology firms over his career. John is the author of Innovate Products Faster: Graphical Tools for Accelerating Product Development. As Founder and Principal of TCGen Inc., he has advised some of the most revered technology firms in the world, including Abbott, Amazon, Apple, BOSE, Cisco, Fitbit, HP, IBM, Roche.

At BOSE,

TCGen founder John Carter managed the development of products such as the BOSE® Wave® Music System and Noise-Cancelling Headphones, enjoyed by millions of customers world-wide. In addition, John designed and implemented the Apple New Product Process (ANPP) which is used throughout all product divisions. He has over 25 years of consulting experience developing light weight, iterative processes.

 

In an engagement with HP we worked with general management

marketing and engineering to understand gaps in product management and how to fill them. We examined everything from ideation to launch, through every function. TCGen scoured the planet (literally across North America, Europe, and Asia) to find creative solutions for HP that would fit the organization and processes. We found that in an engineering-based culture, product marketing is often starved for resources and thinly staffed. Using international benchmarks from blue-chip organizations, we were able to convince management to better fund the product marketing team and increase the number of dedicated resources to each of these teams. The result was a positive impact in customer satisfaction and increased predictability.

 

In an engagement with Bio-Rad,

we worked with the platform team to design the next generation platform of diagnostic testing systems. We identified a unique customer visitation plan and implemented it with not just the product marketing organization but with the entire cross-functional platform team. The results: a platform launch that was the most successful ever for Bio-Rad and has been an enduring winner for them over many years.

 

TCGen has developed an articulated process for product definition that helps teams capture and prioritize what customers really need,

Transforming these needs into measurable requirements and features. Our Product Definition Scorecard ensures that teams have all the information they need to deliver a total product to market that will delight customers; our Circle Dot Chart for product definition will clarify responsibilities and ensure that products enter and move through the pipeline quickly. 

TCGen’s approach includes:

 
  • A lightweight process that manages the day-to-day decisions that move and filter product concepts as they make their way toward the pipeline

  • A yearly strategic planning process for product innovation.

  • A methodology that aligns the Board, the CEO, Business Development and the rest of the C-Suite.  

 

TCGen’s Product Management consulting expertise addresses a range of problems…

 
  • Smaller, relatively less mature companies are challenged to sharply define their products, to create clear differentiation in markets they wish to enter. Careful product management is essential for any size company, but especially for newer entrants: to define their products is to define their business. 

  • In too many companies, Marketing is under-staffed and the roles are ill-defined. As companies grow, they become more sophisticated in their marketing functions, which may become more specialized to include product marketing, brand management, corporate marketing, etc. 

  • The distinction between inbound marketing and outbound marketing becomes important because the scope of both is so large. Product marketing is often strategic and is focused on the success of the engineering team. If the product marketing manager also must tend to customer problems and salesforce fire-fighting, they often put engineering requests on the back burner. This slows down the product team and impacts morale.

  • Sometimes the diversification of marketing functions in larger companies adds too much process. In these cases, we would tend to turn to the Agile toolset to free up teams to do their best work. Clarifying roles and responsibilities is essential in larger companies where there are more dependencies between teams and functions. Our Circle Dot Chart is a proven method for making sure early stage products stay on track as they travel through the pipeline.

Customized Solutions

Whether you are large or small, a start-up or an established firm, we develop the project plan along with you to create an engagement that achieves measurable product development goals. 

Assessment & Planning

Our proprietary assessment process yields deep insights for your team. We identify the root causes behind the product portfolio management challenges you face and develop solutions that improve your ability to select winners and allocate resource to projects.

Predictive Metrics

Expertise in metrics is a hallmark of TCGen. We rely on measurement to motivate change and monitor progress. We measure the right behaviors to ensure that the changes take hold and continue to produce lasting results.

Sustainable Best Practices

Your investment in TCGen earns increased organizational capability. We not only implement Best Practices but we also teach you how to build on the improvements so that your company is prepared for the next challenge.

We’re making better decisions, faster
— Apple Executive
 

Speed products to market that delight customers

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