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Participating in creating business plans

Creation of business plans in Agile product management

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Creation of business plans in Agile product management

The following article is part of the self-preparation for the modern BVOP® Product Management Certification program.

A business plan is usually an official document containing specific product-related business objectives of the organization, timeframes for implementation, plans, and strategies for achieving targets and defining financial needs. Except for the usual funding application or for presenting plans to the board of directors and other stakeholders, BVOP suggests it also serves as a guide for internal teams comprising further steps and implementation guidelines. 

    The business plan may be a source for creating non-formal documents and resources like product visions, initial high-level roadmaps, project plans, etc.

    A business plan may contain the following information in details:

    • Executive summary
    • Mission statement
    • Business description
    • Business environment analysis
    • SWOT analysis
    • Industry background
    • Competitor analysis
    • Market analysis
    • Marketing plan
    • Operations plan
    • Management summary
    • Financial plan
    • Milestones

    The Business Value-Oriented Product Management (BVOPDM) office representatives may participate in the creation of formal business plans, which may be a time-consuming activity. The main focus of the BVOPDM office representatives is creating clear, concise, and straightforward documents containing rationalized topics. An example of such a document may be the popular Product vision.

    Product vision may be a simple document, chart, table, spreadsheet, or a graph that should contain at least 3 required information categories regarding the product:

    • Target group
    • User needs
    • Business goals

    These three categories of information at least provide who the target audience is, what its needs are, and how the organization will benefit from the realization of a product in that respect.

    The Business Value-Oriented Principles (BVOP) require, at a minimum, these groups of information to be collected and validated before any teams start any further research and development processes.

    The product vision information may be collected from product management roles, internal organizational teams, third parties, or any other source of information that may be valuable.

    Expanding the product vision is the next logical step. More information categories may be included in the product vision, such as:

    • Initial product description
    • Competitors strengths and weaknesses
    • Cost factors
    • Detailed users analysis
    • Channels of distribution
    • Value proposition

    The product vision serves as a reference to all teams and stakeholders. All initiatives, additional research and development activities, and finalized productions need to be assessed according to the information collected in the document.

    Any new, valid, and useful information about the product should be reflected in the document on time.

    Comments from the BVOP™ community

    Helma Schröder

    Many professionals in the field believe that business plans are documents created by administrative and marketing roles. The product manager plays a role in creating a business plan by providing important information, knowledge gained from previous experience, and can be a consultant in properly creating this important document.

    Remember, BVOP teaches you teamwork. We need to work together to achieve common goals. The product manager is a very significant figure with knowledge in many areas and the involvement of this role in the initial phases of the product can bring many benefits to the organization. It is no secret that the business plan serves as a document to apply for funding. If your product manager plays the cards well, the product can get very good funding.

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