If you are involved with product development and management, then this is a book you need to know about. “The Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge (ProdBOK® Guide)” presents in a single volume a reasonable breadth of the body of knowledge related to product management.
Why is this important? Previously, you would have to read through numerous books and articles to understand what constitutes product management and product marketing.
What is a Guide?
Most disciplines do not have a guide, in the form of a single book, to their body of knowledge. Instead, those in the know, including professional organizations and teachers, are familiar with the sources that present the models, theories, and practices for the discipline. A notable exception has been Project Management. Thanks to the Project Management Institute (PMI), “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)” was written and is periodically updated to reflect the practices of project management. I was a project manager before growing into product management and I used the processes contained in the PMBOK to better manage projects. As a guide, it is not the entire body of knowledge of project management, but it is a great place to start to understand what project management is about. The ProdBOK accomplishes something similar for people wanting to learn about the product management discipline.
The ProdBOK Does for Product Management what the PMBOK Did for Project Management
Now, thanks to the professional organization for product marketing and management, The Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM), we have the benefit of having the ProdBOK. What PMI did for project management, AIPMM has now done for product management.
Over 60 product and marketing professionals contributed to the ProdBOK, helping it to be not a single view of product and product marketing management but an integration of numerous concepts and perspectives presented in a coherent manner. From the book description, it:
- Introduces a product management lifecycle for goods and services
- Encompasses and defines traditional product development processes such as waterfall, as well as newer approaches that fall under the Agile umbrella
- Illustrates the various inputs and outputs that product managers should consider at each phase of the product management lifecycle
- Highlights how to optimize the working relationship between product management professionals and our counterparts in the project, program, portfolio management, user experience, and business analyst communities
- Describes essential tools that product managers should be aware of and utilize as they work to create value for their organizations
A Great Start
The ProdBOK is a very important book. By being a guide to the body of knowledge for product managers, it is a resource which will evolve over time, reflecting additional practices and concepts. I occasionally hear a few disparaging comments that the ProdBOK does not sufficiently represent the body of knowledge for the discipline. I point out that, like the PMBOK, it is a guide, not the complete body of knowledge. I’m sure the same comments were made about the first edition of the PMBOK, and I still hear such comments even after the PMBOK has been revised through several editions. The ProdBOK, as a guide, serves a very important purpose for the profession of product management.
The ProdBOK is available on Amazon (this is not an affiliate link and I do not benefit from the purchase of this book – I recommend it because of its importance to the profession of product management).
In addition to the ProdBOK, you may find my guide, Turning Ideas into Market-Winning Products, very helpful for understanding what product developers, managers, and innovators do. This book presents a framework for finding ideas, transforming them into products, and providing them to a market.