Product Management Glossary

Detailed explanations for all product terms and abbreviations, including illustrations and examples.

Agile is an approach to software development wherein the project goes through incremental updates throughout its life cycle.
Affinity Diagram
An Affinity Diagram is a project management tool that helps teams organize and review large quantities of data by categorizing the information into groups.
AARRR is an acronym for acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenue, which describes the five metrics of user behavior and is often used by a product-led business.
A/B Testing
A/B testing pits two options against each other to compare their performance and discover what gives the best-performing option its edge.
Alpha Testing
Alpha testing validates a product before a feature freeze to assess features, detect major bugs, and prepare it for beta testing.
Acceptance Criteria
Acceptance criteria are the requirements that a product must meet in order for it to complete its user stories.
Agile Framework
Agile is a software development philosophy that emphasizes adaptability to changing product requirements, rapid iteration, and continuous planning.
Bucket Sort
Bucket Sort is an algorithm and technique that categorizes tasks into “buckets” in order of priority.
Bill of Materials (BOM)
A bill of materials is the list of all 3rd-party or open-source code used during software development.
Burndown Chart
A burndown chart is an illustrated projection of ideal software development time against the actual progress made by developers.
Bubble Sort
Bubble Sort is a basic sorting algorithm for organizing an array of elements into a certain order. This algorithm is a popular educational tool for programmers.
Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is a fictional description of your ideal customer avatar; it is based on your current market research and existing customer data.
The backlog, or product backlog, is a priority-ordered list of tasks your team undertakes to improve your product.
Backlog Grooming
Backlog grooming is the regular process of reviewing the product backlog to ensure that it’s up-to-date and ready for future sprints to use.
Beta Testing
Beta testing lets you put your product in front of end-users before release to gauge sentiment and gather relevant feedback.
Customer Experience
The customer experience, often shortened to CX, includes the entirety of a customer’s encounters with a business and how they feel about it every step of the way.
Customer Journey Map
A Customer Journey Map is a tool used to visualize a customer’s actions as they interact with a business, eventually leading up to a specific desired goal.
Change Management
Change Management is a structured approach to ease individuals and organizations in making organizational change.
Customer Experience Management
Customer experience management is the process of analyzing and refining your company’s interactions with customers in order to improve their perception of your brand.
Customer Development
Customer development is a formalized and iterative process for understanding customer needs and responding to them to arrive at a scalable and repeatable business model.
Change Management Process
The change management process is a structured approach that guides initiatives for organizational change.
Customer Acquisition Cost
Customer acquisition cost is a measurement of the resources that you invest in converting a single customer.
Churn refers to the loss of value-adding assets, but churn rate metrics give you actionable insights to improve retention and profits.
Chief Product Officer
The chief product officer is in charge of all the product-related affairs in which a business engages, and plays a crucial role in ensuring successful product development.
Disruptive Innovation
Disruptive Innovation refers to innovations to technologies or business models that disrupt an existing market or industry and make something more accessible.
DACI decision
DACI is a decision-making framework that delegates tasks to specific team members to boost productivity and improve completion speed.
Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation is the process of using digital technology to change and modernize business processes and customer experience.
Dual Track Agile
Dual Track Agile is an agile concept that involves working on product discovery and delivery in parallel. In general, it’s done to create a more efficient development process.
Design Ops
With Design Ops, companies optimize the design team’s operations while integrating these into the entire product development process.
Definition of Ready
Definition of Ready is an agile framework that determines a set of agreements that prompts when something is ready to begin.
4 Ds of Time Management
The 4 Ds of Time Management, also called the 4 D’s of Productivity, is a common strategy for evaluating which tasks take priority. By categorizing tasks, you can easily decide which ones to do now, later, or never.
Definition of Done
The Definition of Done is the list of all the conditions that teams must fulfil to declare a project or user story complete.
Extreme Programming (XP)
Extreme Programming (XP) is an agile software development methodology for creating higher-quality software and improving developers' quality of life.
Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower matrix is a framework for sorting tasks by urgency and importance to guide prioritization and improve time management.
Feature Flag
A feature flag is a mechanism that allows you to remotely turn on or turn off a feature in your app without having to change the code.
Go-To-Market Strategy
A go-to-market strategy is a tactical plan for executing a successful product launch onto the market. As such, it also encompasses your sales strategy and varies for each product.
Gantt Chart
A Gantt Chart is a project management tool that illustrates activities that need to be done and their schedule.
GA (General Availability)
General Availability is when the general public can purchase your product and expect that you can support it.
Heart Framework
The Heart Framework is a collection of metrics that gives you a holistic view of how your UX is viewed by users, and helps you make product development decisions.
In software development, iteration is the process of repeating a particular task over a period until the desired outcome is reached.
Intuitive Design
Intuitive design is when customers understand how to use a product without much effort. In product management, a push for easy-to-use UIs is expected especially by users.
Idea Management
Idea management is a formal approach to creating, refining, and implementing ideas in a way that is aligned with customer needs.
Impact Map
An impact map is a visual depiction of your product’s goals, along with the tasks, stakeholders and features involved in achieving these goals.
Jira Tool
Jira is a family of software that is primarily used for project management. It is widely adopted by agile teams to help track workflow.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a set of quantifiable measures companies use to evaluate how well they achieve specific targets or objectives.
Kano Model
The Kano model is a framework for guiding product development that identifies which features will most likely lead to customer satisfaction.
MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue)
The MRR, or monthly recurring revenue, is a sales metric that describes how much predictable revenue you can expect to make each month.
MoSCoW Method
The MoSCoW Method is a prioritization framework that groups product features into four categories based on how critical they are to the next release.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
A minimum viable product (MVP) is basically that initial version of a product that has just enough features or functionality for customers to use it and give valuable feedback to the developers.
Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Score is a marketing metric that is used to determine the likelihood of a product user in recommending a product to friends.
Planning Poker
Planning Poker is a consensus-based agile strategy often used for planning and estimating product backlogs, using cards with assigned values to decide on the effort required for an initiative.
Product Architecture
Product architecture refers to the way you organize your product’s functional components and how they interact with each other.
Product Mix
The product mix is the collection of all product lines that your company offers.
Product/Market Fit
Product/Market Fit is the pairing of a strong product and a satisfied user base, which makes users spread the word about their good experiences with your product.
Product Operations
Product operations is a role that improves the efficiency of cross-functional product teams by facilitating communications, improving processes, and providing other forms of support.
Product Management Software
Product management software includes tools that help streamline or automate various parts of product management.
Product Analytics
Product analytics refers to the methods you use to automatically gather information about your product’s users and their engagement with your product.
Product Management Process
The product management process involves the steps that product managers take to guide product development towards high-quality products that achieve success in the market.
Product Positioning
Product positioning is the practice of creating an identity for your product that outlines its benefits to your target audience and sets it apart from the competition.
Prioritization is the practice of ranking tasks, features, and other product requirements in order of their importance.
Product Features
Product features are the components, attributes, and capabilities of a product that provide value for its users.
Program Manager
A program manager coordinates groups of initiatives and projects that have similar strategic objectives, collectively known as “programs.”
Product Design
Product design is the process of identifying a market’s needs and creating a solution that addresses them, in the form of a product that is valuable to users and sustainable for the business.
Product Designer
A product designer is in charge of translating the needs of your target market into a quality user experience. Read about the role and its responsibilities here.
Product Differentiation
Product differentiation is a marketing strategy that distinguishes a product or service from others to make it more desirable to target audiences.
Product Specification
A product specification describes all the requirements for building a product and guides your team throughout the product design and development process.
Product Development Process
The product development process represents all the tasks and steps that a company takes in order to build a product from start to finish.
Product Strategy
A product strategy is a high-level plan explaining the business objectives for a product, the target market, and big-picture ideas of the product’s influence.
PERT Chart
A pert chart is used in project management as a tool to define and coordinate tasks and timelines. PERT stands for Program/Project Evaluation and Review Technique.
Quality Assurance
Quality assurance is the set of processes that a business uses to ensure that its products meet certain quality standards.
Quality Function Deployment
Quality function deployment is a model for deriving quantitative technical requirements for product design from qualitative user sentiment.
RICE Framework
The RICE Framework is a method of prioritizing projects based on their Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort.
Release Notes
Release notes are documents that are released alongside a new product launch or update, which concisely describe the new product or any changes made to it.
Release Management
Release management is the discipline of managing, planning, scheduling, and controlling software releases.
Retrospective Meeting
The retrospective meeting is a meeting held after an Agile iteration, during which the whole team reflects on the process and what can be done better in future iterations.
Retention Rate
Retention rate is a performance metric that indicates what proportion of your customers come back to do repeat business with you.
SWOT Analysis
A SWOT Analysis is a marketing tool used to strategically identify a business’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. You can use it for decision-making in your business.
Sunk Cost
Sunk Cost, or “retrospective cost,” is money that has been spent and cannot be recovered. This means it’s excluded from further decisions.
Shape Up
Shape Up is a set of techniques for driving product development; it strikes the right balance of strategic direction and solution flexibility.
Story Pointing Fibonacci
Story points are an estimate of the overall effort. By story pointing with Fibonacci, teams can provide a clearer, more accurate estimation scale.
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a methodology with a clearly defined process that enables the creation of high-quality software at the lowest cost in the fastest time possible.
Software Release Life Cycle
The software release life cycle is a model that describes the stages of development and maturity for computer programs.
A stakeholder is a person or group who can affect or be affected by a product.
Scrum Master
The Scrum Master is a team member who facilitates the Scrum process and ensures that the team follows Scrum principles and practices.
Stakeholder Analysis
Stakeholder analysis is the process of identifying anyone involved in a software development project and assigning them relevant duties based on their role and core competencies.
Scrumban is an Agile management framework that combines the advantages of two other popular frameworks: Scrum and Kanban.
Scrum Meeting
A scrum meeting is designed to support product development by helping teams plan the work ahead, identify obstacles, and improve existing processes.
Story Mapping
Story mapping is a method to visualize user stories and gain insights into your customers needs.
Technical Debt
Technical debt is the accumulation of the need to refactor code in the future, caused by actions that accelerate delivery at the expense of code quality and efficiency.
Technical Product Manager
A Technical Product Manager brings together technical and theoretical knowledge of product management and requires an in-depth understanding of the company’s technology to drive the product’s development strategy efficiently.
Usability Testing
Usability Testing involves allowing real-life users to test a product or service for evaluation and feedback; this helps businesses ensure their users will have the best customer experience.
User Experience
The user experience represents the sum of all end-user interactions with your company’s product or service.
User Story
A user story is a plain-language description of product feature from the perspective of the end-user.
Voice of the Customer (VoC)
Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a term used by marketing and CX professionals to refer to customers’ preferences, expectations, and aversions regarding a product or service. 
WSJF (Weighted Shortest Job First)
WSJF, or Weighted Shortest Job First, is a technique for prioritizing tasks and initiatives that focuses on completing tasks that have the largest impact in the shortest possible time.
Weighted Scoring Model
A weighted scoring model is a means of prioritizing tasks and making decisions by using a set of scoring criteria, each of which has a varying impact on the final score.
Waterfall Methodology
The waterfall methodology is a more traditional software development method in which project requirements are fulfilled in sequential order without any overlapping phases.
5 Ws
The 5 Ws are a set of five questions you can use to create a project framework or set goals for your product team.