There are teams that consistently build excellent products — products that solve real problems and cater to the needs of users. After years of observation and learning, we’ve found that they all share three pillars of mastery: deep user insight, a clear product strategy, and an inspiring roadmap.

We’ve coined these pillars the Product Excellence methodology.

“Simply knowing what these three pillars are isn’t enough. There must be a culture and processes in place that give product teams the room to put the methodology into practice. And Product Excellence isn’t a one-and-done achievement, it is an ongoing process — one that organizations must persist in to continuously deliver great products that customers need.”

Hubert Palan Founder & CEO of productboard

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Introducing the 5 levels of Product Excellence Maturity

So how can all teams achieve Product Excellence? Introducing Productboard’s Product Excellence Maturity Model, a 5-level framework that codifies effective product management processes, helping organizations identify where they fall along the three pillars of Product Excellence and what they can do to improve. 

Level 1 represents inexperienced product organizations, and Level 5, the mastery of Product Excellence. As teams progress through each level, their products become more sophisticated and increasingly align with the underlying needs of users.

The 5 levels of maturity are independent of the age or size of the organization. Though it’s unlikely a startup could achieve the highest stages, it’s not impossible. And there are more than a few enterprises that may find themselves performing at the lowest stages.

In our ebook, we explain what each level looks like in the real world, then offer practical advice on how product organizations can progress to the next.

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Three steps to achieve Product Excellence maturity

Reaching Level 5 of Product Excellence maturity requires an authentic curiosity about your users, strategic focus, transparent communication, and buy-in from your team—and that only grows over time.

Here are three steps that product organizations can take to become more customer-driven, and, as a result, consistently build products that are used and loved.

1. Establish a process for collecting deep user insights

“Unlocking meaningful and actionable user insights that drive great experiences begins with building empathy for those using your product. Teams do this by continuously engaging with users throughout the product development lifecycle, from ideation and discovery through delivery and optimization. The result is an organization-wide product culture, driven by customer empathy, that ships products that deliver value and outcomes”

Janelle Estes Chief Insights Officer, UserTesting

2. Set a clear product strategy and define objectives

“Great product managers – the ones who put entire businesses on a different trajectory – go beyond merely translating user insights into product requirements. They treat them as critical inputs, applying their deep expertise around the market, the trends, the technology, and their team’s unique strengths to form a clear product vision and strategy for how to get there.”

John CutlerHead of Product Research & Education at Amplitude

3. Involve stakeholders in product development

“Developing a clear strategy and keeping everyone on the same page is critical to product teams pursuing Product Excellence. For some teams, doing this in a fully remote mode is a challenge. Miro ensures that, no matter where or how they work, teams stay connected in order to collaborate cross-functionally, communicate the company vision and drive the strategy.”

Anna BoyarkinaHead of Product at Miro

Product Excellence is all about creating an environment where every part of the organization can execute together toward shared product goals. Once product makers understand where their company currently stands, they can define the best path forward when it comes to vision, strategy, and execution.

As teams progress through each stage of maturity, it becomes easier and easier to build the types of products that serve customer needs and advance broader company goals.

Ready for your evolution to begin?

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