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Key Lingo Aspiring Product Managers Should Know

As the hub of product knowledge and the link between customers and other members of the production team like developers and designers, here are a few terms Product Managers should be familiar with.

Tiwatayo Kunle
December 21, 2022

So you’re new to the Product Management role and there’s a couple of words being used casually around the workplace which you don’t quite know the meaning of. Here’s the article you turn to for the definition of these words as you prepare for your new role or the article that you run back to after a couple of days in the role and you need to know what the heck they're talking about.

Terms All Aspiring Product Managers Should Know

Latency 

aka delay. This is the time between initiating a request for data and receiving an answer. Naturally, this means that low latency is good and a sign of positive UX while high latency is bad and needs to be fixed. Ideally, latency should be 0.

Microservices 

This is the approach to building applications in Software Development used more commonly now, where the components of the program are distributed and loosely coupled so that they each have their own independent database and one team’s changes do not break the entire app. This makes it possible to make changes or fixes to a concentrated part of an app without harming other parts.

Application Programming Interface (API) 

APIs are a set of rules used in software programs to facilitate communication and interaction between the systems. Simply put, APIs allow two systems to communicate with each other. For example, in Microservices explained above, each one of the independent components of the app communicates over well-defined APIs allowing them to work independently, but still as a single unit. APIs allow for such interactions while ensuring speed and security.

Cloud 

You don’t need to be a Product Manager to be interested in this definition as this is a major development in tech that affects almost everyone. The cloud refers to a virtual storage space where people can safely store their digital resources such as their files, software, and applications. It is powered by the internet and it allows users to save physical space on their devices by storing these needs in virtual databases.

MVP

An MVP or a Minimum Viable Product is the stage of a product’s development where it has just enough features to satisfy the customers needs. At this stage, it answers the customer’s demands but possibly lacks much of the frill and fuss that ít could possess in the long run. At this point, the product can be shipped and made available to users who will in turn give feedback that the team will use to make future iterations of the product. 

Use Case

In building a product that the user or client has not come specifically to demand and explain in detail, Product Managers often create hypothetical scenarios to envisage why and how the target user of a product will interact with the product. During the scenario, they gauge how well this product meets the user’s needs, how convenient it is for the user etc. This hypothetical scenario is referred to as a use case.

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User Persona

This is an imaginary user created by the team based on observed patterns of behavior and needs among your product users, to depict the type of person that will use the product. Creating a user persona allows the team to create a product the user actually needs and that will solve a real user problem. By identifying the different types of users and categorizing them into different personas the Product Manager can define the needs and the goals of the users and prioritize development for product growth. 

Agile/Sprint/Waterfall

This is the product development methodology popular today. It’s an iterative method of product development where teams work in brief cycles known as sprints to achieve a specified goal. The beauty of Agile methodology is that it allows teams to take on tasks in bite sized pieces and receive feedback as they go along so that they can regroup and pivot if necessary, unlike the more traditional Waterfall Methodology which involved a more rigid style of creating long-term plans for teams to execute without much room for changes along the way.

Product Roadmap

A product roadmap is a framework created by the Product Manager of the entire project plan. By taking into consideration the time available, objectives of the product, capacity of the team, the Product Manager creates a roadmap to clearly map out the team’s strategy and the direction and vision that everyone ought to be working towards. The roadmap ensures that the entire team stays on track, and opens lines for communication and transparency in the entire product development process.

Product Requirements Document (PRD) 

This is created by the Product Manager as one of the first steps in product development. The  PRD communicates to the development and testing teams what features must be included in the Product release by outlining the purpose, functionality and value of the product to be developed.

Now that you’re pretty much fluent in Product Manager speak, hopefully you’re confident enough to initiate conversations with other product managers and more than that, you feel better equipped to take on the role of Product Manager. Knowing the lingo is a vital part of fitting it with any group and an excellent starting point for any looking to start a career in an unfamiliar territory.

For an opportunity to work as a Product Manager and practice some of these words you just learned, sign up for Co.Lab’s Product Management Program. 

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