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"PIP: A Product Planning Strategy for the Whole Family (Or? How We Became the Brady Bunch)"
Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications
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  > Technical Program > Practitioner Reports > Staying the Course with Methodology and Process

 : Wednesday

PIP: A Product Planning Strategy for the Whole Family (Or? How We Became the Brady Bunch)

Meeting Rooms 11-12
Wednesday, 10:30, 30 minutes


Joseph Blotner, Sabrix, Inc.

As a small start-up company with a heavyweight client list, Sabrix found itself at a critical crossroads in its growth in the Spring of 2003. We were consuming all product development resources satisfying commitments made to existing customers, which seriously limited our ability to react to new requirements and improve our competitive edge in the market. In the face of this resource strain, we needed to add a series of smaller plug-in type products to our existing offering. Of course, this environment required 100% focus on day-to-day tasks and tactical issues, leaving no time or energy for looking ahead.

Compounding these problems were the same issues that every company faces. A lack if trust between functional groups, with Product Development on one side and Sales and Support on the other; and, only very few people in the company knowing what work is being done in Product Development. When stepping back from the situation, we realized that all of the problems could be grouped into three general categories ? prioritization, collaboration and visibility.

To improve each of these areas, we developed the Product Input and Planning (PIP) process. PIP is a cross-functional, cross-product way of building a product roadmap by prioritizing work, balancing competitiveness and customer-driven requirements, and improving product-related communication in all directions within the company. The PIP Team is responsible for prioritizing and building an 18-month roadmap, focusing on the future direction of the company, while Product Management and Product Development focus on delivering the current releases.