Identify Product Weaknesses by Writing Your Product’s Obituary

Here is a really simple, but morbid, group exercise for a product management team: write your product’s obituary. Being a proactive product manager means planning the demise of your product before it happens. Sometimes you’ve got a plan for end of life…sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you want to delay the end of life, and sometimes you want to accelerate it. Try these 8 questions for a quick group exercise.


  1. How will customers remember your product?
  2. What is the cause of your product’s demise?
  3. Is the demise of your product expected or unexpected?
  4. What is the date of your product’s demise?
  5. How are other products in the portfolio affected by your product’s demise?
  6. Now that your product is gone, what will take its place?
  7. Who is handing out their business cards to your customers at your product’s wake?
  8. What 3 things could you have done to delay your product’s demise?

Share and compare your answers with others, and discuss.

For more activities for product management, read the Product Guy Daily. I publish it every morning.

 

Inspired by:

Sherman, E. (2013, December 11). For Your Year-End To-Do List: Write Your Company’s Obituary Now. In Inc.com. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from http://www.inc.com/erik-sherman/what-3-things-will-kill-your-business-soon.html

Yohn, D. L. (2014, January 28). Write Your Brand’s Obituary. In Harvard Business Review. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/01/write-your-brands-obituary/

One Response to Identify Product Weaknesses by Writing Your Product’s Obituary

  1. This is actually a great activity for those in the product department. Thank you for this post. This can be very helpful to different companies.

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