Whatever the industry is, the value of written words is always greater than the vocal ones. Written communication is like a river that immerses everyone who comes in its contact. It is a unified way of exchanging information about the software that every team member must be aware of. So, the product managers have to create proper documentation of every task regarding the application. There are several documents involved in the whole development process. And these documents are not merely a piece of paper but have greater importance. In this article, we will tell you about the importance of such documents and what are the different types of documents that the product manager must create.
Importance of Documentation
Provide Better Product Vision
With proper documents, the product managers will get answers for all the ‘whys’ of the main product. When they see everything in writing, it helps them to make crucial decisions. Some of the questions are: “Who is the product for?” and “why does the app need to be developed?” You will neither get confused nor will commit mistakes through it.
Helps in Planning
Planning is a crucial thing for a product. It helps the product managers for a clear vision and in an eloquent manner. It will help them create stories, sprints, and goals. The whole development team would be able to create software aligned with users’ needs.
Helps in Timely Execution
Plans are worthless if they are not executed on time and in the proper manner. To turn an app vision into a real and well-functioning app, a product manager requires documentation for written communication. It will help in communicating with designers, engineers, etc.
Keep Team Members Accountable
When you create all the documents of the product properly, then it will help you in accessing a plethora of information. You can check what your team members are doing and manage them for their tasks. Keeping a record of everything keeps things simple and transparent.
Meet Customer Needs
When to write down everything from app idea to its planning, you can find out what features must be included and what must perform. Later, it will be passed to the team in a clear manner so that they will create an end product exactly as per the requirement.
10 Important Documents that are most used by Product Managers
- Competitive Analysis Documents
- Product Strategy and Vision Documents
- Specs and Product Required Documents
- OKRs, KPIs, Success Metrics
- Roadmaps Documents
- Customer-Facing Guide
- Internal Guides and FAQs
- Release Notes and Scope
- User Journey and Stories Documents
- Designs and Prototype Documents
We will discuss each of these in more detail.
Competitive Analysis Documents
Analyzing your competitor is one of the most important steps during the business planning of your product. It will help you to find out products and services offered by your competitor, along with its market share, strengths, and weaknesses. There are certain things which you have to mention to your competitors such as:
- Company Profile
- Key Competitive Advantage
- Target Market
- Market Share
- Marketing Strategy
- Products or Services
- Distribution Channels
The contents can even as there are many different types of competitors’ analysis such as capabilities analysis, competitive landscape, competitive differential analysis, imitability ladder, and value proposition analysis.
Product Strategy And Vision Documents
A product strategy or vision document is the combination of the motivation for creating the product and the key functionalities that make the product stand out. It contains many important things such as:
- Product Name: Name of the Product
- Personas: Create provisional personas of the Target Group users by:
- Input from experts
- Input from users (interviews)
- Users journeys: Create customer journeys, storyboards and user flows to define how the users will realize their tasks
- Constraints: Describe the most important boundaries of the implementation
- Design: Minimal design of the application: wireframes, sitemap, guidelines, etc.
- Epics: Describe the larger blocks of functionality. Basically, big user stories have yet to be divided into user stories.
- Ready Stories: Create a list of ready user stories that cover at least the first sprint
Specs and Product Required Documents
A product requirements document (PRD) is a document containing all the requirements to a certain product. It is written to allow people to understand what a product should do. It is for product people, those building products that enjoy discovering, playing with, and learning from new, innovative products. Also serves as a pulse on potentially competing products; Seed-stage investors, always sourcing new deals and seeking signals to curate what startups to evaluate and meet; and everyday tech consumers who love to find new stuff.
OKRs, KPIs, Success Metrics
OKR stands for Objective & Key Result is a method used by product managers to establish the objectives and then access the results of the ongoing product development process. The objectives and key results of the OKR documents are:
|Customer’s Problem||App metrics tracked are distributed on different views, taking valuable time each day to collect and organize before analysis can be conducted and the decision’s made.|
|Vision Statement||At any point in time, app owners and operators can quickly get a pulse check of the app marketing KPIs most important to them.|
|Goals and KPI||Success is measured by less time spent on pages displaying individual metrics and more time spent on high-value tasks like optimizing campaigns and testing new channels for messaging.|
|Persona||The custom daily views will be used by the team leads and heads of marketing who report to the CMO. Higher-level leaders, including the CEO, will likely use it on a monthly basis.|
On the other side, KPI is a key performance indicator that measures the performance of the ongoing development process. These are quantifiable, measurable, and actionable indicators. Measure factors that are critical to the success of the product and are tied to business goals and targets.
A good product roadmap is one of the most important and influential documents an organization can develop, publish, and continuously update. In fact, this one document can either be an organization when it comes to delivering on company strategy. Whether you are a product manager, product owner, business analyst, program manager, product manager, scrum master, lead developer, designer, etc. it will help you in:
- Articulate an inspiring vision and goals for your product
- Prioritize ruthlessly and scientifically
- Protect against pursuing seemingly good ideas without evaluation and prioritization
- Ensure alignment with stakeholders
- Inspire loyalty and over-delivery from your team
- Get your sales team working with you instead of against you
- Bring a user and buyer-centric approach to planning and decision-making
- Anticipate opportunities and stay ahead of the game
- Publish a comprehensive roadmap without overcommitting
Designs and Prototypes Documents
It is difficult to nail something for the first time. Also, it is true with the product design. It wouldn’t be the final design and there will be thousands of variations in it. Hence, the product managers have maintained a document in which all the changes and alterations are mentioned. In product prototyping, the product managers set the right expectations and pave a path to treat them.
Here are some of the reasons why a product manager has to create a prototype document:
- Eliminating misinterpretation risk
- Expeditious iterations
- Better technical feedback quality
User journey and stories documents
For the streamlined development of your mobile application, you must create a customer journey and story documents. A product manager can create these documents effectively for carrying on every little detail.
Here is an example of a custom e-commerce app journey:
|Discovery||The customer learns about you and your product. “I found a site that sells designer furniture!”|
|Interest||The customer sees something they like and begins browsing your app. “They might have the perfect sofa for our living room-I’m going to take a look.”|
|Intent||The customer adds items to a wishlist or a shopping cart but is still only considering the purchase. “Oh, this looks great-I’m going to save this for later and see what else I can find.”|
|Purchase||Also known as the “conversion” stage, this is when the customer buys your product. “Yep, this is the one! It’s perfect!”|
|Engagement||The customer comes back for more – they may purchase again, engage on social media, subscribe to your newsletter, read articles, and subscribe to customer-only bonuses and upsells. “I wonder if they have an article with tips on how to care for my new sofa…”|
Release Notes and Scope Document
As the name indicates, these are those documents that are released on releasing a better version of applications. Product managers create these documents to tell the users about new specifications, bugs fixed, and better features. No two release documents can be the same.
A scope document is a scope of work document. In this document, all the product work will be mentioned such as features, design, QA testing, etc.
Internal Guides and FAQs
The product manager creates these documents for the investors to update them with the whole development process. The FAQs are written in a very simplified process. The documents can also possess wireframes of the product with a strong UI component.
The internal guides contain all the data about how things will work in the development process. It helps in ensuring data recorded in a manner to facilitate easy hand-off and can act as a reference for sales, marketing, or customer support.
Last but not least, this is a manual document that is very easy to create and understand. The product managers create this document mentioning all the instructions on how to use that product.
Without this, the user will find themselves in the chaos of how to operate this product. This shows the importance of this document.
Many people find creating documents a very arduous task, but once done it will help them in a long manner. You just need to put effort into creating these documents as we are here to develop the app for you. At Amplework, one of the best mobile app development companies in India, we are having expertise in developing mobile apps as per your requirements.