The essential goal of a product plan is to ensure that a product is built that delivers business value to a specific set of customers in order to meet certain financial goals based upon a defined bank strategy. A product plan describes the market opportunity, profiles the target customers, specifies pricing, identifies the financial goals, indicates the key priorities for implementation and enhancement, and provides a roadmap for delivery for at least the next four quarters. Also, each product that continues to be offered to customers should have a product plan updated every year. So, how does product management create a good product plan?

Many banks apply arbitrary prioritization based upon perceived number of times the feature/product has been requested, what another bank is doing, what a vendor is selling or how much revenue they think the feature can generate. The bank may also make assumptions about value based upon how they think the product should be used. The bank then creates a roadmap and a target date for release based upon these priorities and before you know it, the product plan is done, right? No, it certainly is not!

The product plan is not complete because the bank’s strategy has not yet been considered. The executives who are chartered with running the bank have not had an influence on the product plan. The plan is merely a reaction to a somewhat random set of market facts and events.

Without a strategy to indicate HOW the bank plans to increase revenue, then just about any product plan could arguably help the bank achieve its goal. But with a strategy that specified how new revenue will be generated, a product plan tailored to supporting that strategy can then be developed.

So why aren’t corporate strategies incorporated into product plans? There are several possible reasons, but three of the most prevalent are: 1) no one thought to include strategy into the new product or service, 2) the strategy has not been clearly communicated, or 3) the strategy appears inconsistent with market and customer data.

The CCG Catalyst Strategic Product Planning Process incorporates:

    1. Product Assessment
    2. Market review
    3. Financial review
    4. Product Roadmap
    5. Integration with your Corporate strategy

The success of your bank is determined by multiple factors, one of which is the success of your products. An effective product plan addresses market and customer needs and support the bank’s business strategy. CCG Catalyst can help you create an effective product planning program.