Product Management Consulting

TCGen’s Product Management Consulting helps you develop better products, faster

Why Work With A Product Management Consultant?

You’re probably facing one of these common problems:

“We’re making better decisions, faster”

— Apple Executive
  • Products don’t delight customers
  • Products don’t meet financial objectives
  • Product management and product marketing roles lack clarity
  • Products are late due to changes in requirements
  • Product Managers and product teams are burned out

Product Management Consulting is a solution for this typical set of problems that plague product owners and product teams.

Benefits of Product Management Consulting Engagements

Product Management Metrics

Our clients have reported measurable improvements in business performance following a Product Management Consulting engagement, including:

  • Cutting Time to Market
  • Exceeding sales forecasts
  • Improving product profitability
  • Improving product development predictability
  • Increasing innovation in their product portfolios
  • Fostering an agile environment

What Product Management Consultants Do

Product Management Consulting services help your company improve its product development performance in a variety of dimensions:

We can help you to optimize Product Strategy and Product Management processes.

Improve Product Strategy, Product Portfolio Management, and Innovation 

How to Engage with TCGen

  1. Schedule a no obligation call. Book some time with us. Find out more about how we can help you. 
  2. We will write it up. We will send you what we learned from the call and suggest options for working together. If it meets your needs, we can send you a proposal.
  3. Kick off Project. We will work with you to design a tailored Kick Off to initiate the engagement.

Typically, a Product Management Consulting service will help a company ensure that its strategy leverages its brand position and that is reflected all the way to margins and pricing. It will help you tune up your strategy so that it is clearly stated, and ties to the vision, the product roadmaps and the budget. A clear tie between each of these facets of product development ensures that the resulting product portfolio mirrors corporate strategy.

Implement Product Management and Product Development Processes

Product Management Consultants also help your company have a product development process that is aligned with strategy and includes key stakeholder involvement. For example, if your strategy calls for an intense concentration on technical innovation, then your product development process must include a crucible for innovation.

It must include a mechanism for capturing the best ideas, for vetting and prioritizing them, and for nurturing them on the long journey from raw technology to marketable products. We have also helped sales and marketing teams leverage Design Thinking to improve innovation; and a technology firm to implement a Discovery process and organization. We believe a product leader is the best description of the expansive roles that product managers play in today’s technology world.

Accelerate Innovation

Helping with hearing the voice of the customer is another service that Product Management Consultants provide. Nothing is as essential to effective inbound marketing than the voice of the customer. Superior Product Management Consultants may help your company establish innovation programs such as Design Thinking or Market-Driven Product Definition, methodologies for capturing and leveraging the customer’s voice.

Enhance Organizational Effectiveness (Beyond the Product Manager)

Clarifying roles and responsibilities is another area where Product Management Consulting can help. In too many companies, Product Management and Product Marketing are not distinct functions. Product Marketing Managers are is responding to customer needs while they’re also managing the longer lifecycle of products (often called outbound marketing, too). At the same time, Product Management is not always differentiated from User Experience design. Similarly, product management is distinct from project management, but often roles are not clear.

Consultants can help companies define these roles more carefully, smoothing out misunderstandings, speed decision making, helping to power products to market.  

Exceed Business Plan Goals. 

Improve Product Marketing Leadership. 

Ramp your revenue.

TCGen’s Inch Deep, Mile Wide approach to consulting.

TCGen’s Approach to Product Management Consulting

Although each engagement is unique, most of them are variations of these types:

Regardless of the specific consulting area, TCGen’s approach typically begins with a thorough assessment of your organization’s needs and follows it with focused training for team members and their managers:

  1. We first highlight the pain points (usually product definition and delays). 
  2. Then we agree on goals and KPIs to improve in product management. 
  3. We then identify a small number of the most effective levers of improvement. 
  4. We associate each of these product management levers with a metric.

Because we want to leave you with a new capability, that employees will now have, we typically pair up with a senior level individual contributor (note this is not a full-time assignment, just high priority).

TCGen’s Product Management Case History

TCGen Founder John Carter, former Chief Engineer at BOSE, has led Product Management engagements across industries (from Fortune 500 companies to startups) and includes many tech companies that are focussed oncluding software products and software development. Here are a few examples, and contact us if you would like to discuss work we have done in your industry.:

  • Apple: TCGen founder John Carter designed and implemented the Apple New Product Process (ANPP), a process used throughout Apple’s product divisions.
  • Bio-Rad: TCGen worked with a team to design the next generation platform of diagnostic testing systems for this healthcare company. We implemented a unique customer visitation plan to develop our user stories. We implemented a unique customer visitation plan. The results: a platform launch that was the most successful ever for Bio-Rad and has been an enduring winner for them over many years.
  • BOSE: John managed the development of products such as the BOSE® Wave® Music System and Noise-Cancelling Headphones, enjoyed by millions of customers world-wide. 
  • HP: We worked with general management marketing and engineering to understand gaps in product management and how to fill them. We helped management to better fund the product marketing team and increase the number of dedicated resources to each of these teams. The result was a positive impact in customer satisfaction and increased predictability.

The TCGen Difference Yields Successful Products

TCGen’s approach to Product Management Consulting differs from the others because we listen. We drive deeply into the culture and challenges of the organization including in management and the development teams, as well as product management.

Unlike a consulting firm that is hyper focussed on training, we take an approach that there can be a range of deliverables you would like to see – some are best serviced by training, others best serviced by consulting, and occasionally some best served by research (or benchmarking).

Our Project History approach captures the voices within your organization and enables you to learn from the past, as you imagine your future.

In a dialog with senior leadership, we then define the key results you would like to achieve. We then craft a customized approach to your Product Management Consulting engagement. 

“John has that rare combination of brilliance and pragmatism that truly sets him apart. John is world class.”

— Dan Keller, HP Executive

We do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach and we are data-driven to work on the most important problem first (e.g. those that have the highest impact). Our Product Management Consulting engagements enable you to select only the approaches that work for you. Too many consultants complicate processes to no end, or turn all engagements into a big Digital Transformation. We’ll help you implement only the approaches that make a difference. 

TCGen is also different in that you will work directly with someone with deep, first-hand knowledge of Product Management. We won’t hand you off to a recent MBA recipient. You will get the benefit of working with someone who has developed products enjoyed by millions of people.

About John Carter

John Carter has been a widely respected adviser to technology firms over his career. He is the author of Innovate Products Faster: Graphical Tools for Accelerating Product Development. As Founder and Principal of TCGen Inc., he has advised some of the most revered technology firms in the world:

  • Abbott, Amazon, Apple
  • BOSE, Cisco, Fitbit
  • HP, IBM, Roche

John specializes in the value creating aspects of product development – from the strategy and innovation processes, through product definition, execution and launch. He has helped companies cut time to market, rapidly scale their product program, and improve innovation with customer led insights, leading to greater profitability, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.  

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cirrus Logic (CRUS) a leading supplier of mixed signal semiconductors where he is involved with company strategy and sits on the Compensation and Audit Committees. 

John was the founder of Cambridge-based Product Development Consulting, Inc. (PDC), a consultancy advising Fortune 500 companies in the areas of research, development, and marketing. During his time there, he worked with Apple to create the Apple New Product Process (ANPP) which is used in all product divisions. He has been an invited speaker at MIT and Stanford University, and a member of the faculty at Case Western’s Executive program.

Before starting PDC, John was Chief Engineer of BOSE Corporation. John is the inventor of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and shares the original patent with Dr. Amar Bose. He was one of the initial contributors in BOSE’s entry into the automobile OEM business and led the product and business development of BOSE’s patented noise reduction technology for the military market.

He earned his MS in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA. You can see more of John’s background on Linkedin.

Product Development Expert

John Carter is a widely respected expert on product development. He is an inventor of Bose’s Noise Cancelling Headphones and designer of Apple’s New Product Process. As Founder of TCGen Inc., he has consulted for Abbott, Amazon, Apple, Cisco, HP, IBM, Mozilla, Roche, and 3M.