What does it take to product manage a digital product or service?

From strategy formulation to product development to ongoing portfolio and roadmap management

About The Book

DPMT for Product Managers and Organizations

What does it take to product manage a digital product or service through its lifecycle? Lean and agile practices are necessary but are they sufficient?  

Digital products generate a tremendous amount of data in distribution and use, lend themselves to constant iteration, and enable innovative business models. Digital product management (DPM) therefore involves sophisticated analytics, design thinking, and business modeling in addition to the central coordinating role of traditional product management. 

The authors contend that the key to successful digital product management is Digital Product Management Thinking (DPMT) – a collection of systemic practices and skills that integrates Analytics, Business modeling, Coordination, and Design thinking – the ABCD of DPMT.  These practices and skills are most relevant to the product manager, but DPMT is even more effective when it is viewed as an organizational-wide competency. This book describes DPMT and its application across the life cycle of digital products – from up-front strategy formulation to product development to ongoing portfolio and roadmap management.  

The authors, Nitin Joglekar – Associate Professor at Boston University, and Varun Nagaraj – Fellow at Case Western Reserve University and Boston University draw upon current product management best practices, relevant academic research in strategy and innovation, and their own hands-on experiences as product managers, consultants, and executives in Boston and Silicon Valley. Writing in an engaging ‘practitioner-scholar’ style, the authors provide a succinct, practical, and rigorous approach to mastering and implementing DPMT. The book is supplemented by an online MOOC on digital product management (QD503) taught by the authors on the edX platform. (https://www.edx.org/micromasters/digital-product-management).  

The book and online course themselves are digital products. We view the first versions of our book and online course as our minimum viable product (MVP). With your feedback, we look forward to iterating and improving the book and the online course over time. You can contact us at senseshaping@gmail.com.

ISBN: 978-0-692-92410-5


Meet The Authors

Nitin R. Joglekar


is on the faculty at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. His interests involve Digital Product Management Thinking (DPMT), deployment of analytics and machine learning techniques in innovation processes, and digitization of supply chains. 

In addition to his academic career, he has overseen product management teams at established firms, and founded a software startup. He holds degrees in engineering from IIT, Memorial University, and MIT. He also holds a doctorate in management science from the MIT Sloan School.  

Professor Joglekar is the department editor for Technology, Innovation Management, and Entrepreneurship at IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. He is also a department editor for industry studies and public policy at Production and Operations Management.  

Varun Nagaraj


is a Digital Learning and Innovation Fellow at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, and a PhD candidate and Design and Innovation Fellow at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. 

Varun has been a product manager, consulted to product managers on strategy and cycle time excellence while at PRTM management consulting (now PwC), and hired and mentored product managers in his roles as VP of Product Management and CEO in the fields of networking, security, data center virtualization, medical instrumentation, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Varun holds degrees in electrical and computer engineering from IIT Bombay and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and an MBA from Boston University.  

Table of Contents

Digital Product Management Thinking (DPMT)

Chapter 1: Digital Product Management

  • Relevance and role of the digital product manager
  • The ABCD of DPMT
  • Analytics
  • Business Model
  • Coordination
  • Design thinking

Chapter 2: Business Context - A PM must operate within a business model

  • Firm level strategy
  • Business Model Canvas (BMC)
  • Integrating business model thinking into DPMT

Chapter 3: Organizational Context - Coordinating teams and processes

  • Cross-functional coordination
  • Contrasting stage gate with lean development
  • Agile and blended development processes
  • Integrating analytics, coordination, and design thinking improves the agile process

Chapter 4: Ideation and Hypotheses Development

  • Opportunity identification
  • Characterizing a product concept
  • Integrating analytics and design thinking improves ideation

Chapter 5: The Science of Requirements Management

  • Collecting and assessing requirements
  • Prioritizing / reprioritizing requirements
  • Documenting requirements - the MRD and the PRD
  • Documenting requirements - Use-case based and product-attributes based requirements
  • Enhancing requirements management with data and analytics thinking

Chapter 6: Product Definition and MVP Evolution

  • Minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Diffusion of innovation (DOI) and product evolution
  • Product evolution through analytical experimentation

Chapter 7: Product Evolution - Architecture, A/B testing, and iteration

  • Architecture and modularity
  • Continuous prototyping and A/B testing
  • Dependency structure matrix (DSM): Architecture as analytics thinking in action

Chapter 8: Go-To-Market (GTM)

  • 4P and 4C models
  • SAVE model
  • Product management vs. product marketing in GTM
  • Integrating analytics into GTM activities

Chapter 9: P&L, Intermediate Metrics, and Risks

  • Market sizing: TAM, SAM, SOM, LAM
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • P&L management
  • Analyzing P&L statement for risk management

Chapter 10: Beyond GTM - Product lifecycle and roadmapping

  • Roadmaps
  • Product lifecycle management
  • Portfolio management
  • Platform economics
  • Interplay between analytics and business model thinking

Chapter 11: Soft Skills and the Social Aspect of DPMT

  • Practitioner insights on skills
  • A structured analysis of key skills: Managing the stakeholder network

Chapter 12: Career Arc

  • The PM interview
  • PM growth options