On writing a Product Management Case Study
For a while now, I wanted to share the experience I’ve gone through when actually building a product from the ground up in the form of a Case Study. I wanted to write this because I knew it’d be a valuable piece of content if I ever started looking for another job, and it might help others to see how I work. Also: I have previously written about being a developer, and I wanted to highlight my Product Management experience, too. The problem: I had no clue on how to write a Product Management Case Study.
First off, I hit Google and typed in “product management case study”, because I wanted to look at some examples. Knowing how others did it might help me. Turns out, product management case studies aren’t that easy to find. I found people studying specific products, examples of marketing and UX case studies, and interview tips. I went as far as page 3 of the search results (yes, really) to see if I could find an example case study, but alas! Nothing. What I did find was this:
- The blog post series So you want to be a Product Manager. This series did not provide case study examples, but Teresa did point out a couple expected pieces of content here and here. And here. Basically everywhere.
- This blog post by Andy Jagoe. Again, no examples, but expected skills of a product manager.
- Responses to this Quora question provided some insights.
The above input helped me to define what I wanted to come back in my case study: I wanted it to reflect the skills I have in product management. So I compiled a list of topics and skills that I wanted to come back in the case study, based off of the before mentioned blog posts. Then I boiled those down to a couple of subjects:
- Show the necessity of the product, from the perspective of the business and of the users.
- Show the decision making process: highlight how strategic, functional and technical decisions were made and with whom.
- Show the validation process: how did we know we were on the right track?
Writing about these three topics would provide me the space to display how I work. The goal of this case study was not to get people excited about the product, but about me. The product was a canvas that provided the required context to explain my actions and decisions.
While writing, I wanted to make everyone involved shine - so I wanted to prevent taking credit for someone else’s work. And here’s what’s interesting: even though I did a lot of product management work on the project, I technically wasn’t the product manager. That was someone else, with whom I worked closely. I tried to balance these aspects as best as I could.
Last but not least, I tried to not write a project case study. I wanted to really focus on the business value and the processes around building a product, instead of its development process.
Curious as to how the case study turned out? Read the case study here.