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PART I BEDROCK CONCEPTS > CHAPTER 4 Intelligence Gathering


Intelligence Gathering

TRUE OR FALSE: The customer is always right.

Ah, an interesting—yet incomplete—statement. The customer is always right if it is the right customer. Without this qualifying phrase, product managers can be led in the wrong direction. In the process of researching customers, product managers must be vigilant to maintain a focus on the customers that are their future (and not just their past). They shouldn’t assume that all customers are right all the time.

Successful product managers gather intelligence about numerous facts from numerous sources. External information on market conditions is critical. This includes market segment sizes and growth rates; customer-specific expectations; competitive products and strategies; regulatory requirements and restrictions; economic and political factors; as well as trends or shifts in any of these. Internal information is also important. This includes knowledge of broad company competencies; costs and financials surrounding the product manager’s products; process flows; and internal politics. In this chapter we cover both types of intelligence, starting with the external kind.


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