ProdPad Glossary of Terms
Where ProdPad Fits
ProdPad sits upstream from delivery and is where discovery and strategy is worked out. As such, it becomes the space where you understand and validate ideas prior to sending them over to your development team for implementation.
ProdPad also provides you with the ability to show off your entire product development process, where you can see your discovery-driven workflow stages, product-driven workflow stages, and post-implementation workflow stages, giving your entire team a full view of what it takes to get things done.
With ProdPad, you can focus on the problem space rather than the solution space. This is valuable, as you can understand what, why, and for whom you're building things for - information that is crucial to building successful products.
About this Glossary
This glossary breaks down several aspects of how items map together and how ProdPad fits with your existing terminology.
Click on any of the terms below to go straight to that section.
The following image is a representation of how the glossary terms in this document map together.
When translated into a hierarchy of items, we start with the portfolio as the highest level and stream down into feedback.
The Portfolio is the highest level of the ProdPad hierarchy within an account, offering a view of all products and product lines available. It allows you to document your portfolio strategy, with an available portfolio level canvas, objectives and key results, and roadmap views respectively.
Product Lines provide you with a way of associating and grouping products that have similarities in type, user, or business unit. Product lines have their own canvas and roadmap views that bring together all products associated with the product line.
As ProdPad allows you to keep on top of your strategy, everyone from your product teams to your customer-facing teams can use it to stay aligned.
To get the most out of your portfolio setup, be sure to book a chat with the ProdPad team.
Products are components that have a vision, solve a problem, and have objectives to work towards. This can be an actual product or a service you offer. All products have a dedicated canvas, objectives, and roadmap.
There is a one-to-one relationship between a product and a roadmap, so we recommend keeping this in mind as you create your products. Depending on how your teams are set up, you may create your products and roadmaps to keep your teams aligned based on platforms or departments.
Here are some examples:
Make the most of your specific scenario and get a 1 on 1 mentoring session with a ProdPad pro!
Objectives are actionable targets that clarify and align everyone in your team towards a desired outcome. More than a measurable goal, an objective focuses on the benefit, value or outcome of reaching a goal. It is directional, aligned, inspirational and understandable. Objectives exist both on the portfolio level as well as the individual product level.
Examples of portfolio vs product objectives:
Key results help you identify the progress set towards a particular objective or outcome. They stem from the objectives you have identified for your roadmap. A key result is always measurable and must be quantitative.
Need a little help outlining your objectives? Check out this blog post.
An initiative can be a project, expressed as a problem to solve. They can be framed as a hypothesis or opportunity (How can we do this, in order to achieve x….)
Initiatives group a set of ideas and stories together so you can understand what and why you are working on things and will link back to a set of objectives.
If you need a little help writing out initiatives as hypotheses check out our Sandbox.
Initiatives on the candidate column represent potential projects for your roadmap. They’re not yet written up and mostly represent assumptions at this point, but give you a space to begin tracking their potential.
Initiatives on the completed column are initiatives that have been defined as completed or solved. They provide you with an opportunity to measure the impact of your desired outcomes or objectives on both the product and portfolio level. They also support a continuous learning and an experimentation mindset by documenting the results of ideas as experiments - learning and iterating from both successes and failures.
Read more about how to record outcomes with ProdPad.
The Now column outlines all of the initiatives that are actively being worked on by your team. These have committed resources and are in progress.
Initiatives that are planned or coming up once the Now column initiatives are completed. These are lower priority (based on value to user or business) than the problems in the Now column and may require some validation of the assumptions involved.
Initiatives for problems that are known, but contain many unvalidated assumptions and require additional discovery work, so they are not yet prioritized. Often contain less detail or progress on linked ideas due to the uncertainty involved.
Ideas are potential ways to solve problems that deliver both customer and business value. Usually generated by internal team members based on customer feedback or problems identified, ideas can manifest themselves as experiments to undertake, bets or potential solutions. Encompasses both the "what" (description, functional specs, designs) and the "why" (business case, persona, impact/effort).
If you use different terms such as “epic” or “feature,” please refer to our terminology mapping section below.
A sub-component of an idea that describes the granular functions of the idea that enable the user of the product to accomplish some desired action.
Input from prospective or existing customers (internal or external) on their experience with your product or service. Feedback can be used as insights to validate ideas as you move them forward, as part of the discovery process, and also as research into potential problems to solve.
ProdPad’s feedback portal allows you to create and embed a branded and customized portal to collect feedback from your customers.
A mini version of the portal, this embeddable form allows you to collect general feedback from customers.
User personas are a fictional representation of your users that help your teams understand who they’re building for. A good user persona is realistic, easy to visualize, and tied into your day-to-day decisions and processes. Personas should also be living documents that get updated as the needs and challenges of your users change.
In ProdPad, personas can be linked to ideas, feedback, and contacts within the feedback section. You can use the filters to focus on items based on those persona profiles, so if you’re looking to segment information, this is an excellent way of doing so.
Read more on how to work with personas as a product manager.
If you use terms that are a little bit different than the labels in ProdPad - that’s ok! Here’s a breakdown of how different terms map into ProdPad.
An outcome is the result of a piece of work. In ProdPad, you can record outcomes on the initiative level, as well as the key result level. This helps you measure the success and impact of the work you are doing.
Objectives are actionable targets that clarify and align everyone in your team towards a desired outcome. Objectives are available on both the portfolio and product level, and are linked to initiatives.
ProdPad allows you to use key results to track progress.
A feature is an aspect of your product that aims to solve a problem.
When translating it into ProdPad, a feature could be an idea (as a potential solution to a problem) or as an initiative (as a larger project to develop a feature in order to solve a specific problem.)
Focusing on the problem is the right way to discover where opportunities lie and the relative impact of each. In ProdPad, a problem could start off as a small idea, and then as you validate the problem, could grow as big as an entire initiative with multiple ideas linked.
A solution is the output of a particular idea. Before you get to that solution though, make sure you’re running proper validation!
If you work based on experiments, you can use the idea section to validate them.
We certainly encourage that everything you tackle, you do so with a hypothesis assumption. You can write hypotheses on both the idea level and the initiative level.
A theme within ProdPad would translate to an initiative. However, if you’re looking for potential themes on the idea or feedback level, you can use tags to filter out and identify items that will eventually be rolled up into a potential initiatives.
A project within ProdPad can be represented by an initiative. When taking in a new project, remember to always identify what you’re working on and why!
If you’re Agile-based, an epic would translate to the same level as an idea.
Depending on its size and complexity, a bet could either be an initiative or an idea. It all depends on how it is worded.
A good user story tells you what’s motivating the user and what problem they want to solve. If a spec tells you to make a button blue, the user story will tell you what that’s meant to help the user do. These should be focused on outcomes (JTBD) rather than outputs to make ensure it's focusing on allowing the user to achieve something.