Working with engineering teams is part of the product managers core job. Aligning customer and business needs with engineering capabilities and motivation can be a challenge. If you're a product manager working with engineers or if you're an engineer that wants to increase effectiveness, this is for you.
A tool that I have found that has been helpful is the product lifecycle. As an engineer it can be really easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you're getting deep into problem solving and achieving the next sprint or epic. The product lifecycle is a good way to prioritize and structure your work.
Here is the simple, sensible overview I like to share.
This is the most dangerous part of the project. It's high risk building a product before being in an iteration loop with customers. Priority: Ship an MVP
Our goal is to get first customers that will champion the product and give us feedback. Get users on the platform even if it requires manual hand holding. Priority: Onboard Users
We have users and we want to expand adoption. We're looking for product market fit to make the product catch fire. Priority: Run experiments and iterate
The product is mature, has a stable business model and established user base. We want to keep those users, expand revenue, and improve the bottom line. Priority: Optimize
All good things must come to an end, especially in technology. Products and features will eventually decline and it's best to be prepared for that eventuality. Priority: Prepare and transition customers to the next thing