Product Management Frameworks

My library of reference frameworks is expanding as I progress in my career as a Cloud Observability Product Manager and my MBA studies. The objective of this post is to document the frameworks that I have found helpful in my Product Management career path.

Porter’s 5 Forces

This one is straight out of business school.
Porter’s Five Forces is a simple yet effective framework for identifying the primary sources of competition in your industry or sector. I use this framework to tactically analyse the market, particularly the competition. When you get a good grasp of the forces affecting your product, you’ll be able to adjust your strategy, boost your margin, and stay ahead of the competition.

It helps in product strategy and roadmap planning. The five forces are:

  • Threat of New Entry
  • Threat of Substitute
  • Power of Suppliers
  • Power of Buyers
  • Market Rivalry

Further Reading: How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy by Michael E. Porter

The AARM Method

The AARM metrics is an analytical framework that defines the metrics for a product/feature. It’s an acronym for :

  • Acquisition — where/what channels do users come from? This is an important consideration during an opportunity scoping exercise. This is also an important metric to track for Product Led Growth strategy. For instance, entice consumers with a free tier and subsequently convert them to freemium or premium users.
  • Activation — What percentage of users used the product after signing up? Did they install an agent? Did users activate their cloud connection or leave it in an incomplete state?
  • Retention - Increasing the frequency with which customers utilise the product/feature. What’s the percentage of repeat customers?
  • Monetization - Can you monetise this feature? Why would anyone pay for this product or feature? Why won’t they use an open-source solution instead?

Further Reading: AARM Metrics


When you’ve decided on a list of features or requests to work on, but aren’t sure which one to choose or test first, the following prioritisation frameworks may help:

  • RICE Score - (Reach * Impact * Confidence )/Effort. RICE doesn’t take risk into consideration, be cautious of this.
  • MoSCoW - Must-Have, Should-Have, Could-Have, Won’t-Have
  • Kano Model - Delighters, Performance features and Basic features

Further Reading: Prioritization Techniques All Product Managers Should Know


OKRs stand for objectives and key results, a goal-setting methodology that can help you set and track measurable goals.

I will [objective] as measured by [key result].

The Objective is the goal you want to achieve—increase brand awareness and create the lowest carbon footprint in your industry.

The Key Result is the metric by which you’ll measure your progress towards your objective—drive one million web visitors, ensure one-quarter of your product’s material is compostable, etc.

Further Reading: OKRs

5C Analysis

5C Analysis is a marketing framework to analyze the environment in which a company operates. It can provide insight into the key drivers of success, competitive pricing strategy, and risk exposure to various macro-environmental factors. The 5Cs are:

  • Company - What is the company’s sustainable advantage?
  • Collaborators - This referes to the ecosystem or community that you can build around your product. The Kubernetes ecosystem is a typical example.
  • Customers - What’s the Total Available Market (TAM), The Serviceable Available Market (SAM) and The Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) sub-segment of the market?
  • Competitors - This is where Porter’s five forces come in handy
  • Context - The PESTLE analysis of the product or company.

Linux Kernel

Further Reading: 5C Analysis


The RFM model helps you segment customer data based on user behaviour. This requires a good amount of historical data.

  • Recency - How recent, last 1 day, 1 week, etc?
  • Frequency - How often?
  • Monetary - How much did they spend, how much could they have spent if not for the broken checkout issue?

Further Reading: RFM Analysis

⚠ DISCLAIMER Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.