Software Product Management Dictionary
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Created by: Madalyn Miki in 2017; Updated: Sept. 2018.
Term, Acronym or JargonMeaning Further Studying
A/B Testing (aka Split Testing)A pattern used against large, roughly equal groups that measures perception of value of two slightly different concepts.
AbandonmentUsed to describe a visitor on a web page who leaves that page before completing the desired action.
Acceptance Criteria (Scrum)The conditions that a software product must satisfy to be accepted by a user, customer, or in the case of system level functionality, the consuming system.
AcquisitionThe purchase of one corporation by another, through either the purchase of its shares, or the purchase of its assets.
Actor (Unified Modeling Language)A role played by a user or any other system that interacts with the subject.
Agile DevelopmentMost often found in the software industry, but also used by other industries, agile is an iterative product-development methodology in which teams work in brief, incremental “sprints,” and then regroup frequently to review the work and make changes. This adds frequent feedback and the ability to switch focus and priority quickly, and is in contrast to the more traditional, sequence-based, waterfall methodology, where product managers set long-term plans in discrete phases for development teams to execute.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.
Allocating ResourcesA process and strategy involving a company deciding where scarce resources should be used in the production of goods or services.
Alpha (Investment)Often considered the active return on an investment, gauges the performance of an investment against a market index or benchmark which is considered to represent the market’s movement as a whole.
Alpha TestUsed most commonly in the software industry, at the point when development is nearly complete, a product manager will often conduct an alpha test, in which a small group of users will test the product for bugs or other issues.
AndroidA mobile operating system developed by Google, based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
API (Application Programming Interface)A set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. Basically, an API specifies how software components should interact. APIs are used when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components.
AR (Augmented Reality)A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.
ASP (Application Service Provider)A business providing computer-based services to customers over a network; such as access to a particular software application (such as customer relationship management) using a standard protocol (such as HTTP).
AssumptionAssumptions help you define scope and risks and fine-tune your estimates for time and cost.
It is essential to document and validate your assumptions.
Automatic ProgrammingIdentifies a type of computer programming in which some mechanism generates a computer program to allow human programmers to write the code at a higher abstraction level.
AutomationThe creation of technology and its application in order to control and monitor the production and delivery of various goods and services. It performs tasks that were previously performed by humans.
B2B (Business to Business)A type of transaction that exists between businesses, such as one involving a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer.
B2C (Business to Consumer)Business or transactions conducted directly between a company and consumers who are the end-users of its products or services.
B2G (Business to Government)A business model that refers to businesses selling products, services or information to governments or government agencies. B2G networks or models provide a way for businesses to bid on government projects or products that governments might purchase or need for their organizations.
BA (Business Analytics)The skills, technologies, practices for continuous iterative exploration and investigation of past business performance to gain insight and drive business planning.[1] Business analytics focuses on developing new insights and understanding of business performance based on data and statistical methods.
BaaS (Backend as a Service)BaaS (aka MBaaS) is a model for providing web app and mobile app developers with a way to link their applications to backend cloud storage and APIs exposed by back end applications while also providing features such as user management, push notifications, and integration with social networking services.
Back-end DevelopmentA type of programmer who creates the logical back-end and core computational logic of a website, software or information system.
Backlog (Scrum)An accumulation of something, especially uncompleted work or matters that need to be dealt with.
BenchmarkA standard or point of reference in measuring or judging the current value or success of your company in order to determine your future business plans.
Beta (Investment)A measure used in fundamental analysis to determine the volatility of an asset or portfolio in relation to the overall market. Beta is often used as a risk-reward measure meaning it helps investors determine how much risk their willing to take to achieve the return for taking on that risk.
Beta TestA beta test is a widespread pre-launch distribution of a product (typically software), in which users are asked to try the product and to provide feedback to help the product team improve it for launch or GA.
BI (Businesss Intelligence)A method of compiling, analyzing and interpreting business data to make better-informed decisions. BI data is typically compiled through extensive research across a wide range of sources — including industry reports, customer feedback, actual usage data of the company’s products and competitive research.
BottleneckBottleneck literally refers to the top narrow part of a bottle. In engineering, it refers to a phenomenon where the performance or capacity of an entire system is limited by a single or small number of components or resources.
For example, a task that is making development slower.
Bounce RateThe percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
BRD (Business Requirements Document)A formal contract between the organization and the customer for a product. By describing in full detail all the processes that should be implemented, a BRD is used through the entire cycle of the project to ensure that the product meets the detailed specifications and that the project gains value and achieves the desired results. If it is prepared for a technical product, the BRD also includes technical specifications.
BrainstormingProduce an idea or way of solving a problem by holding a spontaneous group discussion.
Brand DifferentiationThe means by which your brand is set apart from the competition, by associating a superior performing aspect of your brand with multiple customer benefits.
BrandingThe marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.
Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors.
BugAn error, flaw, failure or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways.
BuildA version of a program.
Business CaseThis describes in business terms the benefit a concept or product will provide the company.
Business DevelopmentThe activity of pursuing strategic opportunities for a particular business or organization, for example by cultivating partnerships or other commercial relationships, or identifying new markets for its products or services.
Business IncubatorAn organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services that could include physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections.
Business ModelA company's plan for how it will generate revenues and make a profit. It explains what products or services the business plans to manufacture and market, and how it plans to do so, including what expenses it will incur.
Business PermitA legal document that offers proof of compliance with certain city or state laws regulating structural appearances and safety as well as the sale of products.
Business PlanA written document describing the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, and the financial background, and containing a projected profit and loss statement.
CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)The average amount that a company spends to acquire a single customer.
Case StudyA research method involving an up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of a subject of study (the case), as well as its related contextual conditions.
CCR (Customer Churn Rate)A percentage of customers lost due to churn (cancellation or failure to renew).
Channel SupportChannels of communication that companies may offer to customers for support
ChatbotShort for chat robot, a computer program that simulates human conversation, or chat, through artificial intelligence. Typically, a chat bot will communicate with a real person, but applications are being developed in which two chat bots can communicate with each other.
Cloud ComputingAn information technology (IT) paradigm that enables ubiquitous access to shared pools of configurable system resources and higher-level services that can be rapidly provisioned with minimal management effort, often over the Internet. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility.
CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)A prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.
The total time of a relationship between a customer and the company.
CM (Content Management)A set of processes and technologies that supports the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium. When stored and accessed via computers, this information may be more specifically referred to as digital content, or simply as content.
CMS (Content Management System)A software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content. CMS are typically used for enterprise content management (ECM) and web content management (WCM).
CollateralSomething pledged as security for repayment of a loan, to be forfeited in the event of a default.
Competitive AdvantageConditions that allow a company or country to produce a good or service of equal value at a lower price or in a more desirable fashion. These conditions allow the productive entity to generate more sales or superior margins compared to its market rivals.
Competitive Analysis
(aka Competitive Research)
Identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your own product or service.
A field of strategic research that specializes in the collection and review of information about rival firms. It''s an essential tactic for finding out what yourcompetitors are doing and what kind of threat they present to your financial well-being.
ConstraintA limitation or restriction.
Conversion RateThe number of users who achieved a specific goal divided by the total number of visitors. Often measured for a specific call-to-action, signup form, or other intended goal.
Corner CaseA problem or situation that occurs only outside of normal operating parameters—specifically one that manifests itself when multiple environmental variables or conditions are simultaneously at extreme levels, even though each parameter is within the specified range for that parameter.
CPC (Cost Per Click)The actual price you pay for each click in your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns.
CPI (Cost Per Impressions)A term used in traditional advertising media selection, as well as online advertising and marketing related to web traffic.
CPM (Cost Per Mille)The cost an advertiser pays for one thousand views or clicks of an advertisement.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)An approach to manage a company's interaction with current and potential customers.
CriterionA basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated (singular of criteria).
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)A style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language
CTR (Click Through Rate)The ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns.
Customer AcquisitionRefers to gaining new consumers. Acquiring new customers involves persuading consumers to purchase a company’s products and/or services.
Customer DevelopmentNot to be confused with sales, marketing, or customer support, customer development is the process of gaining customer insights through surveys and in-person interviews.
Customer EngagementA business communication connection between an external stakeholder (consumer) and an organization (company or brand) through various channels of correspondence.
Customer InsightAn interpretation of trends in human behaviors which aims to increase effectiveness of a product or service for the consumer, as well as increase sales for mutual benefit.
Customer RetentionThe activities and actions companies and organizations take to reduce the number of customer defections.
Customer SuccessThe function at a company responsible for managing the relationship between a vendor and its customers. The goal of customer success is to make the customer as successful as possible, which in turn, improves customer lifetime value for the vendor.
DAU (Daily Active User)One of the ways used for measuring success of an internet product (ex. online social games).
DAU measures the "stickiness" of an online product by answering the question, "How many unique product users visit the product daily?"
Daily Standup (Scrum meeting)In Scrum, on each day of a sprint, the team holds a daily scrum meeting called the "daily scrum.” Meetings are typically held in the same location and at the same time each day. Ideally, a daily scrum meeting is held in the morning, as it helps set the context for the coming day's work. These scrum meetings are strictly time-boxed to 15 minutes. This keeps the discussion brisk but relevant.
Data AnalysisA process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making.
Data AnalyticsQualitative and quantitative techniques and processes used to enhance productivity and business gain. Data is extracted and categorized to identify and analyze behavioral data and patterns, and techniques vary according to organizational requirements.
Data MiningThe practice of examining large databases in order to generate new information.
Data Science An interdisciplinary field of scientific methods, processes, and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms, either structured or unstructured, similar to data mining.
DebuggingThe process of finding and resolving defects or problems within a computer program that prevent correct operation of computer software or a system.

Debugging tactics can involve interactive debugging, control flow analysis, unit testing, integration testing, log file analysis, monitoring at the application or system level, memory dumps, and profiling.
DeliverableA thing able to be provided, especially as a product of a development process
DepreciationAn expense item set up to express the diminishing life expectancy and value of any equipment (including vehicles).
Design ConceptThe idea behind a design. It's how you plan on solving the design problem in front of you. It's the underlying logic, thinking, and reasoning for how you'll design a website, application, or program.
Design ThinkingA methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients.
DisruptionDisruption refers to an innovation that gives new consumers access to product historically only available to consumers with a lot of money or skill often with a new business model.
Distribution ChannelA chain of businesses or intermediaries through which a good or service passes until it reaches the end consumer. It can include wholesalers, retailers, distributors and even the internet itself.
Distribution ModelThe manner in which goods move from the manufacturer to the outlet where the consumer purchases them; in some marketplaces, it's a very complex channel, including distributors, wholesaler, jobbers and brokers.
DistributorIndividuals or businesses that purchase the right to sell ABC Corp.'s products but not the right to use ABC's trade name.
Doneness Criteria (Scrum)A clear and concise list of requirements that software must adhere to for the team to call it complete.
Drop Off RateThe drop off rate is the rate of people that don't click through to the next step, but stay on your website. They are the people that are most likely to click back because they are not sure if they want to make a purchase.
Drop ShippingAn arrangement between a business and the manufacturer or distributor of a product the business wishes to sell, in which the manufacturer or distributor ships the product to the business's customers.
Due DiligenceA reasonable investigation of a proposed investment deal and of the principals offering it before the transaction is finalized to check out an investment's worthiness (generally performed by the investor's attorney and accountant).
E-commerceCommercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet.
Edge CaseA problem or situation that occurs only at an extreme (maximum or minimum) operating parameter. For example, a stereo speaker might noticeably distort audio when played at maximum volume, even in the absence of any other extreme setting or condition.
End to EndA term used to describe products or solutions that cover every stage in a particular process, often without any need for anything to be supplied by a third party. It also embraces a philosophy that eliminates as many middle layers or steps as possible to optimize performance and efficiency in any process.
EnterpriseA for-profit business or company.
Computer software used to satisfy the needs of an organization rather than individual users. Such organizations include businesses, schools, interest-based user groups, clubs, charities, and governments.[1] Enterprise software is an integral part of a (computer-based) information system.
EpicAn Epic is a big chunk of work that has one common objective. It could be a feature, customer request or business requirement. In backlog, it is a placeholder for a required feature with few lines of description. It tells compactly about final output of user needs. In the beginning, it may not contain all the details that team needs to work on. These details are defined in User Stories. An epic usually takes more than one sprint to complete.
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)The integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology.
Executive SummaryA nontechnical summary statement at the beginning of a business plan that's designed to encapsulate your reason for writing the plan.
Exit RateThe percentage of visitors that leave your site from a certain page is the exit rate.
Exit StrategyThe planned exit of an owner from their business.