Strategy versus Tactics for Product Managers

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Chess-Donors1Doug Seven, former Visual Studio Director of Product Management and now Executive VP of BlackOps at Telerik posted a great description of the differences between strategy and tactics in the art of product management.  Along with defining the difference between strategy and tactics he also points out the importance of measurement as a tool to evaluate a strategies effectiveness as well as how to create a strategy.
"The difference between strategy and tactics is the difference between a plan and an action. A strategy is the plan–an adaptable plan–for how you will achieve a goal, and the tactics are the executable actions you will perform to achieve the result outlined by the strategy."  - From Doug Seven's Blog

Doug goes on to describe the steps involved with creating an effective strategy whether it be for a business, product, or person.  Starting with a clear vision is key and will lead to creation of strategies designed to "change the system".


With one or more strategies identified you can begin to evaluate them and decide which ones you want to employ.

He then goes into some depth about the importance of measurement to ensure that a strategy is effective and to provide means of altering a course when you find one that is not working so well.
With each strategy you identify you must identify a means to measure its success. For example, when we were preparing the initial beta release of Icenium we wanted to attract net-new customers to the company. One of the strategies we developed was to drive awareness through trade press that targeted audience profiles that were different than the current customer profile at the company.

If you want to learn more about how to better define strategies for product marketing, or just life in general then this post is a good read.

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Contributor

Paul Ballard

is a Chief Architect specializing in large scale distributed system development and enterprise software processes. Paul has more than twenty years of development experience including being a former Microsoft MVP, a speaker at technical conferences such as Microsoft Tech-Ed and VSLive, and a published author. Prior to working on the Windows platform, he built software using a vast array of technologies including Java, Unix, C, and even OS/2.