It’s difficult to manage the P&L, when you don’t have control of the “P” or the “L.”—Rich Nutinsky, Pragmatic Marketing

It’s fairly common for product managers to be asked to act like “mini-CEOs” or “the president of the product. Good idea in concept but harder to implement in real life.


Even if you don’t have actual control over P&L, you can control reporting of P&L. Try using a scorecard approach.

I was working with a team on their scorecard but alas, all of their metrics were focused on development productivity: how many defects, how many hours, how many stories, how many features…?

But what about metrics on the business of the product from your perspective?

  • What are development costs against plan? Revenue against plan?
  • How many calls to support? Is that more or less than the monthly average? What is the trend?
  • How many leads from marketing? How many were rejected by sales?
  • What is your win rate and what are the top reasons by you lose?
  • What are the trends in Net Promoter Score or other loyalty-related metrics?
  • Fundamentally, what are some of the business metrics you should have at your fingertips? What questions are your execs asking that you should be able to answer? Be the source of metrics on the business of the product!

What other metrics would you capture?

planning, skills

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. So glad to see this post. I also think we need to focus not only on the metrics we control but those that keep us from competing against our fellow product managers with products in the same suite/solution. As PM’s we often make decisions for the greater good of the overarching solution that might not drive the product we own forward. Focusing as a product management team on common goals helps us overall.

  2. I like it too. My only caveat: all of my PM assignments involved multiple (in some cases, dozens) of products, not just one. We sometimes used a variant of Steve’s chart with stoplight (red-yellow-green) of Steve’s metrics buckets. It allowed us to display lots of data at a glance, instead of reading tons of text & numbers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s