The 4 C’s of Product Management

Much has been written about Product Management. You only need to take a look at some of the great Product Management blogs available.

However, in an attempt to simplify Product Management and go back to basics, I’ve classified Product Management into 4C’s:

  • Customer
  • Company
  • Capability
  • Cash

If we consider the 4C’s when we’re developing or managing products and services, we’re on the right track to delivering profitable results for businesses.

The Customer

The customer sits at the apex of the Product Management world.

Our job as Product Managers is to understand our customers and their problems. This is perhaps the single most difficult part of our role. Product or service solutions are easy to conceive if we have deep insights about our target customers, how they live their lives, what problems they have and what they value as important.

Understanding customers is not only about market research but also about observation.

The Company

In the mix of good Product Management practices is information about the company’s business objectives. Product objectives should be strongly aligned with the company’s business objectives.

If the company is focused on reducing overheads but your product objectives are about growing at all cost, more than likely you’ll meet with resistance from stakeholders within the organisation.


Capability takes into account what your organisation is good at delivering. Unless there is a strong desire to enhance the company’s capability which stems from the CEO, there is no point creating a new service or product that the company has never had any experience developing. For example: A magazine (Cosmopolitan) attempting to create a food product (yoghurt) is not the best idea for new product development given that the magazine business (at least to my knowledge) does not have the right environment, facilities or expertise to make yoghurt.


An indicator of good product management is its ability to deliver cash to the business. So using the 3C’s describe above the job of product management is to seek lucrative opportunites that solve customer problems, sit well within the company’s business objectives and can be delivered with ease using the company’s infrastructure and expertise.

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