Shadow Planets…the most controlling planets….!

ūüôā Good Evening, everyone…! ūüôā

It has been since a long time, I didnt have posted any blog in my personal blogsite, rather than many technical blogs in other sites….! So, today, just wanted to take a break from the mechanical life and to write a blog which will electrify me. I am an engineer by education, so I always use some engineering terms. Yes, all the job, that I do passionately which support my profession, directly or indirectly are included in my mechanical life and the other things those I do having the equal passion, electrify me to re-energize myself are really part of me which connects me with myself. :), Cooking, gardening, interior designing, clay pot designing, glass painting and the most relaxing job…the writings….! I can never spend a day without writing…! And for writing, I need to do lots of analysis on a topic, on which I have to write… Astrology is always a very interesting area for me to write…, which always brings another abundance of knowledge to be discovered on the area, which I start analyzing. Few months back, i had written about the conjunction of Venus and Saturn in one’s horoscope or the effect of the major and minor time periods of these two planets in one’s life, after analyzing my horoscope along with 5 other horoscopes to draw a conclusion about this placement. So, it needs time, energy and concentration to analyze this.

Today, I will write about a topic, which personally I never get satisfied and each time my hunger always gets more intensified, the more I discover about it…Yes, its¬† about the shadow planets Rahu and Ketu…. Oh My God, these are very interesting facts about the complete Universe. These are called shadow planets because we cannot see within, but which emerges sporadically, that which is called the shadow self. When shadow planets change signs, the shadow self is evoked.

There is a story in Hindu mythology about the origin of these sub-planets…According to Puranas, the birth of¬†Rahu and Ketu¬†dates back to earliest of times.‚ÄėSamudra Manthan‚Äô is regarded as one of the most important events in the history of Hindu civilization. Following which, Solar and Lunar eclipse are also associated with ‚ÄėSamudra Manthan‚Äô. When the ocean was churned by the Asuras and Devas, ‚ÄėAmrit‚Äô was produced. This Amrit was stolen by Asuras and to obtain the Amrit, Lord Vishnu took incarnation in the form of a beautiful damsel ‚ÄėMohini‚Äô and tried to please and distract the demons. On receiving the Amrit, Mohini came to Devas to distribute it to them. ‘Svarbhanu‚Äô, one of the asuras changed his appearance to a deva to obtain some portion of the Amrit. However, Surya (Sun) and the Chandra (Moon) realized that Svarbhanu was an Asura and not one of the devas. Knowing this, Lord Vishnu severed Svarbhanu‚Äôs head with his discus, the Sudarshan Charka.

However, even though his head and body became separate, they still remained immortal as the separate entity because before his head was served, he managed to drink a drop of the nectar from the Amrit. The Head is known as Rahu and the headless body is the Ketu. Since then Rahu and Ketu constantly chase the Sun and the Moon for revenge as they are the cause of separating the head and body of the devil Rahu. It is a popular belief that when they succeed catching Sun and Moon they swallow them causing Solar or Lunar eclipse but they can’t hold them for long and Sun and Moon emerge again intact as they also had nectar and are immortal.

Scientifically, Rahu and Ketu denote the two points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move around the celestial sphere. Therefore, Rahu and Ketu are respectively called the North and the South Lunar nodes. Sometimes when the moon passes these nodes, it is aligned perfectly between the earth and the sun to create eclipses.

Rahu and Ketu are considered as two strong planets as per the principles of Vedic Astrology, although, astronomically, they do not exist. Since Rahu and Ketu are believed to have a strong impact on our lives, they are a crucial part of Jyotish Shastra and are denoted as mathematical points while making calculations in Vedic Astrology. The general explanation is that Sun represents body whereas Moon represents mind, hence, these incision points strongly affects the energies of these two parts of the bodies.

Here, when the topic of the Sun and the Moon came, one point I just want to include that the moonsign of a person, the house of the Moon’s placement says about one’s ¬†emotions and subconscious, what he needs in relationships and how he will get along living with someone else, while ascendant, the house of the Sun’s placement in one’s horoscope says about one’s personality. I belong to Cancer moonsign and Leo ascendant. Cancer moonsign has made me very emotional and caring, which is well balanced by Leo ascendant, making me a perfect Leo, which we will discuss later…!

Coming back to Rahu and Ketu, generally, astrology mentions that Rahu represents indulgence. Rahu is also behind the instant success or failure of a person. However, if Rahu is well placed, it can bestow the native with courage and fame. Simultaneously, the negative effects of Ketu can cause diseases related to lungs, ear problems, brain disorders, problems in the intestine, etc. It represents mystic activities, wounds, sufferings, bad company, false pride, etc. Ketu also stands for moksha, sudden gains, interest in philosophical pursuits, spiritual pursuits, etc.

In Vedic Astrology, Rahu and Ketu have important functions with respect to Maya, the veil of illusion, and Karma, the repository of actions done in the past. We are all born with Maya, illusion. We cannot see our true selves, we do not know what actions we undertook in the past and how we came to be born again. Ketu is thought of as the karmic repository, the cauldron of selected past karma we have chosen to consume and expire in this life. Rahu is the principle of desire, action-reaction which causes karma to be delivered, right on time, according to the schedule. Karma is of many kinds, and has several kinds of ‚Äúdensity‚ÄĚ as it were. There are three kinds of Karma: fixed, mutable and movable karmas. Fixed karmas are those events which are consequences of past actions of ours that we will experience in this life. Mutable karma can often be ameliorated by wearing of certain gems in special places on the body, and offering of prayers and sacred offerings to the planets. Movable karma can be spent or reduced by way of penance, prayer, puja, offering and most especially, selfless service to any other life form in need of alms, aid, food or clothing.

In this area of past karmas, the shadow planets Rahu and Ketu get busy. They may bring rewards of past good actions ‚Äď some placements of Rahu and Ketu are brilliant for this. They may may give a certain wash of temperament of character to an entire lifetime by way of the Rahu-Ketu axis in the birth chart. These planets may also have effect when Karla sarpa yoga is present in the birth chart ‚Äď that is to say, all the planets are located between the positions of Rahu and Ketu. Therein emerges captivity to the shadow self of the past. That is the duty of the planets.

One has to clearly understand the contribution of these planets, sitting in different houses of a person’s horoscope, towards the destiny of a person. As these two planets depicts the head and tail, they always get placed six houses apart from each other in a person’s horoscope. in my horoscope, Rahu is placed in first house that means in ascendant and Ketu is placed, after six houses that means in seventh house…! Interesting placements….:) Most of the astrologers had already told me that this is the worst placement of Rahu and Ketu. Rahu becomes strong if it gets placed within the first six houses and Ketu becomes strong if it gets placed within the seventh to twelve house. Being these are among the maleficent planets and their strong placement brings many failures in different areas of a person’s life…. I started analyzing my horoscope and drew below conclusion after analyzing five other horoscopes even though there is a slight difference in the placements of other planets along with these shadow planets.

Rahu (North Node) is the head which want to eat it is obsessed, it is our inner present life desire with we born. Rahu (North Node) is obsession for those things where it placed in the chart. Ketu is the body without head it is our past life experience of life, it is already filled for those things, detachment, disinterest for those thing where it is placed in the chart. Although they are not the physical planet but they are the most influential forces in the chart, it is the Rahu/Ketu axis that the main force of karmic desire can be seen. So what happened when Rahu/Ketu axis fall in the 1st and 7th house. 1st house is the area of life. Rahu (North Node) placement in the house shows the area of life in which we need to develop mentally and Ketu (South Node) shows the area of life where we withdraw ourselves.

Summary:  Rahu (North Node) in 1st house is obsessed!!! about the identity and Ketu (South Node) in 7th house indicates detachment from spouse and relationships are strained.

1st house is the house of identity, physical body, appearance, overall general health. And seventh house is the house of other people, spouse, and dealing with others. Rahu is head without body. Rahu in 1st house shows the person may have big head. Yes, I have with broad forehead and well proportionate facial appearance.

Here Rahu is obsessed with their own identity and Ketu withdraw from others. Rahu (North Node) in 1st house¬†(Rahu (North Node)¬†in Lagna)¬†these people think no one understand them. Here the native withdraw from others because other people criticize them too much. These people like to define their personality their own way, they don’t like someone else define their personality. Rahu is rebellious force the native don‚Äôt like other people criticism and make themselves alone and unusual in behavior and they try find the answer about their own identity. Because of this they suffer in married life, initially the native suffer due to compromise with the partner but after sometime they did not feel satisfied with their own spouse and may wander. Ketu is a planet greatly involved in the spiritualization process, and the 7th house primarily stands for spouse and relationships. Ketu in the 7th house usually indicates that the spouse, may be a difficult person with some problems and relationships are very strained. But with time these people learn how to live alone or live in a solitude, this nature make them to introspect and learn about themselves. If evolved the person is very spiritual. These people need to listen others to overcome their shortcomings, and try to self understand about their shortcomings and should improve themselves.

I have become restless to get my self identity, since last four to five years, which is the effect of Rahu, after coming out from an incident which is the effect of Ketu….We will discuss more about this in my next continuing blog…

<<To be continued>>

What is a Principle Component Analysis and It‚Äôs application in Ischemic Heart Disease

efinition:Ischemic means that an organ (e.g., the heart) is not getting enough blood and oxygen. Ischemic heart disease, also called coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease, is the term given to heart problems caused by narrowed heart (coronary) arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle.

What is Principal component analysis (PCA)?

  1. It is statistical technique is applicable in the situation when the statistician is dealing with single set of variables having some sort of correlation between each other and wants to discover that what are the set of correlated variable(s) which are important in the formation of a coherent factors in such a way that there exists no correlation between these newly formed factors.
  2. Here, the set of  correlated variable(s) means they are quite uncorrelated with other subset of variables which are combined together to form a factor.
  3. The basic idea is that these newly formed factors drive the underlying process due to which the variables in the data set are supposed to correlate with each other. The specific goals of the component analysis are to summarize patterns of correlations among observed variables, to reduce a large number of observed variables to a smaller number of factors, and to provide an operational definition (a regression equation) for an underlying process by using observed variables.
  4. Since the number of factors are usually far fewer than the number of observed variables, so there is a considerable parsimony in using the factor analysis. Furthermore, when the scores of factors are estimated for each subject, they are often more reliable than scores on individual observed variables.

Steps in principal component analysis:

  1. Selection of a data set consisting of a set of variables,
  2. Preparing the correlation matrix (to perform principal component analysis),
  3. Extracting a set of factors from the correlation matrix
  4. Determining the number of factors
  5. (Probably) Rotating the factors to increase interpret ability, and finally, interpreting the results.

The following table shows the descriptive statistics of ten chemical tests of blood causing ischemic heart disease patients and control group.

Observation 1: 

It was found that the average values of cholesterol, triglyceride, Apo protein B, low density lipoprotein , phospholipids, total lipid, glucose and uric acid were higher in ischemic heart disease patients as compared to those of control group while high density lipoprotein and Apo protein A-1 were found to be higher in control group. Though the control group has the normal values but due to increase in average value of cholesterol the people are under heavy risk of increasing the ischemic heart disease.

 

Observation 2:

Correlation Analysis: It could be observed from this table that

  1. cholesterol has positively high correlation with low density lipoprotein (0.606) and it is moderately correlated with total lipid (0.421).
  2. Negative correlation between high density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein.
  3. The observed correlation of triglyceride with total lipid (0.271) is positively weak.
  4. Apo protein A-1 has negatively weak whereas Apo protein B has positively weak correlation with low density lipoprotein.
  5. There is highly positive correlation observed between low density lipoprotein and total lipid.

Observation 3:

Initial and Extraction Communalities Analysis:

  1. In principal component analysis initial and extraction communalities for variables are the variances accounted for the factors.
  2. For variance and co-variance analysis initial communalities remain always equal to 1.0.
  3. For the extraction communalities, these values are the proportion to variance of each variable by the rest of the variables.
  4. The extraction communalities are the sum of squared loadings for a variable across factors, in Table 4, the extraction communalities for cholesterol are (0.770)2 + (0.180)2 + (0.0823)2 + (0.0877)2 = 0.639.
  5. That was Factor1+Factor2+Factor3+Factor4 accounted for 63.9% of the variance calculated for cholesterol.
  6. Variances calculated for high density lipoprotein, triglyceride, Apo protein A-1, Apo protein B, low density lipoprotein, phospholipids, total lipid, glucose and uric acid were 42.1%, 57.6%, 435.4%, 74.7%, 45.5%, 64.1%, 53.6%, 81.6% and 72.3% respectively.
  7. As already stated in the last section that those factors which have small variances do not fit in the factor solution and should be discarded from the analysis, our empirical results presented in Table 4 shows that high density lipoprotein and Apo protein B can be easily discarded from the analysis due to explaining a very small proportion of the variance. Since this proportion of variance explained by a factor is calculated by dividing the sum of square loadings with the number of variables used, hence for these two factors, it was calculated as 99.1% whereas the covariance for these factors was calculated as 100%.

The communality for a variable is the variance accounted for by the factors. It is the squared loading multiple correlation for the variable as predicted from the factor. Communality is the sum of squared loading (SSL) for a variable across factors. To find the proportion of variance explained by a factor can be calculated by dividing the sum of square loadings (SSL) with the number of variables, particularly when the rotation of factors id orthogonal. Likewise, the covariance proportion for the particular factor is obtained by dividing the sum of square loadings (SSL) for that particular factor with the sum of communalities.

Observation 4:

Component Analysis:

The eigenvalues and total variance explained for our factor solution. There are ten variables used in the sample, because the aim of factor analysis is to precise the pattern of correlation with a factor as possible. Since every eigenvalue corresponds to a different factor (usually only factor with large eigenvalues are retained). In a good factor analysis, these few factors defined the whole correlation matrix.  It is quite clear from the Table 6 that the first four components has their eigenvalues over 1 and are large enough to be retained, their variances are 26.65%, 12.02%, 11.79% and 10.19% respectively. These four components describe the 60.67% of the total variance.

Observation 5:

Component Score Coefficient Analysis:

The component loading matrix is a matrix of correlation between components and variables. The first column is the correlation between the first component and each variables, the second column is the correlation between the second component and each variable and so on. Table 6 reveals that there were few strong correlation observed between components and their respective variables. A component is interpreted from variables that are highly correlated with it-that had loadings on it. In the evident from Table 6 that the variables that had high loading are assumed to belong with the component 1, i.e., cholesterol (0.289), Apo protein B (0.205) and low density lipoprotein (0.302). Likewise in component 2 the variables had the high weights were found to be Apo protein A-1 (0.302), phospholipids (0.566) and uric acid (0.259). Similarly, triglyceride (0.239) and total lipid (0.300) belonged to component 3. In the same way in component 4 the variables with high scores were high density lipoprotein (0.330) and glucose (0.803).

 

Conclusion:

  1. The step wise principal Component Analysis was used to explore the effects of these chemical tests which are significantly affecting the patients namely cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, triglyceride, Apo protein A-1, Apo protein B, low density lipoprotein, phospholipids, total lipid, glucose and uric acid of patients who were suffering from Ischemic Heart Disease.
  2. In the case of finding correlations between variables, it was observed that Cholesterol was highly correlated with low density lipoprotein and moderately correlated with total lipid.
  3.  It was observed from communalities extractions that high density lipoprotein and Apo protein B has small variances and do not fit in the factor solution.
  4. To know the variability between the components, it was found that first four components account for exactly 60.67% of the total variability. These four components adequately describe the whole correlation matrix. Finally it was obvious to see that cholesterol, Apo protein B and low density lipoprotein had high value and belongs to the components 1. In component 2, it was found that Apo protein A-1, phospholipids and uric acid had the high scores. The variables that had high loadings in the component 3 were triglyceride and total lipid. The variables had high weight and belonged to component 4 were high density lipoprotein and glucose.
  5. The important finding of this study is that the average cholesterol level which is considered to be main factor increasing the risk of Ischemic Heart Disease is found to be higher even in control group than normal values.
  6. So, cholestrol is not the factor for contributing Ischemic Heart Disease.

Application of ANOVA and Regression Analysis in e-commerce business

Let‚Äôs assume that eCommerce organisations like Amazon and Flipkart would like to understand if shopping habit for a specific category has any relationship with the Gender and Income Group of the customers. As there are two factors (i.e. two independent categorical columns) which are being considered in this example, we are talking about Two-way ANOVA. So, there would be 3 hypothesis ‚Äď one each for each of the independent categorical column and third to cater for the interaction effect of two independent variables.

Another example, suppose an eCommerce organisation would like to understand if page crash has anything to do with the education level of the customers. ANOVA would be the right choice to find if there is any statistical significance on the probability of page crash when measured against a single factor therefore education level.

For any business, specifically for an eCommerce organisation, conversion/purchase is the final goal. Hence to find out what impact each activity has on the sales, Regression equation with all activities like emails campaign, TV ads, Social Media broadcast, personalized communication to frequent customers, cold call , as independent variables to understand the impact on the sales with unit increase in the cost of each variable , keeping other independent variables constant.

Two Way ANOVA:

  1. In any business, Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty play a vital role, for which usability of the e-commerce site, confidential protection of user information and better response time are some of the contributing factors to determine the areas of improvement in the business. Two Way ANOVA can be used to come up with the statistical significance level of these factors towards the major goal.
  2. To determine the significance level of shopping habit of a customer based on demographic factors such as Gender or Annual Income, by computing the association between and the interaction between these 2 independent factors.
  3. To come up with the significance levels of the channels used for marketing of a multi-channel marketing campaign.

We can express shopping habit as below:

Shopping Habit=a Gender + b Annual Income,

where Shopping habit is a DV and Gender and Annual Income are IVs

As there are 2 IVs and Gender has different levels, we have to perform Two Way ANOVA.

If the below is a sample of data:

Cust Id Gender Annual Income Shopping Habit
1 F >1L Occasionally
2 M 1L-3L Weekly
3 F 3L-5L Monthly
4 M >1L Occasionally
5 F 1L-3L Weekly
6 M 3L-5L Monthly
7 F >1L Occasionally
8 F 1L-3L Weekly
9 F 1L-3L Monthly

 

Hypothesis for Gender

H0: there is no effect of Gender on Shopping Habit

Ha: there is effect of Gender on Shopping Habit

Hypothesis of Annual Income

H0: there is no effect of Annual Income on Shopping Habit

Ha: there is effect of Annual Income on Shopping Habit.

Perform Normality and Homogeneity Test of the data distribution.

Considering only for Gender, we need to calculate MSwithin for both Male and Female and MSbetween for Male and Female.

Then Fratio= MSbetween/ MSwithin.

If Fratio>F0.05, then we can conclude that there is a effect of Gender on Shopping Habit.

Considering only for Annual Income, we need to calculate MSwithin for each of the 3 groups of income and MSbetween for 3 groups.

Then Fratio= MSbetween/ MSwithin.

If Fratio>F0.05, then we can conclude that there is a effect of Annual Income on Shopping Habit.

Interaction Effect: Through TukeyHSD test, we can get the interaction.

  1. Objectives of Multi Channel Marketing:
  2. Low cost marketing channel
  3. Better customer experience
  4. Better integration and interaction of channels

CRM(Customer Relationship Management) system can be a data source for this, where we can get the insight of the customers based on various marketing channels, response and customer acquisition, the most statistical significant channels(Most effective) for a group(Cluster) of customers, through linear regression and is there any increase in performance of a specific channel in association with other channel(ANOVA interaction).

  1. Several factors such as Product Description, One day Delivery option, Availability of Cash on Delivery, Quality of packaging of product, Free returns with pickup facility, do they have any significant impact on Customer buying behaviour?
  2. Factors such as Application User Interface, Information Quality, User Information Security and Service Feedback are some of the factors which can be hypothesized to come up to a conclusion to decide customer satisfaction and trust, by achieving which an e-commerce Organisation can gain Customer Loyalty.

So, here hypothesis testing can be summarised as below:

H0ui: Application User Interface does not have any impact on Customer Loyalty

Haui: Application User Interface has significant impact on Customer Loyalty

H0iq: Information Quality does not have any impact on Customer Loyalty

Haiq: Information Quality has significant impact on Customer Loyalty

H0is: User Information Security does not have any impact on Customer Loyalty

Hais: User Information Security has significant impact on Customer Loyalty

H0sf: Customer Feedback does not have any impact on Customer Loyalty

Hasf: Customer Feedback has significant impact on Customer Loyalty.

An example of Multiple ANOVA and Regression in Error Correction:

1. During Seasonal Offer, I just wonder why the Discount Sale is only for 3 days why not at least for 7 days. Below might be a reason for that:

A Manager may believe that extending Discount Sales offer duration will greatly increase sales.

Multiple ANOVA can suggest statistical significance of the maximum number of days for Discount Sales whether it is 3 or 4 or 5 days.

Regression analysis, however, may indicate that the increase in revenue might not be sufficient to support the base price of the products or rise in operating expenses due to longer support hour to handle the huge load (such as any additional IT infrastructure and support cost related to this).

Here, there is a possibility of getting lower profit due to additional support cost which might be ignored by the Manager at the time of decision making.

Hence, regression analysis along with ANOVA can provide quantitative support for decisions and prevent mistakes due to manager’s intuitions.

Failure to understand the components of correlation and regression and each of their implications and limitations can lead to poor business decisions. When applied correctly, correlation and regression analysis can be used.

Application of Statistics  in Marketing and Customer Analytics are vast, but as the topic of discussion is limited to One way, Two way ANOVA and Regression(as there is not any mention of any specific kind of Regression), I am adding few more use cases:

1. Predictive Model: Linear Regression which is a type of Predictive model can be used to enhance the Pricing Model of the e-commerce business by analyzing  historical data for different products, customer responses to past pricing trends, and evaluating competitor’s pricing model which helps to build suitable pricing models.

2. Logistic Regression can be used for fraud detection by analyzing customer behavior analytics where algorithms get used to analyze suspicious activities and find inconsistencies in the historical sets of personal data, in scenarios when a scammer breaches a user account, alters personal data, and tries to get money or goods from a retailer using this semi-fake personal information.

3. Cox Regression: Cox regression can be used for Time to Event analysis means if we want to analyze the time difference between the user account creation and the first event triggered by the user, means he did any purchase or not  or the closure of user account. So here, there are two target variables: one is the time difference and the other is occurrence of any specific event.

What is Multicollinearity, how to test it in R and how to handle the problems caused by it?

hat is Multicollinearity?

Multicollinearity is a state of very high intercorrelations or inter-associations among the independent variables. It is therefore a type of disturbance in the data, and if present in the data the statistical inferences made about the data may not be reliable.

There are certain reasons why multicollinearity occurs:

  1. It is caused by the inclusion of a variable which is computed from other variables in the data set. For ex: in the dataset of physical attributes of a person, Weight, Height, BMI are three of the variables in the dataset, where BMI=Weight/Height. So, it is a derived variable and is positively correlated with weight. So, we can say multicollinearity occurs between Weight and BMI.
  2. Multicollinearity can also result from the repetition of the same kind of variable.
  3. Generally occurs when the variables are highly correlated to each other.

How to test Multicollinearity in R? 

For a given predictor (p), multicollinearity can assessed by computing a score called the variance inflation factor (or VIF), which measures how much the variance of a regression coefficient is inflated due to multicollinearity in the model.

The smallest possible value of VIF is one (absence of multicollinearity). As a rule of thumb, a VIF value that exceeds 5 or 10 indicates a problematic amount of collinearity..

R code:

rm=list(ls())
winequality=read.csv(‚ÄúD:/sahubackup/GL/winequality-red.csv‚ÄĚ)
winequality
library(tidyverse)
library(caret)
ind = sample(2, nrow(winequality), replace = TRUE, prob=c(0.7, 0.3))
trainset = winequality[ind == 1,]
trainset
testset = winequality[ind == 2,]
testset
model=lm(quality~., data=trainset)
predictions <- model %>% predict(testset)
predictions
data.frame(
RMSE = RMSE(predictions, testset$quality),
R2 = R2(predictions, testset$quality)
)
car::vif(model)

Output: RMSE R2
1 0.6304587 0.3623385
> car::vif(model)
fixed.acidity volatile.acidity citric.acid residual.sugar
7.842042 1.835592 3.169716 1.670375
chlorides free.sulfur.dioxide total.sulfur.dioxide density
1.410560 2.073626 2.235259 6.422401
pH sulphates alcohol
3.268406 1.417728 2.972688

So, here, fixed.acidity and density have high multicollinearity.

Problems with Multicollinearity:

Multicollinearity causes the following two basic types of problems:

  • The¬†coefficientestimates¬†can swing wildly making those¬†become very sensitive to small changes in the model.
  • Multicollinearity reduces the precision of the estimate coefficients, which weakens the statistical¬†powerof your regression model. We cannot trust on the p-values to identify independent variables that are statistically significant.
  • The partial regression coefficient due to multicollinearity may not be estimated precisely. The standard errors are likely to be high.
  • Multicollinearity results in a change in the signs as well as in the magnitudes of the partial regression coefficients from one sample to another sample.
  • Multicollinearity makes it tedious to assess the relative importance of the independent variables in explaining the variation caused by the dependent variable.

In the presence of high multicollinearity, the confidence intervals of the coefficients tend to become very wide and the statistics tend to be very small. It becomes difficult to reject the null hypothesis of any study when multicollinearity is present in the data under study.

Types of Multicollinearity:

There are two basic kinds of multicollinearity:

  1. Structural multicollinearity: This type occurs when we create a model term using other terms. In other words, it’s a byproduct of the model that we specify rather than being present in the data itself. For example, in the dataset of physical attributes of a person, Weight, Height, BMI are three of the variables in the dataset, where BMI=Weight/Height. So, it is a derived variable and is positively correlated with weight. So, we can say multicollinearity occurs between Weight and BMI.
  • Data multicollinearity: This type of multicollinearity is present in the data itself rather than being an artifact of our model. Observational experiments are more likely to exhibit this kind of multicollinearity.

Fixing Multicollinearity:

Multicollinearity makes it hard to interpret the model coefficients, and it reduces the power of the model to identify independent variables that are statistically significant. These are definitely serious problems.

The need to reduce multicollinearity depends on its severity and our primary goal for the regression model by keeping the following three points in mind:

  1. The severity of the problems increases with the degree of the multicollinearity. Therefore, if we have only moderate multicollinearity, you may not need to resolve it.
  2. Multicollinearity affects only the specific independent variables that are correlated. Therefore, if multicollinearity is not present for the independent variables that we are particularly interested in, we may not need to resolve it. Suppose our model contains the experimental variables of interest and some control variables. If high multicollinearity exists for the control variables but not the experimental variables, then we can interpret the experimental variables without problems.
  3. Multicollinearity affects the coefficients and p-values, but it does not influence the predictions, precision of the predictions, and the goodness-of-fit statistics. If our primary goal is to make predictions, and we don’t need to understand the role of each independent variable, we don’t need to reduce severe multicollinearity.

How to Deal with Multicollinearity

But, what if you have severe multicollinearity in our data and you find that we must deal with it? What do we do then? Even though, there are a variety of methods that we can try, but each one has some drawbacks. We have need to use our subject-area knowledge and factor in the goals of our study to pick the solution that provides the best mix of advantages and disadvantages.

The potential solutions include the following:

  • Remove some of the highly correlated independent variables.
  • Linearly combine the independent variables, such as adding them together.
  • Perform an analysis designed for highly correlated variables, such as principal components analysis or partial least squares regression.

 

Guesstimate Questions: An approach of Evaluation

How much money Gmail makes from ads in every year?

How much money does the shampoo industry earn each year in US?

How many ping pong balls could fit inside of a limousine?

Number of Whatsapp Messages Sent in Mumbai each Day?

Cost of painting the pillars of the metro lines in Delhi?

And many more…

These are sample guesstimate questions, generally a Product Manager or Business Analyst used to face during the interview process.

I promise you: no one cares if you the correct answer. even if you the right answer, it would not help you, it could distract you. This is the once case where the correct answer is not necessarily the best one.

Estimation questions are entirely about the process you take to solve them. Interviewers will use this technique to evaluate your problem-solving skills as well as your quantitative skills.

What’s the relevance to PMing, you might ask? Quite a bit.

Other than the obvious (an ideal PM is good at problem solving and good at math), being able to estimate things is a valuable skill. After all, when you need to figure out what you might be able to expect for the revenue from a given feature, estimation will come in handy. It is the most common way to estimate market size.We just need some tips and tricks to solve these problems.

So let’s start…

We will start with the question that I had faced first time in the final round of interview with the VP of my current Organisation, Mr. Ravi Challu in 2012, July.

The question was: How many ping pong balls could fit inside of a limousine?

When I heard for the first time, I could not understand how to approach the problem.

At first, let me try to understand the problem. You cannot answer a question if you don’t understand it. That’s why it is important to make sure you heard the question correctly and truly understand what being asked. You are free to ask any question to understand the problem, but you should not make any wrong assumption.

So, I asked what is ¬†limousine, as I didn‚Äôt know what is that‚Ķ.? And got the answer that a¬†limousine¬†¬†is a¬†luxury vehicle¬†driven by a¬†chauffeur¬†with a partition between the driver’s compartment and the passenger’s compartment.

I prepared an equation to get the number of ping pong balls= volume of limousine/volume of a ping-pong ball.

So here, I can assume that the length of a limousine is 25 feet and stretch 10 feet with minimum height of 10 feet.

I considered height=10-1.5=8.5 ft, as i left 1.5 ft clearance from the ground.

So volume of limousine= 25*10*8.5=2125 cubic feet.

As it is a luxurious car, i left 50% of it as open space.

So, the total volume within which ping-pong balls will be filled up=2125/2=1062.5 cubic ft

Now, we need to calculate the volume of a ping pong ball.

Radius of a ping pong ball in inches, R=0.75 inches

Volume of a sphere, V=(4/3)pi*r*r*r.

As it is difficult to calculate the r cube, mentally, I assumed r as 0.8 and whose cube is 0.512.

Then V= 2.05 cubic inches.

Now, we must convert the units of the volume of limousine into inches as it will be easy for me to calculate the number of ping pong ball.

I feet=12 inches

I cubic feet=12*12*12=1728 cubic inches.

The volume of limousine in inches=1062.5*1728=1836000 cubic inches.

Now, the expected answer= volume of limousine/volume of ping pong ball=1836000 / 2.05=918000 (approx.)

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Round Numbers: There are times when being a perfectionist and being detail oriented is warranted, but this is not such a time. after all, you are going to be taking so many wild guesses and guesstimates that a bit of hand waving in your math really wont make a difference. In my example, i rounded radius of ping pong ball from 0.75 inches to 0.8 inch to make my calculation bit easier and also considered the value of pi=3 instead of 3.141, so that it will be easy for me to calculate 4/3*pi, which was 4 for me.
  2. Round of 72: Here is a fun. Any value increasing at x% per year will double after 72/x years. Example: currently, an employee makes INR 20,000 per year and his salary increases 9% per year. After how many years, his salary will become double? answer: 72/9=8 yrs.
  3. Label your Unit: To make unit of all measurements universal.  in my above problem, i converted all the units into inches, as i felt it will be easy for me to calculate. you can convert the units to any particular level, as per your convenient, but never forget to do it. Many people just forget to convert, by thinking that it may not have much impact, but there only we fail.
  4. Consider your sources: In many scenarios, we need to consider the sources of information, which will be used in my below problem. In such situations, we should be enough agile to think of all possible sources.
  5. Record Intermediate Steps: While some estimate questions are rarely short but many are fairly lengthy and require numerous calculations. Its important that you write down what you are doing. you might need to come back to it later to correct your work or even to reuse a previously computed number. Record, each step in an organised, easy to read manner, so that you can avoid any wrong calculation.
  6. Record your Assumptions: its not uncommon for your final answer to be wildly off. When this happens, there are two main reasons: either you made a math mistake or one of your assumptions were wrong. Therefore, the easier it is to identify where you made an assumption, the easier it will be to discover potential issues. You should maintain the list of all assumptions, on the lift side of the paper and circle those when those get completed one by one.
  7. Memorize some basic fact: You should memorize some basic facts such as population of the Country, average age of the population, average income of a household and revenue by company: Netflix, Google, Apple, Dropbox etc…

I encountered my second guesstimate question during an interview with MSD, Singapore in March, 2018.

The question was: How much money Gmail makes from ads in every year?

And now, I am giving it to, request you to come up with the approach, make an equation, break the problem and come up with your approximate answer and provide your answer in the comment box.

Netflix: A glance to its strategy

The Evolution of Netflix

Netflix, the #1 source of downstream web traffic in North America, started off with a very different business model and has evolved over time, unlike many other companies that were at the top of their game at the height of video rentals. Originally a DVD mail-order service, Netflix was founded in 1998 by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings, two dot com entrepreneurs. Two years later Netflix added the monthly subscription service and killed the late fees, then in 2000 it dropped the single DVD rental option. 2002 saw the company’s initial public offering (IPO), and in 2003 Netflix had its first profitable year with revenues of $272 million dollars.

2005: it was shipping 1 million DVDs a day. Early on, the company found a way to take a traditional mail-order business and look ahead to what customers would want next. Most of the revenue comes from the monthly subscription of the service.

2007: Company successfully navigated shifts in consumer demand, especially with the addition of streaming TV and movies.

2008: It added streaming video via Xbox 360, TV set-top boxes and Blu-Ray players.

2009:  The service was available from Internet enabled smart TVs, the PS3 and other Internet -enabled gadgets.

2010: Netflix became available in Apple devices and even more internet connected devices. That year also saw Netflix begin to grow internationally with its expansion into Canada.

2015: it streamed more than 1,348 hours of content per second or about 2 months of content per second.

An assumption can also be made that Netflix with eventually work their way into the film industry where they start producing Netflix Original Movies that can only be viewed on the streaming service.

Strategy:

Can you imagine the amount of work, the technical architecture, the research, the billing systems, the kind of people that they needed and the thinking about these kinds of problems in order to make that happen?

The journey began when Netflix decided to move from its own data centers to the public cloud.

In 2008, Netflix was running relational databases in its own data centers when disaster struck. A data center failure shut the entire service down and stopped DVD shipments for three days.

The company’s owners faced a choice:¬†turn Netflix into a¬†world-class data center operations company or move the service to the public cloud.

Netflix was growing fast. The thousands of videos and tens of millions of customers was already generating an enormous quantity of data. The company would struggle to rack the servers in their own data centers fast enough to handle the ever-growing volumes, but the cloud would let them add thousands of virtual servers and petabytes of storage within minutes.

A. Microservices: A migration to the cloud was the clear choice. They soon became a poster child customer for Amazon Web Services (AWS), choosing the company for its scale and broad set of services and features.

The move would require a complete¬†re-architecting of¬†the company’s traditional infrastructure though. They could have fork-lifted all their¬†monolithic¬†enterprise systems out of the data center and dropped them into AWS, but this would only have¬†brought¬†all of their old data centre problems¬†to the cloud. Instead, they¬†chose¬†to rebuild the¬†Netflix¬†technology in¬†AWS and fundamentally change the way that the company operated.

The decision was for moving towards microservices, which made the infrastructure much more agile by breaking aspects of the service up into multiple microservices, managed by their own small teams who understood how their service worked and interacted with other systems.

In short a microservices architecture is a term used to describe the practice of breaking up an application into a series of smaller, more specialised parts, each of which communicate with one another across common interfaces such as APIs and REST interfaces like HTTP.

Each microservice tends to manage its own database, generate its own logs and handle user authentication. This also usually means that containers are involved at the management and operations level.

This¬†provides¬†clear, specific insights that make it easier to change the service, which leads to smaller and faster deployments.¬†It also allows them to isolate services to understand the various performance profiles, patterns¬†and¬†securities in each microservice, and move away from any individual piece that’s causing a problem.

B. Cloud: It took Netflix seven years to complete the migration to the cloud. In 2016, the last remaining data centres used by¬†the streaming service were shut down. In its place was a new cloud infrastructure running¬†all of Netflix’s computing and storage needs, from customer information to recommendation algorithms.

The migration improved Netflix’s scalability¬†and service availability and the velocity by which the company¬†could release new content, features, interfaces and interactions. It also freed up the capacity of engineers, cut¬†the costs of streaming, drastically improved availability¬†and added the experience and expertise of AWS.

The cost model is also supporting that demands the payment for the service, which in turn allows to do a lot of experimentation. This gives them greater freedom to test new features and improve existing ones, such as the rows of content recommendations that are personalised every day.

C. Content Delivery: The cloud is only one part of the Netflix user experience. Everything that happens before they hit play takes place in AWS, but the video content that follows comes from a separate system: Netflix OpenConnect, the company’s proprietary content delivery network (CDN).¬†The¬†OpenConnect¬†appliances store the video content and deliver it to client devices.

CDNs are designed to deliver internet-based content to viewers by bringing it closer to where they’re watching. Netflix originally¬†outsourced streaming video delivery to third-party CDN suppliers, but as the company grew, these vendors struggled to support the traffic. Netflix needed more control over the service and user experience.

The company decided to design a CDN tailored to its needs.

It now installs OpenConnect appliances that store and deliver content inside local¬†Internet Service Provider (ISP)¬†data centres, which isolates the Netflix service from the wider internet.¬†Popularity algorithms and storage techniques help distribute the content in ways that maximise offload efficiency.¬†The system reduces the demand on upstream network capacity and helps Netflix work more closely with the ISP networks¬†that host¬†its traffic. OpenConnect is designed in caching boxes to hold the content, and wherever they can they install them inside user‚Äôs internet service provider’s network, so that when user see those video bits user aren’t actually transiting off of user operator’s network.

The new system cut the appearances of the loathed buffering wheel by an order of magnitudes. It also allowed Netflix to make the CDN software more intelligent. Now, whenever a customer presses play their device can get its content from numerous places on the internet.

The investment paid off when a fire in an ISP data centre in Brazil burned down Netflix’s entire stack of machines.¬†Customers who¬†had been streaming from the ISP didn’t¬†experience any¬†change in their user experience.

D. Chaos Engineering Culture: Netflix developers are well known these days for their unique approach to engineering culture. A self-service chaos engineering tool called the Chaos Automation Platform was pioneered to test problems in their production environments, so they can be sure that their software will behave as they want during a failure.

If the systems cannot auto recover, if they cannot handle bad situations, if they cannot self-repair, by the time I get a human involved, in the best-case scenario, minutes have gone by. You can get an idea of how many of our customers we’ve disappointed in the three or four or five minutes it may take to get a human involved, and in the right¬†place and working. Chaos engineering is an excellent inoculation to failures.

They use the chaos engineering method to ensure Netflix can survive a failure in one of three AWS regions it uses. Every month, they turn off one of the regions and test that they can move all the customers that it was serving to another one within six minutes.

To embrace chaos without causing destruction, Netflix had to create a corporate culture that supported such ideas.

The relationship between Netflix and Amazon is mutually beneficial. Netflix is one of the largest customers of AWS. If Netflix one day decided to just leave AWS, it would hurt Amazon’s cloud division a lot, so Amazon has every incentive to keep Netflix happy.

Netflix also owns the most vital part of their infrastructure, which is the CDN. Infrastructure-wise, that’s their secret sauce. What Netflix has done by agreeing to use Amazon’s AWS is essentially to off-load the parts of their business that aren’t that special, so they can focus on the parts of the business that will give them the most strategic advantage.

Something else to keep in mind is that the only reason Amazon has a cloud service is for historical reasons. Amazon was built in the 90’s when there was no such thing as a cloud.

It made sense for Amazon to spend a ton of resources buying lots and lots of servers and data centers, so that they would dominate online shopping. But the main reason Amazon needed all that server capacity was for one time of the year, Christmas shopping. If people went to Amazon’s web site and it timed out because it was overloaded during these shopping spikes, people would get a bad impression of the company. So Amazon needed to have all of this server capacity, but most of the year, that capacity would be completely idle and wasted resources.

In other words, Amazon would have been the ideal customer for cloud computing. But since it didn’t exist at the time, they had to invent it. There is no reason for every other company to re-invent the wheel. Especially a company like Netflix that is trying to focus on just one business, streaming.

E. Multi-cloud: Recently, Netflix has embraced Google Cloud for certain workloads, mostly focused around artificial intelligence. It‚Äôs not clear how much work has shifted from AWS data centers to Google but even a minor shift marks the end of an era in which Netflix was held up as a model ‚Äúall-in‚ÄĚ AWS customer.

Times change. Google has been playing catch-up in the cloud market ever since it started to get serious about the business, but it is widely serceived as the leader in AI cloud services, which more and more companies are starting to find useful in their applications. It also has a world-class network built to handle the demands of Google search, and that infrastructure could be very useful to Netflix as a hedge against AWS issues as Netflix continues to grow.

There’s also a cost consideration. Google has been willing to come in much lower than other cloud providers in competitive bidding situations, according to lots of cloud industry watchers, as it tries to ramp up its cloud business. Google is well behind AWS and Microsoft in the cloud market, but it has started to sign deals with prominent customers such as Apple.

Netflix will likely keep a good deal of its workloads on AWS for the foreseeable future, given the investment it has made developing its infrastructure around AWS. But you probably won’t see Netflix on stage on re-Invent, the big AWS developer conference, in the future.

Netflix’s move also signals that multicloud strategies are moving from hopes and dreams to reality. Cloud vendors don’t always make it easy to move workloads between different public clouds, but companies are finding a way to spread their eggs around several baskets with technologies like containers and Kubernetes.

The migration improved Netflix’s scalability¬†and service availability and the velocity by which the company¬†could release new content, features, interfaces and interactions. It also freed up the capacity of engineers, cut¬†the costs of streaming, drastically improved availability¬†and added the experience and expertise of AWS.

Conclusion:

In short, we can say that in its 20-year history, the strategies adopted by Netflix has converted it from a DVD rental website with 30 employees to a global streaming service with over 5,000 titles, 130 million subscribers and $11 billion annual revenue that has drastically transformed the entertainment industry.

The Sun I

Like every other child, Sunday was my favorite day, during my childhood, because it is a holiday for us, we get nice foods and spend quality time with our family. As I grew up, while analyzing my horoscope, I came to know that Leo is my ascendant and the Sun is its lord planet. Then I started analyzing the impact of the Sun on my personality, strengths and my destiny. Even though, as per astrology, it is said that human life is mainly controlled by the placement of the major planets: the Jupiter and the Saturn in its horoscope, but the Sun also defines a destiny in the human life…! Why should not it…? Because Sun is the centre of the solar system, it is the lord of all the planets… Each of the twelve houses present in a horoscope, is signified by the name of any animal or object (Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius), the objects are lifeless and Leo is the king of the animals. The king planet is the lord of king animal…! Wow…I became very happy after knowing that I have some kinglike qualities and if I work hard I can get the fame and power that a king is supposed to possess.  The sky deity, who represents the Sun, usually known by its perceived power and strength.

Then I took interest in the Sun, started reading many books to know about it and in this series of articles, I will narrate some of the interesting facts and stories related to the Sun.

Solar deities and the sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms, starting from Neolithic era, Mesopotamian, Incan civilisation, Proto-Indo-European religion, Germanic mythology, by Greek as Helios, Titan and sometimes as Apollo.  The Sun is sometimes referred to by its Latin name Sol or by its Greek name Helios,in Chinese mythology as  sun goddess Xihe, In Buddhist cosmology, the bodhisattva of the Sun is known as Suryaprabha and also by Arabians in the same of Shams/Shamsun,.

If we see the days of a week, then each day also represent to one planet. The week starts with Sunday for which the Sun is the planet who is the lord of all the planets., the moon for Monday, the Mars for Tuesday, the Mercury for Wednesday, the Jupiter for Thursday, the Venus for Friday and the Saturn for Saturday. Britishers are the first who started Sunday from 1843 as a holiday because In Christianity, God create this world in 6 days and Sunday he took rest. Christian Prays in Church every Sunday. So, to Pray in Church Sunday is holiday in Christianity. The British who were ardent followers of Christianity, wanted to impose the same laws that were prevailing in their country to their colonies too. In fact, in India Sunday was declared as holiday or Off day only in the year 1840 and same was followed in many of the countries. So, Sunday isn’t the funday that we have holiday for, let us take some time to visit the place of worship on Sunday.

In Rigveda, the Sun is described as one of the outward appearances of fire god placed in paradise by other gods. He is the brightest leading light, the glowing ball of light which gets transmitted to humanity. He is portraying as the eye of gods that beholds the actions of all worldly. He travels on a resplendent car driven by seven steeds that he unyokes at sunset. As he comes up in the horizon in the morning, the darkness of the night takes to its heels and the whole world is aroused to activities. As he rolls up darkness like a skin and the stars make good quality their run away like thieves the shines magnificently on the lap of dawn. It is with his light that he sustains the whole creation and energies it. All living being depend on surya who is their lead. He is poetically described as a bird flying through the unlimited spread of the blue firmament.

From the sentence: ‚ÄúHe travels on a resplendent car driven by seven steeds that he unyokes at sunset‚ÄĚ, I recollected a story behind the famous Sun temple in Konark, Odisha, which is categorized as one of the seven surprises of India.

So, here is the true story:

Every ancient temple or building tells the saga of India’s rich heritage, scientific and architectural marvel and extreme devotion. The Konark Sun Temple located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in the small town of Konark of district Puri, Odisha is an outstanding proof of all this. This temple has been referred to as the Black Pagoda by European sailors, who marked it out as a prominent landmark during their voyages along the eastern coast of India. This name was given to the temple as it was constructed out of black stones.

Based on Brahmin beliefs, this temple was built in the 13th century by King Narasimhadeva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty and dedicated to Sun God Surya. The beauty of the Sun-rise and the roaring voice of the sea charmed Narasimhadeva since his early life. The river chandrabhaga which is now dead, was once flowing within a mile to the north of the temple site and was joining the sea. On its banks, existed flourishing towns and important trading centres. Trade was carried on with foreign countries as well, by sea routes, as there was no better communication other than the river in those days.

Narasimhadeva had preferred the place for his proposed temple, for not only enabling him to bring his building materials from different places by the said river, but the sanctity of the was also considered by him. But, according to Hindu mythology, the Konark Sun Temple was constructed by Samba, one of Krishna’s sons. In one version of the tale, Samba had been cursed by Krishna because he entered the bathing chamber of his father’s wives. As a result of this, Samba suffered from leprosy. He was advised by a sage to undergo severe penance for 12 years at Mitravana, near the confluence of the Chandrabhaga River with the sea at Konark. This was pleasing to Surya, the Sun God, who is also believed to be the healer of all skin diseases, and Samba was cured of his leprosy by this deity. Krishna’s son showed his gratefulness to Surya by promising to build a temple in his honor. The following day, whilst Samba was bathing in the river, he found an image of Surya, which he took, and installed at the temple he built. The Konark Sun Temple has also been added to the UNSECO World Heritage List.

Like most of the ancient words, origin of Konark is also Sanskrit and it has been derived from kona (meaning angle) and arka(meaning sun). In terms of scientific and architectural development, ancient India was much ahead of today’s time. First of all, it is the flawless proportions and impressive dimension of the Konark temple and then is the complete structure of the temple that proves this. The entire temple is in the form of the chariot of Surya that is drawn by seven horses.

The main attraction of the temple is its twelve pairs of wheels located at the base of the temple. These wheels are not ordinary wheels but tell time as well ‚Äď the spokes of the wheels create a sundial. One can calculate the precise time of the day by just looking at the shadow cast by these spokes. Isn‚Äôt it great? The wheels are also elegantly adorned.

Another unique feature of this temple is the presence of an iron plate in between every two stones. Massive iron beams have also been used to construct the higher floors of the temple. A 52-ton magnet was used to create the peak of the main temple. It is said that the entire structure has tolerated the harsh conditions especially of the sea because of this magnet. Previously, the unique arrangement of the main magnet along with the other magnets caused the main idol of the temple to float in air.

The temple was so oriented on the shore that the first rays of the rising sun directly fall on the main entry. These sun rays would cross the Nata Mandir and get reflected from the diamond just at the center of the idol. The diamond was positioned in the middle of this idol in the main sanctum. During the colonial period, these magnets were removed by the Britishers to get the magnetic stone.

Moreover, the temple presents a way to teach mortality. The Konark Sun temple has two huge lions on either side of the entrance. Each lion is shown crushing an elephant. Beneath each elephant lies the human body. Lion represents pride and elephant represents money. By looking at them it becomes clear that how both these flaws can crush a human being.

Ancient people loved to adorn their buildings with sculptures and carvings. Every single piece of the Konark Sun Temple is covered with sculpture consisting of deities, dancers, scenes of life at court, etc. To separate these figures are the beautiful carvings of birds and animals along with mythological creatures. Scroll work and neatly carved of human as well animal figures gives the Konark temple a distinctive appeal.

 

Many theories explain the fall of the temple in their own way. As per one theory, part of the Konark temple collapsed because of its incomplete structure. The Konark Sum Temple was not completed because of the early death of the king Langula Narasimha Dev who initiated the construction of the temple.

Next is the theory of lodestone (piece of the mineral magnetite that is naturally magnetized) located at the top of the temple. The lodestone’s placement caused a huge damage to the temple as many vessels passing through the Konark Sea were attracted towards it. Also, this magnet used to disturb the compass of almost all the ships in the sea. So, to remove the cause of the trouble, Portuguese voyagers stole the lodestone. The displacement of the lodestone led to total imbalance and so the Konark temple fell down. But there is no historical record either of this event or presence of such a great lodestone at Konark.

As per another very popular theory, the temple was destroyed by Kalapahad (Kalapahad was the title given to a Muslim governor Sultan Sulaiman Karrani of Bengal) who invaded Orissa in 1508. He had also destroyed many other Hindu temples in Orissa along with the Konark Sun Temple. In 1568, Muslims started ruling Orissa and destroyed many Hindu temples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8: Software Product Management Body of Knowledge (SPMBoK)

In our Day6, we had learn about the key areas of  Product Management and when it comes to IT sector, in today’s session, we will learn how these key areas are mapped with the various phases of a Software development lifecycle, irrespective of any phase the product is in, which we generally call as Software Product Management Body of Knowledge (SPMBoK).

Generally, a product is a combination of goods and services and a software product is one whose primary component is software. It compares to non-software products in terms of high complexity, negligible manufacturing cost, great flexibility, and a high rate of change. So, software product management means the management of software products and software parts of software-intensive products, i.e. systems or services. Software parts of software-intensive systems that are not marketed and priced as separate entities are called embedded software.

Software-intensive systems can be products from all industries like healthcare, manufacturing, retail and BFSI. Software-intensive services, often delivered as cloud or internet services, can also be products from all industries like financial, insurance, gaming, social software, or personal services based on software support.

A software product manager is responsible for managing software with the objective to achieve sustainable success over the life cycle of the software product. This generally refers to economic success, which is ultimately reflected by the profits generated. Software product managers have the business responsibility across different versions, variants and associated services of a product. They act as a ‚Äúmini CEO‚ÄĚ, i.e. they must manage a broad set of product-related activities, typically they have direct responsibility for ‚ÄúProduct Strategy‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúProduct Planning‚ÄĚ. For the activities under ‚ÄúStrategic Management‚ÄĚ, software product managers participate by representing their products on the corporate level, e.g. in portfolio management, by providing input and making use of the results. For the activities under ‚ÄúDevelopment‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúMarketing‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúSales and Distribution‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúService and Support‚ÄĚ, the direct responsibility is typically with other units in the company, but software product managers must orchestrate these activities such that they are performed in line with product strategy and plan. Given the broad set of responsibilities, prioritization is needed on an ongoing basis and can be based on the respective estimated impact on short- and long-term profitability.

spm

pm1

 

Day 7: Product Management Glossaries

Before proceeding further, lets get acquainted with Product Management Glossary. Even though, the terms are explained by only definition, the complete explanation for each term shall be described later, when we encounter these terms in respective key areas:

Terms Definition
Actual Relative Value The ratio of benefits and costs[expenses] the product factually delivers to customers.
Actual Resultant Value A fixed combination of gains in time, cost, and business the product factually delivers to customers.
Actual Value The measured and validated worth that the customer or similar customers factually obtain from owning and using the product.
Actual Value Formula Actual value = actual resultant value + actual relative value
Advertising Non-personal communication from an identified sponsor using mass media.
Allowances A conditional refund in form of a deduction from the list price in exchange for customer action.  Allowances are often accomplished in two forms:

a.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Trade-in (pricing) ‚Äď an item of property given in part payment upon purchase;

b.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Rebate (pricing) ‚Äď customer receives reimbursement for a portion of the purchase price, in exchange for customer information.

Analyst Relations The bi-directional information exchange with financial analysts and industry analysts to inform and favourably influence them.
Asset Assessment An asset condition assessment is a report outlining how an organization can manage capital assets to improve its asset management operations.
Bait Pricing Pricing that aims to attract customers with low prices with intent to sell higher-priced items.
Base Price The initial price of a product before any alteration.
BDM Buyer Business Decision Maker buyer.  The person who has the ultimate decision-making power to purchase a product or not.
Benefits Product features that are desirable to the customer.
Brand An identity, made of symbols and ideas, which portrays a specific offering from a known source.
Brand Awareness A measure of whether a brand is correctly identified by potential customers. Typically expressed as a percentage of a target market. There are many different approaches to measuring this statistic, but it typically means that a customer can respond to a brand after viewing its logo or packaging. Business Case A decision support
Business Case A justification for a proposed project or undertaking on the basis of its expected commercial benefit.
Business Competence The set of professional skills and knowledge that relate directly to performing product management.
Business Development Actions that improve the performance of the enterprise, its access to markets, and its ability to compete by creating strategic relationships with logistical, content, and technological partners.
Business Model Description of the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers and captures value by interacting with suppliers, employees, customers and partners.
Business Model Archetype A basic pattern of doing business. Available archetypes are creator, distributor and broker.
Business Plan A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a marketing, financial and operational viewpoint. Sometimes, a business plan is prepared for an established business that is moving in a new direction.
Business Plan Examination of a potential business opportunity on a company level.
Business Products Products intended for resale, for use in producing other products, or for providing services in an organization.  Business products are used for making money.
Business Strategy Decisions that support being a leader, follower, or innovator in a specific line of business.
Business To Business The transaction of goods or services between businesses (B2B).
Business To Consumer The transaction of goods or services between businesses and private individuals (B2C).
Buy, Build or Partner To Buy, Build or Partner for Learning. … The decision to buy, build or partner on learning usually goes in cycles. A leader may start building internal team resources and skills only to shift to a vendor strategy as business stakeholders become more demanding
Buyer The entity that decides to obtain the product.
Buyer Experience Understand and document the buyer’s journey for the key segments and buyers we have identified.
Buyer Persona A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.
Captive Product (Pricing Tactic) An imbalanced price ratio between a product’s components which are sold separately.¬† The main system component is under-priced and the consumables or support services are overpriced.¬† The captive product pricing tactic can be quickly and easily accomplished via product system decoupling.
Category Maturity Life Cycle A model that describes the rise, duration, and decline of a category of product or service in terms of total revenue or number of users.
Client The entity that is the receiver of goods or services.
Cloud Computing Service and delivery model for the provisioning of IT components through the internet based on an architecture that enables a high level of scalability and reliability.
Company Board The entity of a company which is responsible for the definition and communication of strategy, vision and mission to the rest of the company. Also, it has the managerial supervision of the different departments, including product management.
Company Core Competency A company’s unique ability to deliver value, while differentiating itself from the competition.
Competitive Advantage A depiction that the company or its products are each doing something better than their competition in a way that could benefit the customer.

Competitive advantage = corporate quality + product quality

Competitive Landscape Competitive landscape is a business analysis which identifies direct or indirect competitors and at the same time, it permits the comprehension of their mission, vision, core values, niche market, strengths and weaknesses.
Conditional License Expiring ownership and usage rights to a product.  Can be renewable and non-renewable.
Constraint Business, project or design decisions taken in advance to ensure the solution fits business, managerial and contextual concerns. These decisions limit the solution space.
Consumer An individual or household that buys and uses goods and services created by industries.
Consumer Problem A marketplace situation in which consumer needs remain unsatisfied (B2C).  The solution is a whole product.
Consumer Products Products intended for use by household consumers for non-business purposes.  Consumer Products are used for personal gain.
Continuous Delivery Automated push of software into the production environment or delivery to customers.
Continuous Deployment Combination of continuous integration and continuous delivery to automatically deliver code changes to customers.
Continuous Integration Automated integration, build, and test of software in the development environment.
Conversion Rate Metric for the number of customers who have completed a transaction on a web site divided by the total number of website visitors.
Copyright A form of intellectual property right that gives the author of an original work exclusive rights for publishing, distributing and adapting the work.
Corporate Branding The process of building and maintaining a brand at the institutional level.
Corporate Marketing An outbound activity aimed at generating awareness and differentiation to the company.
Corporate Mission Statement A formal statement that a company makes about its reason for existing briefly describing the company’s general business direction and the value customers should expect to receive.
Corporate Quality A state in which the company delivers a relationship more rewarding than customers expected.
Corporate Strategy The basic long-term goals of an enterprise and the courses of action for carrying out these goals.
Corporate Vision Statement A message that summarizes the company’s purpose and intent and describes how, in the future, its products and activities shall affect the world.
Cost Per Lead Metric for the average amount of money invested to acquire a new lead.
Cost Structure The types and relative proportions of fixed and variable costs connected to a business model.
Costs[Customer] The aggregate expenses incurred by the customer from buying and using the product (essentially Total Cost of Ownership or TCO).
Credibility The quality of being believable or trustworthy.
Credit Terms Schedule for delayed payment(s).
Customer The entity (consumer or company) that takes (financial) responsibility for purchasing the product.  Often the realm to which the buyer and user belong.
Customers’ Expectations The hopes for deriving benefits from the product and establishing a rewarding relationship with the vendor.
Delivery Model A description of the mechanisms in which a product is made available to customers. Examples: Licensed product vs. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Demand (Economics) Quantity of a product that will be bought in the market at various prices for a specified period.
Demand (Marketing) Wants for specific products coupled by an ability to pay for them.  The demand formula is Demand = want + buying power.
Demand-based Pricing (Pricing Tactic) Rapidly adjusting prices per customer according to market characteristics.
Derived Price Price that is determined based on attributed benefit.
DevOps Tight cooperation of Development and Operations with the objective to significantly increase the speed and quality of software deployment.
Disclaimer Denial of responsibility to events occurring during product ownership to discourage current or future legal action.
Discrimination (Pricing Tactic) Charging different market segments different prices for same product.¬† There are several levels of discrimination: First Level ‚Äď price discrimination that is based on the ability to pay (charge per income).¬† Second level ‚Äď price discrimination that is based on artificial obstacles (same price yet coupons, advance purchase, restricted use).¬† Third level ‚Äď price discrimination that is based on external factors (gender, age, geography, or profession).
Distinctive Competencies A distinctive competency is a competency unique to a business organization, a competency superior in some aspect than the competencies of other organizations, which enables the production of a unique value proposition in the function of the business.
Distribution Strategy Distribution Strategy is a strategy or a plan to make a product or a service available to the target customers through its supply chain. … A company can decide whether it wants to serve the product and service through their own channels or partner with other companies to use their distribution channels to do the same.
Diversification (Pricing Tactic) Creating product variants with distributed price points.
Domain Expertise Knowledge in the technical and business aspects of the product, industry, market, and technology.
Durability (Product) How long the product maintains a level of performance without degradation.
Dynamic Pricing (Pricing Tactic) Rapidly adjusting prices per customer according to customer characteristics.
Embedded Software Software parts of software-intensive systems that are not marketed and priced as separate entities.
End-user License Agreement (EULA) Perimeters of usage and ownership rights granted to the customer.
Events Providing needed market and solution information to support marketing events such as marketing, conference, trade shows and webinars.
Expert User A user that has considerable experience with the product and utilizes many advanced features (power user).
Functional Expertise Knowledge in processes, tools, and techniques to plan/market products.
Functional Requirement A statement that identifies what a product or process must accomplish to produce required behavior and/or results.
Functional Support Plan Describes the activities, deliverables, budgets, dependencies, and schedules for a business function to members of a cross-functional product team, on behalf of a product.
Global Discount Universal, non-discriminatory, non-conditional deduction from the list price, for enticement purposes.
Goods Tangible products we can possess.  Segmented to durable and non-durable.
Graphic Arts The conception and copywriting of all collateral material.
High-tech Company A business entity that either develops technology that is incorporated in a product or is used in the assembly or manufacturing of a product, or manufactures a product that contains technology and that same product relies on that technology to perform its core function.
Impact A positive or negative consequence that will most likely occur when embarking on a product development and delivery project.
Industry A group of companies which produce and sell a particular product type.
Innovation Innovation can be simply defined as a “new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method”. However, innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs. The introduction of a product that is new or substantially improved.¬† Innovation is the process of converting and commercializing an invention into a product.
Innovation (Formula) Innovation = invention + utilization
Innovation Management The discipline of managing processes related to innovation. Innovation management allows the organization to respond to external or internal opportunities, and use its creative efforts to introduce new ideas, processes or products.
Intellectual Property Exclusive rights that are granted by law to the owner(s) of intangible assets that result from creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, and images used in commerce.
Invention An idea which represents a revolutionary or evolutionary change.  Invention improves an existing solution or offers a conceptually new solution to a problem.
Kano Analysis A technique for understanding which product features will help drive customer satisfaction.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI) A specific numerical measure that represents the progress towards a strategic goal, objective, output, activity, or further input.
License A set of rights concerning a licensor’s intellectual property which a licensor grants to a licensee.
License Agreement A legal document that describes a license and the related financial conditions.
Licensing A method of providing rights to usage and ownership to a product, for a specified price and/or term.
Licensing Mix A combination of perpetual and term licenses relative to a particular product.
Longevity (Product) How long a product lasts.
Loss Leader A product that is priced below cost to attract consumers to buy other items.
Management By Objectives (MBO) A systematic approach for instilling flow and structure in one’s work by setting clear, achievable, measurable, and challenging goals.
Manufacturer The entity that produces the product or service.
Margins Direct financial gains by selling.
Market (a) The area of economic activity in which buyers and sellers of goods and services come together, and the forces of supply and demand affect prices.

(b) A geographic area of demand for commodities or services.

(c) A specified category of potential buyers.

Market Analysis Analysis of all aspects relevant for a market in its current state and over the strategic time frame including market structure, competitors, market shares, customer preferences and behavior.
Market Definition the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
Market Intelligence An ongoing real-time market data collection and analysis process.  Market intelligence builds a body of knowledge.
Market Opportunity A lucrative, lasting, and sizable market problem.  Market opportunity = market problem + volume + duration + earning potential
Market Plan A description of the long-term goals and messages delivered to the target market relative to a particular company or product.
Market Problem A consumer, product, or technology problem in the target market.
Market Requirement An aggregate unit of information which represents with sufficient detail the functionality that is sought to address a specific facet of a particular market problem.
Market Requirements Document (MRD) A written representation of the overall functionality that users seek in order to address a particular market problem.
Market Segmentation A division of the overall market for a product into groups of common characteristics.
Market Strategy Decisions that define target markets, set marketing objectives, and outline how to build a corporate competitive advantage.
Market-driven A product delivery strategy that is based on producing and delivering products that the market needs.
Marketing An instructive business domain that serves to inform and educate target markets about the value and competitive advantage of a company and its products.
Marketing Communications The employment of a mix of media vehicles that support marketing objectives.
Marketing Growth Revenue growth is the increase (or decrease) in a company’s sales from one period to the next. Shown as a percentage, revenue growth illustrates the increases and decreases over time identifying trends in the business.
Marketing Mix A combination of product, price, place [distribution], and promotion activities that are applied to a particular target market.
Marketing Plan A marketing plan may be part of an overall business plan. Solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan. While a marketing plan contains a list of actions, without a sound strategic foundation, it is of little use to a business.
Marketing Program A short-term marketplace effort designed to obtain a specific marketing goal.
Marketing Strategy The decisions that determine how to achieve marketing’s goal in a particular target market, through the selection and application of marketing mixes.
Matrix Organization Organizational structure in which individuals report to more than one person
measurement
Mission Statement Definition of the present activities or purpose of an organization by saying what it does for whom and how.
MSRP Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price.¬† The price the manufacturer recommends that the seller offers the product for.
Need A state of felt deprivation (condition or motivation in which something is sought after to effect a change).
Net Promoter Score Method to measure customer loyalty by asking a single 0-10 scale question: ‚ÄúHow likely is it that you would recommend $BRAND$ to a friend or colleague?‚ÄĚ. Your promoter score is the percentage of customers who answer 9 or 10 subtracted by those who answer 0-6.
Niche Market A small overall market or small market segment.
Non-Functional Requirement A requirement that pertains to a quality concern that is not covered by functional requirements. Also referred to as -> Quality requirement.
Novice User A user that is new to the product (newbie).
Odd/Even Pricing Ending the price with certain numbers to influence buyers’ perceptions of the price or product.
One-time Fee (Licensing) A one-time fixed charge that enables constant use of the product.
Open Source Software Software that can be freely accessed, used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone. Open source software is made by one or more people, and distributed under licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition
Overall Market All customers who share a common need.
Patent A patent is an exclusive intellectual property right for an invention granted to the inventor for a defined timeframe by an authorized body of a sovereign state. The right is granted for the territory of that sovereign state. It is the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention. The types of inventions covered by patent law can be different from state to state.
Payment The actual economic sacrifice a customer makes to acquire certain rights to a product.
Payment Forms Means of payment such as cash, credit card, check, or wire transfer.
Payment Terms Payment conditions such as currency type, letter of credit and purchase prerequisites.
Penetration (Pricing Tactic) Briefly charging a relatively low price upon product launch.
Perceived Value An unsubstantiated estimation of worth that the customer obtains or could potentially obtain from owning and using the product.

Perceived value = resultant value proposition + relative value proposition

Performance Management Continuous tracking and analysis of selected KPIs relevant for business success, plus timely action taking if needed
Perpetual License Non-expiring ownership and usage rights to a product.
Personal Competence The set of individual personality traits which enable individuals to manage themselves independently and capably.
Positioning Market positioning refers to the process of establishing the image or identity of a brand or product so that consumers perceive it in a certain way.
Price A specification of what a seller wants in exchange for granting right of ownership or use to a product.  The price formula is Price = costs + margins.
Price Discounts Deductions from the list price.
Price Elasticity of Demand Percentage change in quantity demanded that occurs in response to a percentage change in price.
Price Lining Pricing of products in a product family with corresponding price points.
Price Mix A price-related aggregate of information and conditions that the customer is presented with.
Price Modifiers Conditional deduction from the list price.
Price Psychology Dynamic human reasoning process which infers from a product’s price, price comparisons, and price changes, diverse messages about the product and company, and accordingly influences buying decisions.
Price Reductions Universal, non-discriminatory, and non-conditional official list price decreases.
Price Variables Price changes based on product characteristics.
Pricing Establishing a pricing model, schedule, guidelines and procedures.
Pricing Formula A calculative structure that allows the application of pricing changes to specific markets or competitive regions.
Pricing Objectives A description of what a company wants to achieve through pricing its products.
Pricing Scheme An outline of the overall pricing approach which encompasses the principles for pricing the specific product.
Pricing Strategy The primary method to pricing that relies on a particular pricing decision factor.
Pricing Tactics Pricing actions which are dependent on the particular life cycle stage of the product that is being priced.
Problem A difficulty.  A situation that requires change.
Product Any offering that satisfies needs.  Represents a collection of tangible and intangible assets.
Product Analysis Analysis of all business aspects relevant for a particular product in its current state and over the strategic time frame including KPIs like revenue, revenue distribution, footprints, and market shares.
Product Attribute A real characteristic or property of the product.
Product Branding The process of building and maintaining a brand at the product level.
Product Bundling An aggregate of products sold collectively at a price that is lower than the sum of their prices.¬† The price of the set of products is lower than the total of individual products.¬† Bundling is often accomplished in two forms: Direct bundling ‚Äď customer must buy the entire package.¬† Indirect bundling ‚Äď customer cannot buy product X without also buying Y, in fixed proportions.
Product Category A term synonymous with product line in the context of competing products.
Product Family A set of derived products that share the same technological foundation.  Members of a product family are called product variants.
Product Feature A product capability that satisfies a specific user/buyer need.
Product Group A set of products coupled or packaged together to form a new unified offering.  Members of a product group are called product members.
Product Life Cycle Management The management of the business and technical aspects of a software product with regard to its position in its life cycle.
Product Line A set of products that are technologically different yet provide similar functionality that serve the same target market needs.
Product Management An occupational domain that is based on general management techniques that are focused on product planning and product marketing activities.
Product Marketing Outbound activities aimed at generating product awareness, differentiation, and demand.
Product Mix An entire set of products offered by a company.  A collection of product units, product lines, product families, and product groups.
Product Planning The ongoing process of identifying and articulating market requirements that define a product’s feature set.
Product Portfolio A product portfolio is the collection of all the products or services offered by a company. Product portfolio analysis can provide nuanced views on stock type, company growth prospects, profit margin drivers, income contributions, market leadership and operational risk.
Product Problem An industry situation in which product requirements are unmet (B2B).  The solution is a product component.
Product Profitability difference between the revenues earned from, and the total costs associated with, a product over a specified period of time
Product Quality The market’s perception of the degree to which the product can consistently meet or exceed customers’ expectations.
Product Requirements Document (PRD) A high-level description of the solution, intended use, and the set of features it provides that address the market problem and satisfy needs.
Product Review An independent inspection, analysis, and evaluation of a product by a trusted industry thought leader (often a journalist).
Product Roadmap A product roadmap is a powerful tool to describe how a product is likely to grow, to align the stakeholders, and to acquire a budget for developing the product. But creating an effective roadmap is not easy, particularly in an agile context where changes occur frequently and unexpectedly.
Product Strategy (a) Combination of the strategic goals and measures for the product, i.e. aspects that need to be defined and managed for the strategic timeframe of the product. See corresponding column in ISPMA’s SPM Framework.

(b) Consistent documentation containing the following items and their evolution during the strategic timeframe:

‚ÄĘ Product vision

‚ÄĘ Product definition

‚ÄĘ Target market, potential segments

‚ÄĘ Delivery model

‚ÄĘ Product positioning

‚ÄĘ Sourcing

‚ÄĘ Business plan

‚ÄĘ Roadmap

Product Type A set of products that serve the same specific target market needs, which are technologically and functionally similar.
Product Unit An individual product that may be offered separately from any other product.
Productivity (Product) The product’s scope of useful features.
Public Relations The actions that promote and distribute information for a company.  Focused on encouraging media coverage of the company and its products, and building a virtual relationship between the company and its target audience.
Quality (Marketing) The market’s perception of the degree to which the company or product can consistently meet or exceed customers’ expectations.
Quality (Technological) The highest MTBF (mean time between failures) and lowest MTTR (mean time to repair) of a product.
Recurring Fee (Licensing) A fixed charge that enables limited time use of the product, but is renewed periodically at regular intervals.
Relative Value Proposition An implicit promise a product holds for customers to deliver a desired ratio of benefits and costs[customer].
Release (a) Product release: an instance of the product that is delivered to customers and maintained as part of product maintenance.

(b) Pre-release: a result of development activity that is testable, e.g. the result of a sprint in Scrum.

Release Definition The result of selecting the requirements to be implemented in the next release. Usually this result is documented including statements about the relationship between the selected requirements and strategic objectives.
Reliability (Product) How long before the product malfunctions.
Reliability (Service) The company’s record of promising and delivering.
Requirement (a) A condition or capability needed to solve a problem or achieve an objective. (b) A condition or capability that must be met or possessed by a system or system component to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed document.

 

Requirements Management Planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling any or all of the work associated with requirements elicitation and collaboration, requirements analysis and design, and requirements life cycle management.
Requirements Prioritization The activity during which the most important requirements for the product are determined. As priorities change over time this activity is often targeted at the next release of the product.
Requirements Triage An activity for early and fast acceptance/rejection of requirements.
Resultant Value Proposition An implicit promise a product holds for customers to deliver a fixed combination of gains in time, cost, and status.
Revenue Retention Revenue refers to product sales, service sold, interest income and other cash inflows. … To achieve revenue growth, a small business needs to maintain and grow its customer base. Customer retention usually leads to revenue retention, which in turn can lead to revenue growth.
Risk A factor or event that may jeopardize the product/project from achieving the anticipated benefits or increase the cost and/or schedule of the product/project.
Risk Contingency Actions and incurring cost to be used in the future should the risk occur, thereby ceasing to be a risk and becoming a fact (after damage occurs).
Risk Mitigation Actions and incurring cost to proactively change exposure to a risk while it is still a risk (before damage occurs).
Sales The act of interacting with and persuading potential customers to buy the product.
Sales Alignment Marketing & sales alignment focuses on the agreement between the marketing and sales department on common goals, metrics and deliverables. It’s especially crucial in SaaS where the main job of the marketing department is to produce actionable marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
Sales tools The techniques and materials used by those who are involved in the promotion of goods and services. Most business that need to sell their goods or services to the public will make extensive use of various marketing tools, such as market research and advertising to help further their success.
Sales-driven A product delivery strategy that is based on producing and delivering products that a customer wants.
Scenario A succession of uses cases.
Seller The entity that sells the product or service.
Service (a) Useful labor that does not produce a tangible commodity (as in ‚Äúprofessional services‚ÄĚ).

(b) A provision for maintenance and repair (as in ‚Äúsoftware maintenance service‚ÄĚ).

(c) The technical provision of a function through a software component that can be accessed by another software component, often over a network and executed on a remote server (as in ‚Äúweb services‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúSoftware-as-a-Service‚ÄĚ).

Service Level Agreement (SLA) Agreement between two or more parties about the target values a service-giving party must achieve for the defined measures that are relevant for quality and cost of the service.
Site License Discount Discount provided to a large quantity purchase.  The number of product licenses acquired is estimated.
Skilled User A user that is comfortable using the product to perform job tasks (average user).
Social Competence The set of human interaction skills which relate directly to communicating and managing relationships with others in a professional environment’s social structure.
Soft Skills Non-technical, communicative, and personal abilities used in business.
Solution An answer which removes or controls the problem.
Stakeholder communication Stakeholder engagement is the process by which an organization involves people who may be affected by the decisions it makes or can influence the implementation of its decisions.
Strategic Aptitude The long-term planning and decision-making abilities that help achieve corporate objectives.
Subscription Fee (Licensing) A one-time fixed charge that enables limited time use of the product.
Superior Perceived Value A state where customers perceive the product gives a net value more positive than its alternatives.

Superior perceived value = competitive advantage + value

Supply Quantity of a product that will be offered to the market by suppliers at various prices for a specific period.
Tactical Activities Assignments, usually self-contained and specific that fulfill short-term business needs.
Tactics A set of actions taken to fulfill a strategy.
Target Market(s) The group or groups of customers selected by a firm to sell to.
TDM Buyer Technology Decision Maker buyer.  The person who has the authority to decide what technology will be used by the company to do work or to develop products.
Technical Specification (Tech. Spec.) A highly detailed description of the solution’s design, attributes, and standards.
Technology Problem Challenges in applied science.  The solution is scientific research.
Technology-driven A product delivery strategy that is based on producing and delivering products that we conceive.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP) A key statement that describes the distinct and compelling value of the product, which sets the product apart from other competing products.
Usability Ease of operation.
Usage Fee (Licensing) A charge per unit of measure that is tallied at regular intervals.
Use Case A specific way of using the product by performing some part of its functionality.
Value The worth derived by the customer from owning and using the product.

Value = benefits – costs[customer]

Voice Of The Customer (VOC) The process for eliciting needs from customers.  It embodies a market-driven approach that involves spending time with current and future customers to determine past, present, and future market problems that customers need to solve in order to meet their business goals and objectives.
Volume Price (Discount) Discount provided to a large quantity purchase.  The exact number of product licenses acquired is stated.
Want A request for specific objects that might satisfy the need.
Win/Loss Strategy A negotiation based on an attempt to divide up an amount of resources, resulting in a win-lose situation. When choosing this strategy, one takes on an adversarial or competitive view. The focus is on achieving immediate goals, with little or no regard for building future relationships

 

Day 6: Product Management Key Areas

As we discussed about Product Life cycle, then next comes to our mind that how we are managing our product in different phases of a product. If we follow a framework, then it becomes helpful and easy to adhere to the key areas with expected output, meeting  specific product roles and identifying gaps in our day to day job.

The key areas are as below:

  1. Vision and Leadership:
  2. Product Life Cycle Management:
  3. Product Strategy and Market Research:
  4. Business Model and Financials:
  5. Product Roadmap:
  6. User Experience and Product Backlog:

More or less, all these key areas are used in each and every phase of a Product’s life cycle.

The core areas are particularly important for doing a great job as a product manager or product owner. You should hence strive to become knowledgeable in all of them. The supporting areas are also important for your work, especially when you manage commercial products, but generally not as crucial.

Vision and Leadership: Like everyone does have a vision, similar each product should have a vision, without that we cannot manage it or it cannot sustain in the market. With this, working as an effective product manager requires the appropriate leadership skills, by which we can be able to establish a shared vision, set realistic goals, and describe the benefits that our product should deliver. A skillset of active listening skill to others and negotiate to reach agreement and get buy-in. At the same time, we should not shy away from making the right product decisions even if they are tough and do not please everyone. We should be able to manage the stakeholders including customers and users, senior management, development, marketing, sales, support, and other business groups that must contribute to the product success, which needs an effective communication, influencing and managing a broad range of people from diverse backgrounds including a cross-functional development team skillset.

Product Life Cycle Management: Managing a product successfully involves more than getting it built and released. We should know how the lifecycle helps us maximise the benefits our product creates across its entire life; this includes the life cycle’s impact on the product performance (revenue and profits), the product goals, the pricing and the marketing strategy; the options to revive growth as your product matures and growth starts to stagnate; and the process best suited for each lifecycle stage.

Product Strategy and Market Research: Our product exists to serve a market or market segment, a group of people whose need the product addresses. We therefore should be able to identify our target users, customers and segment the market accordingly; clearly state the value proposition of our product, why people would want to use and buy it and why our product does a great job at creating value for them. We should be able to carry out a competitor analysis to understand their respective strengths and weaknesses; we should be able to position our product, and determine the values the brand needs to communicate. We should be able to perform the necessary market research work to test our ideas and assumptions about the market segment and the value proposition. This includes qualitative and quantitative methods including problem interviews, direct observations, and employing minimum viable products (MVPs); we should be able to leverage data to make the right decisions.

Business Model and Financials: To provide an investment incentive for our company and to make developing and providing the product sustainable, we must be able to determine the value the product creates for our firm, should be able to formulate and prioritise business goals, for instance, enter a new market, meet a revenue or profit goal, save cost, or develop the brand, how our product’s value proposition is monetised and capture, how the business model works including the revenue sources and the main cost factors, to create a financial forecast or business case that describes when a break-even is likely to occur and when your product may become profitable.

Product Roadmap: To provide a visibility of how our product is likely to evolve, we should be able to create and use a product roadmap, which includes formulating realistic product goals, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), release dates or timeframes, and key features (deliverables or results). For this, we should be able to differentiate between the product strategy and the product roadmap, also formulate a relation between these two and our product roadmap should portray a go-to-market strategy.

User Experience and Product Backlog: A great product has to offer a great user experience (UX), which includes describing users and customer as personas, capturing the user interaction, the visual design, the functional and the non-functional aspects of the product together with the help of the cross-functional team (a UX/UI expert should be part of the team). We should be able to create scenarios, epics, user stories, storyboards, workflow diagrams and storymaps, and be able to work with user interface sketches and mock-ups. Product Backlog is about prioritising and managing the scope, putting it into various sprints and managing it in a periodic basis. It describes to develop a product with the right features, the right UX, how to test the appropriate aspects of our product and how to collect the relevant feedback and data. This includes the ability to perform product demos, solution interviews, usability tests, A/B tests, and direct observation.