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The cognitive pm framework is a new way to think about product management using concepts of human psychology and cognitive science
To apply the framework. First think about the industry you are working in. This could be the following:
Once you pick an industry it can be defined with a simple equation
Industry — Demand, Supply, Exchange — Value Proposition
E-commerce — Buyer, Seller, Physical Products — Supply Chain (Fastest Delivery, Widest Selection, Lowest Price), Ex: Amazon, Flipkart, Rakuten
This context will let you then choose which part of the equation your problem statement lies in. Is it the demand, the supply, the exchange or the value prop.
In all industries there are 4 product stages:
Let’s look at an example of an e-commerce clothing company looking to reduce the return rate of their items. We know from the industry context that the issue could be from Buyer (demand), Seller (supply) or exchange (product). Let’s consider the reason for return majorly is that first time buyers are buying the wrong size. From the product stage this is an Activation problem.
Now applying how the brain works, we understand users ordering a size they usually order is a status quo bias. They aren’t paying attention to the size chart
In order for us to effectively change the behaviour, we need to understand that the status quo bias is a way for the brain to take action by taking cues from past experiences.
We can use the short cut of filtering information before the user takes action. We can use the attentional bias to bring attention to the size chart. This involves us adding a small micro animation on the size chart for first time users to catch their attention. So that they check the size chart before they order.
We can then run an A/B experiment to validate our hypothesis
And, There you have it! A new way to think about products — The Cognitive PM way. In the next articles I will write about different cognitive biases and how they can be used in different industry contexts, product stages and what shortcuts the brain takes. With this article, I hope I have been able to inspire you to lean into the product management role with an understanding of human psychology.
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