Hey everyone, 

Product Management, to be very honest, is not exactly what there is on the internet. Hence we’re here to break this down into small and easier components to help you transition into being an awesome product manager. 

In today’s blog, we’ll present insights we’ve gathered from Gautam Mahesh, Product Head @Decentro, who’s been a lifelong follower of Product Management and product management professionals for 9+ years. 

Watch the full video on Product Frameworks by Gautam Mahesh

In this blog, we will understand the basics of some of the frameworks that you will see in product management. 

What are Frameworks in a Product Management Context?

Most people typically use product frameworks to prioritize featuresidentify the right set of problems to solve, or even weed out the ones that might not have much impact. 

Frameworks are usually standardized everywhere, be it online, offline, in literature, books, etc., but they must be applied cautiously. It varies a lot on the kind of context of the company, its stage, and the product itself. 

Some frameworks are designed for core product management, like OKRs, Working Backwards, which is popular by Amazon, the AARRR metric, or North Star. 

While there are frameworks, which are more focused on design, like HEART, and some on core development, like KANO and the RICE frameworks, or even time and effort. 

We’ll try to dive deep or go at a high level into each of them. 

Types of Product Management Frameworks

Frameworks, before application, require the PM to have a strong understanding of the context: What is the problem you’re trying to solve? Who is your target segment? And what are your impact metrics from a product and a business standpoint? 

A lack of understanding of this can result in a framework giving you disastrous outcomes and forgetting any impact. 

Let’sLet’s look at some of the most common frameworks. 

AARRR Framework

The first one we look at is called AARRR, standing for:

  • Acquisition, which is acquiring a user 
  • Activation, getting them to use a product. 
  • Retention, making sure they’re sticking to your platform.
  • Revenue, which is making money, and lastly
  • Referral is the fifth component where you want your customers and users to refer others, especially in a consumer SaaS product.

Working Backwards Framework

Another framework that Amazon popularized is called Working Backwards. 

Here, every feature, internal or external, starts off with the end customer in mind. Thinking of the customer demand, you figure out what they want. Then you work backward to involve the right experience, teams, technology, and even operations to deliver that expected experience. 

North Star

The next one is North Star. North Star is a framework to focus on that one core metric that matters greatly to the company or the product team. And then breaking that down into a hierarchy of metrics

The north star metric can be driven by other metrics, such as business or product. And the north star metric is beautiful in that each PM can work on their own set of metrics, which in turn impacts the North star metric. And that is the way a lot of companies like Facebook work.

RICE Framework

The next one we look at is RICE. RICE framework is typically used to prioritize features based on the development effort or the operations effort required to roll out a new feature, especially when you’re crunched for bandwidth. 

So typically, rice is what is called: 

  • Reach, which is the number of people or number of customers who will get impacted positively
  • Impact, the core impact metric that you’re trying to work on
  • Confidence, so when you’re building out a feature, you might not be 100% confident about it 

divided by

  • Estimation, which could be in terms of points or terms of person-hours

The higher the RICE scores, the higher the priority or, the easier way to roll out a product. 

RICE is a more product development focus framework than product management. 


Let’sLet’s understand the heart framework. So HEART is a framework primarily used from a design perspective, where you’re trying to understand the customer’s experience with your product. 

HEART stands for: 

  • Happiness, which is more an NPS or you know how happy the customer is with a product
  • Engagement, how regularly do they use it
  • Adoption, which is how frequently they use it, is a powerful user. 
  • Retention, basically how long have they been using your product and
  • Task success, which is more contextual and specific to a specific feature: What is the impact of it, and is the customer happy? 

It’sIt’s more of a prioritization metric from an experience standpoint than from a core product management. So use it with caution. 

HEART is more subjective than other metrics. 


Let’s look at KANO, which is again more of a product development framework but focuses more at a higher level, where you’re trying to clear about a set of features. You want to bucket features across two crosses, two n-cross grids of satisfaction versus fulfillment.

  • Satisfaction is how happy a user will be if you build this out versus 
  • Fulfillment is how much you can fulfill

So, features where you can give very high customer satisfaction with much less effort in terms of fulfillment, are the ones you are to prioritize as a product manager.

KANO needs to be, however, used with impact metrics clearly to prioritize features because Kano is a high-level framework. 


Let’sLet’s look at the last one, which is OKRs. OKRs is a popular framework used by many large product companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft. 

It helps product companies, especially the PMs in this company, align stakeholders into a set of common metrics and KRAs.

OKRs are split into what are called: 

  • Objectives, which is what the organization or a team or individual is supposed to do
  • KRs, which are key results, which are the metrics that you are tracking as a product manager
  • And Initiatives, which are primarily what are the features, the tasks that you will undertake to impact these particular metrics.


To summarize, frameworks are a tool of audit to guide you in the right direction. Frameworks alone will not help you build the right set of features. You have to combine it with your own intuition, understanding of the product, and understanding of your organization, and then take a call before applying any framework. 

That’sThat’s all for now. I hope that you have a great time applying these frameworks. Thank you so much for reading. Subscribe to the blog for more such content. 

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