Product baselines are key tool a management team can use to view a product lifecycle because they help a team look at what was done, Good baselines should help a team see what was done right, what we thought was done right, and what we should not do again. These assumptions should help improve the product. The job of the product manager is to present these baselines so that management can make the best decision on direction. Yes a good product manager can as well make these conclusions, but it is not your job. Your job is to gather the most concrete and up-to-date data to ensure the baseline tells the real story. Your job is critical, since it is your presentation that will persuade management. Your job is on the line, since it is your detailed investigation that will rate an effort as done right, done right but wrong decision, or done wrong.
I would recommend that product managers find a simple scoring method that describes the stages of a product regardless of complexity. Then fine-tune this scorecard and use this from product to product to ensure that it is consistent and clear from a management perspective. The scorecard above was created for comparing a single complex product across multiple regions in EMEALAAP. Senior management can quickly assess where things went wrong and where we need to to focus so that we get things right the next time.
“If you can measure it, you can manage it.” ― Robert S. Kaplan, Strategy Maps