The EPICC Product Framework: Essential Behaviors for Product Managers

Skills are important for product managers, but it's their behaviors that make the real difference. The EPICC framework identifies five key behaviors that help product managers close the gap between the current state of their product and its future potential.

The EPICC Product Framework: Essential Behaviors for Product Managers

In 2016, while working on Spaces, a product designed to improve group activity organization, I found myself unsure of which actions to prioritize. Fast forward a few years, and I realized that focusing on the right behaviors, rather than specific actions, is the key to closing this gap.

Why behaviors? Skills are the tools you use in your trade, while behavior represents the knowledge of the craft, guiding you in what to build. To help product managers develop high-impact behaviors, I've created the EPICC framework: Execution, Prioritization, Influencing others, Communication, and Curiosity.

An overlapping Venn diagram explaining the EPICC behaviours: Execution, Curiosity, Prioritisation, Communication and Influencing Others with You in the center.

Execution: Quickly unblock others and take action. Address simple questions promptly and prevent issues from escalating.

Prioritization: Optimize the product's chance of success by deciding which tasks to focus on and which to set aside, making necessary tradeoffs.

Influencing Others: Empathize with stakeholders and understand their perspectives. Reflect on user feedback, and communicate effectively with internal stakeholders to balance their needs.

Communication: Keep everyone on the team aligned with the product vision and aware of tradeoffs, prioritization, and execution. Understand individual communication styles and maintain open lines of communication.

Curiosity: Ask "why" in all stages of the product life cycle. This natural curiosity can lead to better product decisions and higher impact.

The EPICC framework is not a strict set of guidelines but a collection of behaviors to reflect upon and cultivate. By focusing on these behaviors, product managers can stay EPICC and effectively bridge the gap between the present state of their product and its potential.