Note: The following is an excerpt from our Forrester Consulting commissioned report, The State of Modern Product Delivery. Read the full report for key insights on the current trends and challenges in product delivery.
Diversity of opinion is good, except when it gets in the way. Differing priorities compound the difficulties of product development when they lead to conflicting signals. Product development teams often find themselves caught in the middle, negotiating uneasy compromises between parties that see the customer problem differently. As with most forms of counseling, getting the issues on the table and clearly communicating goals goes a long way toward resolving conflicts.
- The customer often lacks a consistent voice. Different functional groups will see the customer problem in different ways. None is completely correct, yet often each group sees its issues as the most important. The reality is that no product is complete until all perspectives are fairly represented. Getting the issues on the table to make the choices clear helps defuse the conflict and create healthy discussion.
- Executive leadership may need to arbitrate. One of the benefits of active executive participation in product development is that misalignments, once spotted, can be quickly resolved. Differing priorities are often the result of organizational misalignments that are beyond the scope of the typical product team. Engaging executives, on the right level and the right time, can resolve the conflict before it affects product delivery.
- Confused priorities lead to confusing products. Customers become frustrated with inconsistent solutions. When services or support offerings don’t align with the product they have purchased, dissatisfaction sets in. Ensuring a consistent customer experience goes far beyond the product itself.
Read the full Forrester Consulting report on The State of Modern Product Delivery complete with key recommendations.