Typically, Product companies share two business goals: Build the right product for their customers and get them to market quickly. I was honored to share the (virtual) stage with analyst Frank Gillett from Forrester Research to talk about some of the massive opportunities for connected devices to solve real-world problems. I mentioned being inspired by an ad campaign from Cisco Systems about “the Internet of everything.”
No more traffics jams. Now that is the magic of technology:
The thing we talked about is the ability of IoT devices to funnel customer feedback and usage data into your future roadmaps, faster. Key topics included:
- Best practices for product requirement gathering, prioritizing and socializing
- Eight ways connected products change how customers engage with companies
- Turning customer data into good product requirements
There are a couple main themes I’ve seen emerge when discussing speed to market with our customer base.
Where you can, use automation within your design – Processes like generative or parameters based design helps you get a lot of the tedious pieces out of the way quickly so you can focus on your value differentiators.
Gone are the days of waiting for the perfect product definition before building starts. Forrester did some research recently where they found that in new product development, only one-third of ideas resulted in positive improvements. The requirements are too numerous and not focused on the right thing: customer value.
Make sure you have processes and systems in place that empowers your teams to build the right product(s).
Once you know your must-haves, stop spending cycles ensuring they’re perfectly prioritized. What’s more important on a keyboard, the A key or the E key? If it doesn’t matter which gets done first, so stop worrying about it. Jama provides some simple scoring methods in our tool that allows you to look at relative prioritization like WSJF or sentiment scoring.
Once you have an understanding and alignment around relative value, let your teams pull in what they want to work on instead of dictating or pushing a gated process – We’ve found that if everyone understands what the end goals are, who you’re building for and the problems you’re trying to solve, and you’ve empowered them to provide the solution, you’re going to end up with much better products and better engagement. The younger workforce doesn’t want to spend time reading long documents and making sure they follow strict V-Models, they want to be empowered to make decisions and feel enabled to make a difference.
Finally, empower your teams to work on what is actually valuable. Stop spending cycles and effort talking about the same thing over and over again. If you take a systems approach, if you understand how your whole system works together, you can be much more efficient in reusing common assets across teams, programs and products.