Have you ever received a text notification from your airline about a flight delay before the ground crew in the waiting area has the information? Have you been unclear on whether to call your bank’s web support or banking support line to answer a particular question? Are you baffled by the differences in your favorite retailer’s in-store and online experiences? These are examples of omni-channel businesses whose products and services have a spectrum of customer touch points that span digital (apps, websites, notifications) and physical. In these cases, and many more like them, the company has not been able to unify the holistic customer experience.
Much of product discovery work doesn't actually require a lot of planning. We need to come up with a solution to a particular problem, and often this is straight forward, and we can proceed quickly to delivery work. But for certain efforts, this is decidedly not the case, and some planning and true problem solving becomes critically important. Big projects and especially initiatives (projects spanning multiple teams) are common examples.
NOTE: This article is by SVPG Partner Chris Jones. He specializes in helping organizations and teams transform to raise their game. This is the first in a series he's writing on this critical topic. This technique is fairly straight forward, but is one of the most powerful tools to introduce substantial change.
Recently I gave a keynote address to the Mind The Product Conference in London, and in that talk I wanted to illustrate, by example, the essential role that very strong product managers play for their team and their company. Most people noticed that all six of my examples were female. I didn’t call that out explicitly during my talk because my view is their performance speaks for itself. But many people did ask me about the gender aspect afterwards (If you haven’t yet read that article, I hope you read it first as this article will make much more sense if you know just what traits are necessary for strong product managers).
Most people by now have read Marc Andreessen’s Why Software Is Eating The World. This was written back in 2011, and I’ve been watching his predictions play out in companies all around the world. While my focus is primarily on technology-powered software products, services and devices, I’m also very interested to find other industries where the techniques of modern product are used to disrupt their spaces.
This has been a tough year for the technology industry. In March we lost Andy Grove, and in April we lost Bill Campbell. Sadly, in May we lost Bruce Williams. Bruce had been fighting Pancreatic Cancer for the past year and a half. He had been in an experimental program at UCSF, which extended his life at least a year.
There is a very common fallacy about developers in our industry, and I think it hurts countless companies.