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There are 10 item(s) tagged with the keyword "product planning".
Just caught this great article in the Economist about when products flop (fail spectacularly) in the market. This is on the heels of the most recent flop courtesy of the good folks at Disney Films, John Carter. $300M in $30M out. Ouch! Even for a company as large as Disney that one hurts.
One point the article makes is that in business, occasional flops walk hand in hand with successful products. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as it were. It's true that sometimes it takes a big risk to make a big hit. Still I wouldn't want to be the producer of the John Carter movie right about now. He just blew $300M; let another guy make that mistake.
We have entered the era of big data and are experiencing its major implications on the way we do business firsthand. According to this McKinsey article (available with a free registration), “companies with more than 1,000 employees store, on average, over 235 terabytes of data- more data than is contained in the US Library of Congress.”
A couple major trends are impacting the world of product companies today. Products are more technologically advanced than ever and are being conceived, planned and developed by teams spread all over the world. Pressure from competition continues to grow while at the same time, business are given less resources to work with. Making faster, better and cheaper products is a tall order so companies are beginning to rethink their approach to product planning as a way to gain business advantage.
It’s the age-old question of product management and product development: how do you balance customer problems and requests with the features and initiatives that will help bring in new customers and grow your business?
In this week’s Forbes article ‘Making Software Development Fast, Effective & Intelligent,’ author Tom Groenfeldt highlights that “simply pleasing your existing customers can lock you into products that serve past, rather than future needs in the marketplace.”
The results from the 2012 Study of Product Team Performance are in and there are certainly some interesting insights to be gained. We’d love to share the data now but Greg Geracie, who will be presenting the results at our webinar on the 28th, asked us not to spoil the surprise.
We can tell you that industry experts give estimates of product failure rates vary between 50% and 75%. Between outright product failures and underperforming products, we believe that the “real” number is towards the top end of this range.
Richard Buckminster Fuller the famous inventor and systems theorist, whose life began in 1895 and spanned almost 100 years has a famous saying. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
He said this numerous times about things that had to be re-imagined to work in a new and better way. It’s true that he wasn’t responding to the crisis with product planning today but he could have been. We’re pretty sure that if he were alive today and we could ask him about how to deal with the product planning crisis he might employ his saying or at least expand on the sentiment of it.
But, gosh, what if it is? And what if this Fortune 500 phone company whose name we can't mention was so happy that we solved their Complex, with a capital "C", product planning issues that they made this little sticker themselves? Maybe they wanted to proudly show off the people who let them go home early because they have software that doesn't require them to run around collecting data for their stressed out bosses.
My previous post in this series described a method for making data-driven product decisions. But the planning process doesn't stop once those decisions are signed off. In fact, it may be just the beginning. There are a couple of reasons for this:
And so, the fifth and final ingredient in our recipe is: Make the innovation process iterative.
You can feel the energy in the room earlier this week as we huddled around a projector at a two-day company offsite. Our company is doubling in size every year, we're hiring new people all the time and growing interest in more globally competitive innovation and frugal innovation is feeding us an opportunity to become a very large company. The mood is naturally upbeat as we launch the offsite with a review of company performance.
Throughout those two days I must have heard a dozen stories about different customer prospects and what their pains were in the innovation cycle. Though different prospects were interested in specific features, there was a theme that strung across nearly every story.
No doubt you’ve been in meetings where a customer has said something like, “This would be an unbeatable product if only it _______.” I’ll let you fill in the blank.
Unless it’s a top-tier customer with lots of money at stake, the chance of one of these suggestions turning into a product feature is very, very small. Yet, companies receive ideas from customers all the time. And many of them are quite good.
Why? Because customers know what they need from the products they buy.
But even if individual ideas are not feature worthy, combining and analyzing them may reveal trends or needs you hadn’t considered before. And those revelations could lead to some competitive products and capabilities. Ingredient number 3 in this series on turning innovation into a core business process is simple: Embrace the voice of your customer.