Product Management and the inspirations around it - a Malaysian point of view.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The path to successful new products, according to McKinsey

According to a survey done by McKinsey in North America and Europe, the businesses with the best product-development track records do three things better than their less-successful peers:
  • They create a clear sense of project goals early on.
  • They nurture a strong project culture in their workplace.
  • They maintain close contact with customers throughout a project's duration.
I certainly find the 3 very relevant and agree that a business will be in peril of the 3 does not exist. My experience with the 3:

Keeping it Focused

I find that while it's easy (as a product manager) to get a small group of people (the product management or the development team) focused on the goal, but very challenging to get all the other stakeholders to focus on the same goal.
Key reasons - misalignment of interest or the so called "KPI". If the sales & marketing team have different KPIs, your product development might not get enough attention (unless it's a money making machine). If the customer service team has a different agenda in what they tell the customers, your product might not be used in the intended way...

Project Culture

The article says it all: "When people with critical skills become overburdened, they often decide on their own which of their many projects is the most important, a decision best made at the management level."
And I thought good project management is very much about making sure the project delivers the intended result, but often we see project teams merely aiming for "completion of project" rather than "getting the result" itself. How many "projects" created in your organization is actually geared towards the desired result? And does everyone agree on what is the desired result to begin with?

Talk to the Customer

"More than 80 percent of the top performers said they periodically tested and validated customer preferences during the development process, compared with just 43 percent of bottom performers."

Validated customer preferences during the development process? Wow.. that's pretty much unheard of in Malaysian context. Correct me if I am wrong.
I have personally done that - though one could argue that I actually released a beta version of the product to do market testing so it's not technically in "development" anymore. I can testify that it is indeed a valuable process to minimize risk and increase chances of success when the final product is launched.

Ref: McKinsey Quarterly - The path to successful new products

Friday, April 2, 2010

On the roll

I was quite surprised and happy to see my blog Product Matters on the blog roll of On Product Management today.

It's number #44 on the list.
Coincidentally, I am employee #44 in the company I have served as Product Manager all these years.

Thank you - to the folks at OnProductManagement.com.
That means I will work harder on more quality posts.



Posted via web from Great article collection for Product Managers