Have you been ever experienced that good ideas get stuck at the idea stage and that it is difficult to get things done?
The team behind Panelista helps companies quickly gain new customer insights in order to make better decisions. But many times insights or good ideas are not enough to create value. In this article we give our best tips for accelerating product development in an organization.
We meet companies and organizations that have challenges with their product development on a daily basis. Common symptoms are, for example:
- Too many good ideas are explored at the same time
- There is no delivery capacity / team that can deliver on demand within a reasonable time.
- Delivery capacity in the product team does not match the expectations from the organization.
- Top controlled priority far from reality and lack of mandate in the product team who often has the most detailed knowledge.
- Extensive pre-studies and large implementation projects instead of smaller user stories that are explored and delivered on a regular basis by the teams in short sprints.
Below are our top five tips on how to tackle these problems and where to read more about them:
# 1: Introduce a Priority Model
Create a structure to prioritize hard and early. Do not explore more things than there is delivery capacity for, invest resources in expanding delivery capacity instead. An example of a simple priority model that we like is ICE (Impact Confidence Ease): https://hygger.io/blog/ice-method-helps-choose-better-product-features/
# 2: Change the Investment Model
Let go of the idea of investing in individual features or projects. Instead, invest in delivery capacity and ensure that the right things are done, measured, and followed up. If you use a priority model, you will still take into account the effect that an individual feature should have compared to others. A common obstacle for this is organizations’ investment and budget models. Read more about how to change the approach to budget and financial management to enable a more agile value flow: https://www.amazon.com/Implementing-Beyond-Budgeting-Unlocking-Performance/dp/111915247X
# 3: Establish a Product Management Function
Push down mandate in the organization. Company management creates goals and conditions and follows up. Product management continuously decides how and what. A mix of strategic and operational people. A good guide to strategic product development comes from Roman Pichler: https://www.romanpichler.com/romans-books/strategize/
4 #: Create Self-Empowered Teams Around Value Streams
Assemble cross-functional team with clear product ownership for a whole value stream and the competencies needed to solve problems over time. With small self-driving teams responsible for the entire product lifecycle, you can tackle several of the problems that often come with large projects. Make many small decisions often, and closer to who they concern. We use many of the principles described within Lean UX, which you can read more about here: https://www.amazon.com/Lean-UX-Designing-Great-Products-ebook/
5 #: Scale Development with Startup-Teams
In larger, more slow moving organizations , it may be that the time or commitment to achieve increased pace of change is not there, or that it takes too long to change the steering models. A successful recipe that we have experience with is to then form a mini-organization, a virtual startup, around a specific area outside the organization to increase the velocity. This can later act as a catalyst for other initiatives and grow organically outside the organization or become part of it. One of our main sources of inspiration about lean startup is: https://www.amazon.com/The-Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous/
Panelista is a powerful tool for all individuals and organizations who want to involve their target group when creating new products or services. If you work with innovation, product development, business development, customer research, user experience or similar, you will benefit greatly from using Panelista in your work.