In my previous, blog I dove into product failure at launch. Other stages of failure such as product failure at development can be attributed to a combination of causes, where most reside within the company itself.
In most companies, the Product Manager (PM) collects feedback and writes the product requirement document. After approval, the requirements document typically goes through a review process with the engineering team to discuss the technical requirements and identify risks. After review the product execution is launched. This PM driven approach can be highly effective for simple products that don’t require feature prioritization and compromise. This approach is not effective with products that are complex, technical, and require a deep customer understand by the engineering development team.
In other companies, the engineering team is highly involved in defining the product requirements and collecting feedback from customers. This approach is collaborative between the engineers, PMs, and customers leading to potential development of technologies that offer breakthrough solutions. Unfortunately with this approach, it is not uncommon for the product team to over engineer or over develop product features while seeking an ultimate or perfect product. It is also uncommon for the PM feedback and feature prioritization to be ignored, which can mean ignoring the most basic features. This approach can drive engineering and development costs exponentially high yet still develop a product that does not fulfill basic customer needs.
Execution of the product development must be focused on the long-term success.
Execution can not be a rushed process since it can lead to feature shortcuts and potentially feature development that provides solutions that are not easy to work with.
Development in a silo environment
Development that is driven by one group that does not interface with the other teams in the organization is another leading cause of poor execution. When products are executed in a silo environment, it is likely that they will not tie into the overall company product line, have quality issues, or are limited in feature development due to the lack of collaboration and diverse thinking. Ting into the product line is not a easy task, but when properly executed will be guaranteed to can carry the company’s brand forward. Rushing though execution has a similar outcomes. The PM and the product team should identify the development limitations and delay the product launch until the product development is truly ready.
In some cases poor execution can push feature development to burn-through budget resources. Some feature development might end up consuming a large portion of the budget. The unbalanced budget spending while force feature cuts brought on by these finance limitations straining the overall execution.
Simplifying the features can reduce quality issues while helping enable the team to stay focused and vigilant. Feature simplicity will ensure the team is not distracted by cool, unneeded shiny features while staying on budget and on time. Simple is not easy; however, it will enable you and your team to produce a quality product that is easy to use and adds customer value efficiently and effectively.
Remember focus on your user and keep in mind for most products less is more!