So you decided to pursue an idea of a super-duper revolutionary application. Maybe you think that what you’re left with is planning the building process of this app and dividing issues between the software development team who will get their job done.
Such a scenario resembles an already known way of thinking connected with a project and its management. It is based on planning the actions in some sequence and budget.
Today’s complexity of the market and its fast evolution make another perspective – a product approach one – seem more and more powerful.
While both product – and project-based methodologies have benefits, I believe the product approach is more effective and efficient when collaborating on marketable software products.
Product approach elements
Traditionally you meet your customer’s needs rather than make as many products as conceivable for an affordable price. The goal is to tailor the products according to the customer needs, even though it means constant innovation. If the product orientation program is implemented, it will need to offer technical advantages to consumers and their customers. Product-oriented marketing works if it distinguishes the features of your product and its competitors’ products and services.
What is the Product Approach Mindset?
It is a way of thinking, a set of behaviours that make it possible to realise your product with the slightest effort, just to get to know your clients and their needs from the very beginning – before you put effort and money into fulfilling needs you are not sure of.
A product oriented approach doesn’t mean that you make a low-quality product. It also doesn’t mean you need to create a fully working product, just a bit faster. This product oriented approach is also not about launching a product that doesn’t fulfil its requirements.
Here, the technique of building an MVP – Minimum Viable Product – comes to our aid. An MVP is based on verifying your product with the market initially. Once you know your customers’ behaviours and needs and confront them with your product abilities, you can start working on its next iteration.
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Tips on how to test your MVP
Verifying your ideas with the market means a variety of actions. For example, you could invite beta testers to cooperate with you. They are people who will use your product and give you constant feedback about which part of your app is worth developing and which is useless.
Another very effective tool for checking if you have a life interest or are just losing your money is using analytical tools to measure and examine your product. Google Analytics, or other similar solutions, could come in handy here. They allow you to track the traffic on your website and see if the clients use the product as they should. It’s also possible to see how many of them leave the app.
If all of the above sounds strange, you could invite User Experience specialists to cooperate. They should be able to help you with the design and business logic of your idea in a way that would verify its purpose efficiently.
Humility is the Secret To Business Success
The last and the most crucial element, essential for going with the product approach and usage of MVP rules, is humility.
The idea appeals to you but doesn’t mean that the rest of the world will also love it. And the other way round – if some group of people is not interested in your product, it doesn’t mean that it is useless. Maybe you haven’t simply hit your target yet.
Being a curious explorer is the only solution for fast verifying our ideas. Do you have a hypothesis? Find a cheap and easy way for its confirmation. Conclude your results and decide what your next move should be. Your return on investment determines the validity of your idea if you take the market profit into account.
Total Cost of Ownership and Technical Debt
When working on product oriented development from the beginning, you must look after its business and technical development.
When you work with an already working product that you want to develop or change, there is a temptation to work in “Let’s make it cheap and fast” mode. There is nothing worse than that – the moment of product stabilisation, or even earlier, is crucial for keeping good quality even more than at any other time.
You need to bear issues like Total Cost of Ownership or Technical Debt in mind, which increases if you don’t bother about the quality. These two increase when you don’t have quality in mind. What are TCO and TD about?
Imagine a wardrobe with clothes inside. As long as you want to keep it tidy, you need to take care of hanging the clothes each time you use them. The more clothes you have, the more time it takes. Other issues like washing, ironing, etc., increase the total amount of work your clothes need to be readily available.
What happens if you neglect the daily routine and instead of hanging your clothes, you will start to throw them to the floor? You will end up with something that is referred to as technical debt in the developing world. It makes your product more difficult to use. Total Cost of Ownership is the effort needed to be put into your product maintenance.
The conclusion is: that there are costs not only at the beginning of your product development. Later on, it is also the case.
What is Product Orientation?
Product direction is a strategy to develop high-end goods and services to meet customer requirements. A sales-oriented business tends to succeed by building products with a good mentality. In contrast, there is a strategy known as market orientation. Product-oriented companies make products that are strong enough for the public interest, and market-focused companies develop products designed for the public interest already exists – Learn how product orientation can improve the customer relationship and increase sales.
Product Orientation: Meaning, Characteristics, Pros, and Cons
What’s it: Product orientation is a marketing management philosophy promoting quality products to generate sales. The company assumes product quality as a determinant of demand in the market. They pay less attention to customer needs and wants. They believe that consumers will buy if they produce products with superior quality, performance, and features, regardless of whether it suits their taste or not.
High-tech and innovative manufacturers have traditionally adopted this approach. Through their products, they seek to educate consumers on how to satisfy their needs rather than the other way around.
Differences between product orientation and market orientation
A product orientation is an inward-looking form, apart from production orientation and sales orientation. “Supply creates its demand,” as Say’s law.
Companies focus on creating the best possible product under product orientation, and the market will eventually demand it. Meanwhile, in production orientation, companies assume consumers buy for availability and lower prices.
Furthermore, under the sales orientation, the company aggressively reaches as many consumers as possible and hopes that some will buy.
The three approaches contrast with a marketing orientation (also known as a market-led orientation) and holistic marketing. In both systems, the company adapts the needs and wants of the customer to create a product. Thus, the impetus for product creation and innovation comes from external factors rather than internal factors.
Through market research, companies understand market needs and tastes. They then develop their target market’s ideal marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and location) target market.
Product orientation characteristics
First, innovation is the main focus of product development. Through intensive research, companies create products with superior performance, quality, and features (at least according to them). Such a product, in their opinion, will be attractive to customers.
Second, innovation originates from internal companies. Companies rely heavily on internal research and development to create products.
Gillette razors are a good example. The company focuses on creating the best razors and selling them to the market. Its products teach consumers how to find satisfaction using their products.
Third, this approach is suitable when market demand is higher than supply. That way, there is a higher chance of the product being accepted by some consumers.
Fourth, consumers do not know how to satisfy their lives. In this case, the company educates them about how they get satisfaction using its products.
Early computer development is a good example. Consumers may not be aware of how it can benefit them. Manufacturers then teach them how to use the computer to make their lives easier. Manufacturers also equip computers with various software that make it easier for them to perform multiple jobs and tasks.
Fifth is continuous innovation. Product orientation aims to produce quality products to generate sales and profits. Companies must continue to innovate to improve quality.
Product orientation pros
Fewer resources. The company focuses its resources to focus more on internal research and development.
Cheaper costs. Companies can save on some costs, such as market research. They don’t spend much time and resources figuring out what customers want.
Unique product. Product-oriented businesses continue to innovate to produce the best products. Indeed, even if the product is fantastic, it may not generate a unique selling proposition because competitors offer similar products.
Product orientation cons
Low adaptability. Companies face a low acceptance risk because they do not adapt to consumer tastes and preferences in creating products.
Another risk source is companies’ failure to differentiate their offerings from those of competitors. Even though the product is superior in terms of quality, consumers will not be interested in it when it doesn’t do it better than competitors’ products. As a result, the company will likely lose customers when competitors offer better ones.
Limited innovation. Relying on internal research and development means fewer ideas. Companies become highly dependent on the ability of their human resources to produce innovation.
Waste of resources. The company may have tried to develop several products, but the customer did not buy them. The reason may be that it doesn’t suit their taste. Or, it’s because competitors are offering better ones. As a result, resources are wasted because they do not generate sales.
Cheaper costs. Companies can save on some costs, such as market research. They don’t spend much time and resources figuring out what customers want.
Unique product. Product-oriented businesses continue to innovate to produce the best products. Indeed, even if the product is amazing, it may not generate a unique selling proposition because competitors offer similar products.
How can I build product-oriented teams?
Having an objective approach has become a necessity. Can companies implement these strategies effectively? What is the best technique for the development of product-focused teams?
Understand the importance of iterations
Suppose a designer makes product descriptions. The developer is focused on developing. What about when the work differs from what the customer wants? Here iterations appear. Product-oriented teams can modify product scopes at the same time. Throughout this period, all units can find creative alternative solutions—iterations aid in learning new scenarios or determining the next steps. For a quick summary of how we split work in iterations using agile and DevOps approaches, visit Plutora’s blog.
Celebrate wins after measuring outcomes
Project management involves implementing everything by the plan. Sometimes teams celebrate immediately after delivering products. A product-focused team waits until they have a measure of its results and is rewarded by customers. Only then will there have to be more celebrations? I’ll say that I shouldn’t concentrate solely on releasing a product. Managing product removes effectively. A good-product business approach must focus primarily on creating good products.
Eliminate Silos From Product and Design
In most corporations, the employee has an assigned position. However, creating product-oriented teams based on function-dependent dynamics — a solitary structure — is not a good idea. Everyone works together on the product. In summary, everyone in the group can control the software. This will improve relations with employees. This enhances teamwork, allowing the development process to progress faster.
Why should you build product-oriented teams?
A product-focused approach can provide a variety of benefits to the current situation. Tell me the importance of product teams?
You’ll Have a High-Quality Product
The first things to consider when evaluating a company are products of good quality. Generally, firms get engrossed so heavily in promoting sales that they forget essential aspects of their business. The quality of goods determines whether an enterprise can survive for a long time. A team that is focused on the product increases the rate. On the other hand, if a team is concerned more about the deadline, everything will be reorganised if something is wrong. The team will have more time to focus on the primary purpose. Your teams will always invest in a quality product unless they have the resources.
You’ll Have Better Flexibility
Product teams make work flexible and productive. Let’s see the similarities. During projects, the team believes they understand the process to achieve the desired result. They have their plan in hand, which will be great for them as long as things go smoothly. But can we find something wrong with our initial assumption? What happens when the company subsequently recognises it? In large corporations, pivoting can sometimes be difficult and change too quickly. Teams evolve with each new product development. Milestone deadlines are not prioritised over the product if a team is product-oriented.
You will develop economies of scale and efficient outsourcing
Products-oriented teams achieve economies of scale, thereby reducing production costs through the development in bulk. If your business is focused on products, the product focus is limited to that product, enabling mass production. What is better? Efficiency improves without affecting product quality. Creating the best products leads to efficient outsourcing. For example, imagine there is an eCommerce site. The vendor can make multiple online carts for you. Once delivered, the app will launch.
Have direct interactions with customers
Typically firms have separate teams of workers responsible for the interactions between the customers. When a developer speaks directly to customers, it influences its product strategy. If you’re writing an article, you may have some questions about the navigation bar. Why can’t you speak to clients without asking a coordinator?
Your idea is your product. NOT PROJECT
If you want to remember only one thing from this text, please remember that your idea is not a project; it’s a product. Let’s then deal with it like with a product – verify its meaningfulness fast, in a safe environment, draw conclusions and modify. In other words – let’s experiment. When you catch the wind in your sails, remember that not only development is a part of your product’s administration. Like everything in the universe, the software must be kept and maintained. Otherwise, it will run uncontrollably wild.
Please contact us if you want to develop your idea into a high-quality digital product that will benefit your clients contact us.