Digital Product Fundamentals

Modern Product Management is done in conjunction with processes and management methods such as User Focused Design, Agile, Scrum, and XP. This is because these methods - and Product Management itself, are about gathering and interpreting the wealth of data that now flows back up the design and development (or manufacturing) process. In many cases instantaneously.

Compare to the ‘old way’ of product (or service) provisioning. Look at Figures 1 and 2.

Fig 1. The old way.

Fig 1. The old way.

Now we are enjoying a rapidly-evolving set of technologies that not only manifest as new products and services, but enable new delivery methods, new development methods, and open new markets with the implications on cost of development, and cost of service. It is possible now to know what was heretofore unknowable. Through a combination of fundamental customer-need demand analysis, and modern testing technologies, we can make much more informed decisions about how to course-correct our development efforts.

Fig 2. The new way digital products are developed, with instant, in-depth feedback. This has extraordinary implications for the organization.

Fig 2. The new way digital products are developed, with instant, in-depth feedback. This has extraordinary implications for the organization.

A great Product person knows how to run this process, and understands the extremely disruptive, and innovative business implications it can have.

Almost daily, new tools, services, platforms, and technologies are added to the Product Development pipeline. See Table 1 for a few.

Table 1. These technologies speed up, improve, or automate the product development cycle. So much so that it’s possible for a small team (8 people) to invent, optimize, secure, distribute, and scale a multi-platform product globally.

Table 1. These technologies speed up, improve, or automate the product development cycle. So much so that it’s possible for a small team (8 people) to invent, optimize, secure, distribute, and scale a multi-platform product globally.

To which you might say…. “This matters for technology products and services only! We don’t build apps!”

No matter what business you are in, if you are thinking about the long term, there is almost certainly a need for innovation, or your product or service will become commodified, or automated, or it will be superseded in the market.

Do you know what you should build next? No. Well neither do I, but together we can find out.

James Flynn