Today's successful leaders look to their Product teams to reliably produce competition beating results. With so many directions to go and so many ideas to pursue, product teams rely on innovative techniques to discover the great ideas before using engineering resources. Collectively these techniques fall into the area known as Product Discovery which pulls from the Sprint book or modern product frameworks such as Product Discovery, Design Thinking and Agile methodology into their Product Organization.
Often, the starting point for Product Discovery is reading online, buying books, listening to a speaker or attemping some of the techniques independently. However, for those that have tried these techniques, they often feel that it’s not sustainable. Or, as someone told me, it feels like "going through the motions" of prototyping and user testing without seeing the benefits. In the end, teams revert back to their previous practices and lose touch with customers as well as negate any speed benefits of validating ideas without use of engineering time.
There are several negative indicators to look for that teams have slow development cycles or lack of product-market fit.Indicators to look for:
- Individuals new to the roles of Product Manager or UX Designer
- No contact with customers in 3 months or more
- Rewarding the delivery of a feature or product regardless of the business benefit
- Lack of engineer-led innovation
- Opinions, not evidence, overly influence decision making
- Lack of effective cooperation between Product and Engineering
- Understanding of what customers are doing but not why
- Lack of innovation and creativity
By investing time and energy into a hands on Product Discovery Bootcamp with an experienced professional, an entire Product Organization can leap ahead in their ability to find out the truth about their products and features with the least amount of risk.
The Product Discovery Bootcamp takes a Best in Class approach blending top techniques from top Product thinkers. During the Bootcamp, the teams will learn and use a variety of tools to quickly prototype ideas and get customer input.Tangible benefits of a Product Discovery Bootcamp:
- Hands on, repeatable processes and techniques
- Reusable materials
- Exposure to multiple prototyping platforms
- Exposure to design testing
- Exposure to online/offline user testing
Invaluable, intangible benefits:
- Immediate customer focus
- Higher team morale
- Better understanding of functional swim lanes
- Bringing engineer-led innovation back to the table
- Encouraging all employees to see the Big Picture
- Using failure as a learning tool
- Focus on business problems not shiny new features
- Empathy for the customer
The core approach to the 2 Day Product Discovery Bootcamp uses real problems facing the business today. On Day 1, we analyze, select and map an idea for Product Discovery including understanding target customers and behaviors. On Day 2, we survey the competitive landscape, sketch out solutions and build a plan for customer testing including storyboard, script and user recruiting.Day 1 sessions - “The Customer and the Problem to be Solved”
- Ideas, Problems, Opportunities and Solutions
- User Experience Mapping
- Applying Metrics in Product Discovery
- User Testing Approaches and Techniques
Day 2 sessions - “The Solution and How to Validate It”
- Competitive Landscape Analysis
- Solution Sketching
- Storyboard Creation
- User Testing Script and Design
The Bootcamp is an intense two days but works within the busy schedules of Product Organizations to jump start and improve Product Discovery.
Participants include Product Managers, UX Designers, Data Analysts, Stakeholders, Domain Experts and Lead Engineers. Up to 20 people per Bootcamp.
Contact me to learn more about the Product Discovery Bootcamp and other offerings.
Summary: Product Discovery brings confidence to Product teams by getting customer feedback without using precious engineering resources. Learning from an experienced coach avoids common pitfalls and shortens the steep learning curve in working directly with customers.