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Manipal Pro learn organized a thought leadership session on 2nd July, 2018 on the subject "Make in India: Building secure, intelligent and connected products" at Salarpuria Symphony, Electronic City, Bangalore. The speaker was Mr David Fradin, the world renowned product management Guru.
David has close to five decades of experience in the industry. He has been associated with some of the leading companies across the world, including Apple and HP. He has handled more than 75 products and services (representing over $250M in revenue) over a span of 47 years. He uses his expertise in the subject to train managers all over the globe. He is the author of the book “Building Insanely Great Products”. The gist of his talk is given below:-
Values and vision is very important for a company. During the time from 1985 when Steve Jobs had exited the company till his return, Apple had given up on its values which adversely affected the image of the company.
Next in the order of importance is strategy in terms of production, marketing, mature process life cycle, information gathering and sharing, customer engagement and competency of employees.
Some aspects to pay attention to are (1) Reduce failure (2) Don't ship the strategy (As I did not understand what this meant, looked to internet for help. It said "the strategy should reflect your customers’ needs, not your organization’s internal structure and politics) (3) Follow a framework with a process (4) Use information to make decisions (5) Understand your customers (6) Have the necessary competencies (7) Give them the required tools.
Building successful products
As 35 to 95% of start ups in India have failed, it is most essential to focus on the basics and on getting the foundation right. The marketing strategies would be effective only if the foundation is sound. One key question to ask yourself is with reference to customers "Who did you have in mind when you designed this product?" As for example, the computer should be designed for the convenience of the average employee working in an office and not for programmers alone.
You would do well to know your customers and their needs more than your competitors do.
The implementation phase should start only after the foundation work is completed effectively. If you are in services, you have to develop the competency to do these things.
Start from "what your customers want to do from technology”. Evaluate your risks against eco social environment and then move to other aspects.
Deliberate on the question "What does the product do for a particular problem? The inputs and insights from this exercise would be useful later when market research is done. It helps in arriving at a specific date and a deadline for commencing the start up.
In the customer journey, relevant information is to be provided at each stage. It is not about making available an avalanche (too much) of information but a properly integrated package that is important.
Metrics are very good for an established market but not necessarily that good for a start up or small business. As the metrics you pick up will determine your outcome, it is necessary to be careful about the metrics you pick.
Points to remember
Make sure that the roles and responsibilities are clear to everyone. It is this clarity as to who is the contributor, approver, decision maker etc. that contributes to a culture of success.
As most customers cannot tell you what they want, observe, interview, use survey and analytics to understand more about them. What customers do? How do they do it? When do they do it? Why do they do it? Where do they do it? How satisfied are they with the current solution? The answers will enable you to give better and more effective solutions to the customers.
The unmet needs of customers will reveal the window of opportunities.
It is necessary to design a customer centric organizational structure with the product management function directly reporting to CEO as in the case of other functions such as marketing and production.
Be careful about how you define your business. Don't define it too narrow or you may end up like Kodak with no business left.
Elevator pitch on your product should come only at the end after you have done all the foundation work correctly.
Out of the 40 million ideas that may come up, look out for the unmet needs.
In an initial presentation from Manipal ProLearn, it was informed that Mr. David Fradin, has joined their Academy as an Advisor and Professor of Practice, Product Management Programs. Manipal ProLearn, a part of Manipal Global Education Services, offers a variety of professional certification courses across Technology, Digital Marketing, Data Sciences, Project Management, and Finance domains. They help working professionals and students enhance their skills and fast-track careers.
Some of the new programs offered by the academy include (1) Crafting quality code (2) Product thinking practices (3) Cloud security and (4) Orienting women to technical careers. Mr David Fradin will be sharing his expertise in the courses pertaining to product management.
The thought leadership session was indeed a rewarding experience for all of us participants who could avail of the unique opportunity extended by the organizers. Those interested to explore the subject further could of course, enrol for the courses offered and directly interact with the product management Guru.
This blog has been contributed by Mr. Rajeev Moothedath and was originally published on his blog.