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Learning 2: Understand your problem statement, and create a clear and long lasting vision

This article is part of my learning journal. If you are interested to read them all, jump to my main index page "What I have learnt about product management, agile, and personal development at a big bank".

PART 1: 9 learnings on the process of developing a product from discovery phase to delivery phase

Learning 1: The mindset of DVF, and take ownership to explore DVF, at scale.

Learning 2: Understand your problem statement, and create a clear and long lasting vision

Learning 3: Trust the experts and empower the team

Learning 4: Know the rules before you break the rules (understand current state of your solution)

Learning 5: Clear roles and responsibilities = Clear accountabilities and actions

Learning 6: Make use of your cross-functional talents, make it real team collaboration

Learning 7: Create an actionable roadmap. Convert the experience into coherent user stories. Focus on less, to deliver more

Learning 8: Tactical solution vs Strategic solution, whichever you chose, make sure it's shared understanding

Learning 9: Engage with your stakeholders


DVF starts from D. And it's one of the most exciting phases of the whole journey, at least for me, who came from customer experience research and user experience design background.

We spent a significant amount of time to work on baseline research over a couple of weeks, including collecting quantitative data on how people use our product, their complaints and suggestions, by analysing and converting phone conversations into text analytics. We've done a lot of discovery phase customer research, going to people's homes to see how they currently use our product and how they work around the issues and pain points. After understanding our customers' pain points, we overlay with viability, and see which issues we should resolve first to bring down the cost (our key success measure), and whether it's architecturally doable.

I have seen a lot of people jump to the conclusion quickly on how to solve the problems. Depends on the scale of the product and the business, sometimes it works, other times, the solutions created are scattered around like no purpose. And how long can people work their asses off if they have no purpose? The answer is obviously not long. To keep the team going, from strength to strength, we need purpose and long lasting vision.

One of a good examples to create a long lasting vision is to create one from customer insights. Take all those customer problem research insights as ideation material. For a big company that has existing product suite, going through 3 rounds of ideation in a condensed day is quite effective. We have used these 3 themes: fix the pipes, catch up with the jones, and cast into the future. And make sure you invite a diverse group of people to participate in the ideation, typically with people come from D, V, F spectrums.

Now, out of all those ideas, what are the connections between them? A typical research method called synthesis is actually quite useful for opportunities categorisation as well. We can group ideas into different themes and topics, but the key is to make sure those ideas align with customer problems, and they came together as an end to end experience that will continue to improve and scale (or an early shape of roadmap).

Once people can see how all the dots are connected, how everything eventually line up to bring an ideal customer experience, the vision stays with the team, so does the purpose.


#vision #customerinsights #purpose #connection

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