You are NOT paid to deliver products
As a follow up from my previous “You are not paid to work” (https://carlos-piqueres.medium.com/you-are-not-paid-to-work-41b6e114bd34) , I want to insist on this other misunderstanding I’ve observed.
And (hopefully) it’s one of those other “click” points we desperately need.
There has been a lot of press around “product-led”, moving from projects to product and all that stuff.
The rationale behind all that is related to the so much required mindset shift from just doing stuff (projects) with rigid scope to organising people, and processes (including funding!) around products.
That change has helped to have the right conversations in terms of moving away from those functionally-specialised structures and their associated cost centers that were not enabling an easy flow of the “value” as we understood it.
That has had a good impact.
I’ve observed a perverted understanding whereby we move away from “functions” (good) but end up becoming product-silos, product-obsessed.
So we end up believing our product is The Answer.
And slowly but steadily we decouple ourselves from the true value source: The Need.
I’ve observed orgs so much attached to the product they sell they end up ignoring the fact that “the product” is just an instrument to satisfy a customer (or rather many different customers…) need.
And the value is on satisfying that need.
That’s what “customer centricity” is about.
That’s why agility has the customer on the spotlight and uses design thinking.
Hence, if you decouple from the customer, you may end up with what I visualise as an “empty soul product”.
And that applies to delivering services as well.
So, challenge yourselves product-led groups, service-oriented groups:
- Could you clearly, explicitly, and publicly articulate what needs your product / service is aiming to satisfy to customer/persona A,B,C?
- Is that public to everyone in your org / group?
- Do you have “evidence” it is really and equally understood?
- When was the last time you assess whether your product / service is (still) satisfying that need?
- When was the last time you re-assess whether there may be other product / service strategies that may better fulfill that need?
- When was the last time you re-assess that need still stands?
(every need evolves as the basic Kano model suggests!)
So, never forget an imperfect product that better address a need may be much better than a perfect (?) product … that is not what I need now.