Saturday, 18 July 2009

What Customers want

What do our customers want????

Difficult question and a more difficult answer... We don't know what they want and they themselves don't know what they want???? Well there are ways to know it , some could do that and become Facebook some fail to do that and become Myspace? Well the reason I name myspace here is due to the subtle message that came from the CEO Box recently

Anyways what our customers want and think of us is a broader term and question... and we are getting there.Our first ever council looks to be shaping up well.. we have a bunch of customers that are going to be actively participating in it.. and this is going to really drive a good product out overall..

How to know what our customers need is a more difficult question... I am wondering if I should start a serie post on this to enlighten myself and you on how to do the best to know what they want?

One thought that triggered my mind over is doing a real time survey with not just the customers but the real industry users who are not your customers... Now Gartner is not really an answer to this .. but if you have your customers located in a niche market and specific areas, i think it is best to understand what exactly they want and how exactly do they do things now... However these surveys are to generate a database of future drive for the product and should be done several times a year to be on top of the world and your best enemies...

These surveys are not targeted to build new features or improve existing ones alone but to have a broader view instead.. in terms of understanding what best our customers need or the potential customers would want at the same time this would help the sales in hitting the right spots when doing the sales meets and would give a feeling to the potential customer of how well we understand there business.

This has to be a customized survey that is left open through anonymity over the Internet world but well marketed and targeted towards those specific industry users that you are going to build the product for...

Now wouldn't you feel like Mel Gibson from Movie "What Women wants" when your salesman brings you exactly what you are looking for?

Fishy???? Views

Friday, 17 July 2009

Products , Product Managers and Product Owners

Had an amazing discussion over a thread with Rick Chapman over the role and future of Product Managers and SaaS products. I am amazed that reading Rick over SaaS University and Soft Letter gives me a feel that he understands SaaS well... However I am not very convinced on the thread that is shared over PRODUCT MANAGERS and SaaS where Rick says that SaaS Products dont need Product Managers...

SaaS products introduced the real concept of democracy into Web Application domain... It sooner appeals to me as OF THE CUSTOMER, FOR THE CUSTOMER By a Developer who looks it as a CUSTOMER

The reason I think the Product Managers are must for any product (Be it SaaS or an Enterprise solution) :

1. Any product needs to have a life cycle.. if products don't have life cycles development doesn't need to have life cycles. A Product Life cycle within itself means a necessity or a definition of its owner and Manager.. and who is the product Manager in this case? I don't determine a developer to be the Product Manager and I would hate to call the end user as the product Manager here..

2. I want the blue button here
Every customer makes several demands on the product. The product Managers derive these demands to a conclusive path , turn it on to as a feature that many others would like to do with a product. Imagine every developer delivering same feature in different colors at different times??? well somebody has to manage it and this somebody is no one else than the Product Manager to me...

3. Agile is a better glove, but Agile is not the placeholder
With increasing importance of Agile, like Waterfall model Agile is getting misused.. Agile is the best development approach for product development.. specially when a product is appended with features, functions and technical aspects.. Agile can support development process but need an owner who owns the product and doesn't allow sloppy developments happening all over the product.. expecting a Scrum Master , Development Manager or a Product Manager to do this is a disaster..

Many more that I can think of.. but I guess I would first like to read what Rick has to say and then post my thoughts over..

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Time to Set Expectations

Its time to set expectations.. This is the time when you need to set the expectations... this is time which is going to mark the beginning of the time. Yes the time that is just going to set the momentum before it actually begins. What is important is to set the Moral right during this time so that the coming challenges can not only be faced but also be driven away successfully...

With this time that is going to approach we want to :

1. Clearly Set expectations of what it is going to be for the future.
2. Set goals for each and every member on what is expected of them and how to achieve it
3. Drill the desire deep so that the challenges float and evaporate.
4. Define Success
5. Set the path and show the hindrances that needs to be covered...
6. Last but not the least.... ROLL the MAGIC

I am all set to take this force become a wave, I am all set to drive this with several other drivers, I am all set to Success, I am all set to party with this fun... Come join the force!!!!!