When you think you’re ready to start building a digital product, it can be a really exciting time. Many people have a clear idea of what they want their digital product to look and feel like, and this drives the creation.
However, there’s much more that must go into planning a digital product before you get started. At ENO8, we always encourage people to have these 3 things together before they start working with us as they are the foundation of an excellent new digital product launch.
So, before you start building your amazing new digital product, be sure that as a product owner or manager you’re clear on these 3 things.
When we start building a digital product it can be easy to fall into the trap of obsessing over the launch and the iteration, which means you can lose track of the overall vision.
The vision for your product corresponds to the big view picture, whereby you fully understand and map out what the product will be and how it will be delivered over time. The best product managers will keep this big view picture in mind as they handle every detail of the product development and launch.
Once you have got to grips with this high level view, you can communicate effectively with everyone from stakeholders down to customers and employees. Whilst what you talk to customers and employees about might be more granular, the goals will always correspond to that overall vision for the product.
This cohesive vision glues everyone together, and ensures that despite changes to the product, market or team working on it, your product will always stay true to its purpose and meaning.
A product roadmap helps to keep this vision alive whilst also implementing strategic goals on a timeline. The product roadmap doubles up as a practical timeline and a product vision board, as you plan out the overall goals for the product.
A deep client and market knowledge will allow you to remain agile, and fully anticipate how your client’s needs might be changing. For this reason, before you start building any digital product you should map out the needs that this product will meet and predictions about how those needs will change.
Because a digital product can take a significant amount of time to build, you need to understand how the market landscape will change in that time. So often, product managers don’t plan this way, and the result is that they have spent a year developing a digital product that is now behind the competition in terms of serving the client’s evolving needs.
As a successful product owner, you should plan ahead to anticipate problems and have a holistic view of your customer. You may choose to use customer journey mapping to create a journey for your customer that shows how they will use your product in the future.
Once you have a clear picture of the digital product you will build and why, it’s time to look around you and see what resources you’re working with. The big decisions will be made collectively by the stakeholders, CEO and product owner/manager, however knowing how you will delegate tasks after that is essential.
Before you build a digital product, it’s key to know who will build what features and ensure that you have the right people onboard. You may need a variety of people to build a digital product – a business analyst, a tech leader, a ScrumMaster, developers, project managers and many more.
Having these kinds of people on your side means that as a product owner you can spend valuable time on the strategic vision and delegate tasks to other team members.
If you think that your team isn’t ready to build a digital product, or that hiring or the people you need in-house will be too expensive, then that’s where a company like ENO8 comes in.
Our crafted innovation framework helps us challenge and solve complex problems through a continuous, repeatable, iterative approach that we have perfected over the years. We enable you to outsource the building of your digital product to our industry experts, so that you can focus on the top level strategy, vision and business goals.
Jeff Francis is a veteran entrepreneur and co-founder of Dallas-based digital product studio ENO8. Jeff and his business partner, Rishi Khanna, created ENO8 to empower companies of all sizes to design, develop and deliver innovative, impactful digital products. With more than 18 years working with early-stage startups, Jeff has a passion for creating and growing new businesses from the ground up, and has honed a unique ability to assist companies with aligning their technology product initiatives with real business outcomes.
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