New England Product Group Blog

 Musings about product, tech, innovation, strategy & other topics

The Keys to Getting Products Right

Image Credit: qimono / Pixabay 

It's all too easy to jump straight into the "how" of building a product. We get excited about the technology, the features, and the possibilities of what we can create. But the truth is, all of that is meaningless if we don't start with the "what" and "why" of the product first.

The "what" is the problem we're trying to solve. What pain points are we addressing for our customers? What needs are we fulfilling? What is the outcome we're trying to achieve?

The "why" is the motivation behind the product. Why are we building this? What is the bigger picture? What is the vision we're working towards?

Without a clear understanding of the "what" and "why," we risk building a product that doesn't resonate with our customers or solve a real problem. We risk building something disconnected from our company's overall mission and goals. Having a methodology in place or creating one to answer these questions is key to getting our products right.  

Starting with the "what" and "why" provides the clarity to help us stay focused on what's truly important. We can more easily prioritize features and decide what to build and what not to build. We can communicate our vision to stakeholders and team members, which helps keep everyone aligned and working towards the same goals.

Consider the alternative, a lack of clarity for a product’s purpose resulting in misalignment with company objectives and real user needs. Even with the brightest people and the most efficient development process for delivery, the outcome is a product that very likely misses the mark. In the best-case scenario, we might be able to recover and fix that with additional time and resources - assuming we have that luxury. In the worst case, we have built a solution looking for a problem that doesn't exist. No business can afford that.

So, let's take the time to understand the "what" and "why" of our products before diving into the "how." It may take a little longer upfront, but it will save us time, money, and headaches in the long run.

Originally published in Bootcamp on Medium.