Lab Notes

Keys to Getting the Most From Your Product Team

If you’re a product manager or a business owner at a mid- to large-sized company, you’re probably held accountable for producing favorable business results. You didn’t end up in that position by accident; you’ve spent your career gaining a strong market perspective, as well as experience in getting the most out of the way your company works.

Your Product Team needs help unlocking its potential across your entire organization, and you need its help in delivering market value. In this guide, we’ll show you how to create the right relationship between your organization’s stakeholders and your product team partner to reach maximum potential. Here are a few areas where this cross-platform team dynamic is regularly challenged and ideas on how you can overcome blockers:

Marketing

Metrics
Connecting the team with your analytics group will help to ensure the product is measurable on day 1 of launch instead of lagging behind as an afterthought. Establishing an analytics program from the start will help you set measurable goals for your product. It also provides guidelines for creating impact.
Campaign & Promotion
Do you know your company’s marketing campaign calendar, and how your product could fit in? Establish your product team’s milestones ahead of time, so you don’t miss a single opportunity to help spread the message around your product.

IT

Architecture
You may need to evolve your company’s technical architecture to afford the optimal user experience for the new product. If your product team partner usually builds in Ruby on Rails but all you’ve got internally are Java environments, you’re going to run into some problems. Get out ahead of this by connecting your teams with a technical architect to show the vision via prototype, and give that person a chance to think about how to best provide the proper capabilities.
Access to Systems & Environments
It may seem trivial, but getting your product team’s developers access to the internal systems they’ll need is often one of the first roadblocks they will encounter. Does your company require VPNs to access technical environments? How about GitHub or another repository? By making sure full and tailored access to your systems is in place on day one, the team can get right into the production of value instead of looking around for keys to unlock doors they may not even need in the first place. Don’t waste that first sprint!

Operations

Compliance
There’s nothing worse than taking an idea all the way through development phases only to find out that it’s not feasible and cannot be delivered. Compliance is an essential feasibility component to consider. By providing the product team with well defined compliance requirements up front, you will save yourself a lot of headaches, avoid costly rework. You’ll also earn the confidence from your compliance partners that your product team capable of producing capturable value for your business.
Governance
The bigger the company, the more operational process has been defined over time. For example, chances are that if you’re reliant upon IT to help deliver the product, there’s a governed way to get that done. Some organizations require release management to be approved by a Product Council or Advisory Board before getting a release into motion. Help your product team become aware of release management, resource management or any other areas where your company requires approvals.

Taking bold steps forward

Building a new digital product doesn’t have to be a daunting task fraught with peril. Too often, products are doomed before they even begin. By setting the right groundwork with your internal stakeholders and partners, your product team will be able to overcome all unexpected roadblocks and create a great digital experience.

A former mechanic, musician and librarian, Chris has a habit of tackling new disciplines to satisfy his deep curiosity for learning how things work. Schooled in the humanities and practiced in the sciences, he takes a balanced approach to ensure digital experiences appeal to users, makers and businesses. Chris loves cooking, biking all over town, and laughing at live comedy until it hurts.

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