Throw away the old textbook. Times are changing!

If you’re developing products, there are a new set of principles to live by:

  1. Put the customer at the centre of everything you do
  2. Deliver a valuable product early
  3. Learn continuously and improve quickly
  4. Simplify
  5. Build your winning product in multiple releases

But how?

Loading up products with many features just kills speed to market. Don’t try to build it all yourself and instead use suppliers with relevant features as out-of-the-box functionality.

Launch with a Minimum Viable Product and test your customer reaction. What do they say? What do they do? Learn from them and respond with an updated quickly. Speed is of the essence as in the digital world nobody can predict the next big thing.  As moving fast is vital, so simplification – that is, the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential.

Simplifying means also cutting out time-consuming and redundant approaches. Go Agile – as much as you can. This approach can dramatically improve speed to market, even when applied to traditional product development approaches.

Above all, the only way to achieve sustainable competitive advantage is through the Customer Experience you deliver. “How” is more important than “what”! Never, ever, overlook basic customer needs and fall into the trap of concentrating on a race to add the latest widget.  Ask customers what they want to achieve and you’re thinking in the right way. Then extend that thought…how do they want to do this?

Miles Cheetham, October 2015