So you’ve landed upon a clear set of business objectives for your web platform, You’ve developed a set of organisational key results (OKR's) to understand what constitutes performance against your objectives.
You’re clear on how you can start working towards achieving them. You’ve identified the key customer experiences and how you can start to engineer them to engage with your customers, steering towards meeting your objectives. Great!
You're in good shape You have objectives and the key building blocks of your strategy. In the current climate, that many businesses find themselves in, that is one hell of a start.
You’ve conducted your prioritisation exercise and with a bit of crafting you’ll be down to your initial backlog.
It is at this stage so easy to confine your thinking and actions to the activities in the backlog. With the fullness of time the team will put beautiful ticks in the boxes of job done. Of course, in digital when you're focussed-on time to value ‘done is sometimes better than perfect’.
But the danger here is that you inadvertently fall back to a waterfall method of product development, The truth as you know is that done is not perfect. It is possible to do better but as the next strategic initiative lands, done remains as done. The Customer experience jerks forward only to stall and go no further.
Customer experience should not a linear development. To have a product strategy is great in itself but despite the work and effort that went in to liaising with the stakeholders to develop the strategy. It is nothing more than a plan to achieve. It is a hypothesis. Like so much that we do. It assumes all else is the same and it’s our very best guess. Yes, based on experience and insight, and hopefully validated by customer research, but to a degree, a hunch.
Going back to those OKR’s you have a huge advantage. The means to assess progress.
As you continue to invest and complete the development activities, working through your roadmap, progress should be tracked. Development completed, is 'done' in one form, but it is important to go back to the originating business objectives. Are the customers engaging in the way you expected? As a result, are the new customer experiences delivering against those key results measures. Done=your first shot!
In delivering a product road map it is imperative to have a solid build and release cycle. But as far as continuing to meet and exceeding those objectives is concerned the result is not delivery of the backlog. Meeting and exceeding the customer centric results is the activity that is going to drive your business and your product forward. Your hypothesis is an opportunity to experiment. But with all experimentation it’s the recognition and successful application of the results that takes us forward.
As you continue to develop and future proof your business the agile, experimental approach also allows for course correction, optimisation and of course a dynamic drive for success.
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