Understanding the product lifecycle

When working with any new business, the very first thing I need to understand is where they are in terms of product lifecycle.

It is critical that I understand where they are in this journey so that I can identify any current issues that need to be fixed before then helping them move forward.

In terms of maximising the chances of success and return on investment, there are many different types of activities that I advise businesses take, depending on where they are in this lifecycle, and how they are currently approaching their product development.

My recommendations based on these factors would come under two categories.

Removing wastage

The first category of change to look at is about removing any wastage that is currently present. This wastage will itself come under a number of categories, which we will look at in more detail later, but can range from looking at product management approach, development approach, and even features being built in your product itself.

The key point is that here, I am looking to remove activities, costs, even features, that are costing your business time & money that is much better invested into activities more suited to your current stage of product and business development

Strategic development

The second category of recommendations I would make is the counterpart to this and is about making strategic decisions that are going to drive the business and product development forward.

By driving a business forward, I mean taking product and technical decisions that are going to generate value for the business and the customers it serves.

A product decision could be deciding on how best to validate a theory on the potential for a particular feature to save customers time and money.

A product decision could also be something along the lines of using behaviour analytics to determine how best to segment your customers and provide different tiers of service.

A technical decision, on the other hand, could range from how best to meet user demand in the shortest time possible, to making informed decisions on software architecture that are going to allow your product to handle millions of transactions during the course of a day.

The point I want to highlight with these areas of change is that they all stem from the product lifecycle. What is considered waste for a business at one particular stage may be considered an essential component to a business that is further on in development.

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