Two Sides to a Story

You might find yourself agreeing with this message the first time you read it.

cafe one side

Thanks to some creative marketing by DePaul UK you might change your outlook when you read both sides of the story.

cafe full story

Motivate Your Team

Product Managers usually aren’t in a position to declare what will be worked on and then leave the room for it to be completed. Instead, get your team to jump on board with your vision by being inspiring.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum people up together to collect wood, and don’t assign them tasks and work. Rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Unfortunately I’ve learned this the hard way by missing a lot of product deadlines. The team wasn’t on board at times and only going through the motions.

It’s different when you motivate and inspire. You’ll see team members go above and beyond even improving on the work that was originally planned.

Create a Customer Journey map

Too often we build software intent on creating features instead of  solving real world problems. We sit at our computers, maybe working with other departments, and create a list of things that we’ll build into future releases.

While new features are great and may even be world-changing, I suggest getting to know your customer a little bit more before trying to build stuff for them. Enter the Customer Journey Map.

customer-journey-map

 

This is a recent map I built for a product I thought I understood well. In one view you can see what a user is doing, thinking, and feeling in each stage.

I didn’t have to complete the map to see some of our deficiencies. The very first time someone hears about BombBomb it’s usually a referral from someone they know. But in the last step, at the user’s highest sense of euphoria, we’re not doing anything to encourage them to spread the word. A complete disconnect.

Creating a map like this takes time but is well worth it. When you put in the time your users will thank you.

Iterate Your Way To Better Software

The best way to hit a home run with your software project is to constantly release small improvements. While you should always keep your aspirations in the clouds, forget hitting upon the one best idea on your first release. Instead, keep building, assessing, planning and building some more.

We recently overhauled a page on the BombBomb web app that displays your contacts grouped into lists. It’s definitely not the best it can be and we have a long list of improvements we’d still like to do, but it’s a start and it lays the groundwork for future iterations.

With an iterative mindset it’s important not to get in the habit of moving on after a release. You’ll find the big wins when you dive into your analytics to see what’s happening and your user testing to see what people are thinking. Use that data and keep making improvements.