Ever heard any of these?
- “How come this start-up has delivered a platform in two weeks and we can’t deliver a feature in one year?”
- “Services has created so many add-ons to our code that we can’t afford upgrades anymore.”
- “Yes, we delivered fast. And yes, the quality was crap and we will have to redesign for next release.”
- “Sales did it again. Sold something we don’t have.”
- “We missed the market, the customers didn’t want a coffee cup, they wanted a beer jug.”
- “Why aren’t we more innovative.”
The complexity of high tech product management is increasing and we can sense that frustration is building up in many of the companies we are interacting with. Some of the issues are missed market opportunities due to lack of technology readiness or not responding quick enough on market changes, long term thinking is difficult and short term measurable objectives keep destroying the long-term deliverables. Furthermore, it is hard to coordinate teams with different perspectives on time and success not to mention the promises that are made on unrealistic deliveries.
What can we do to conquer the product management challenges?
Perhaps reflect on the various speeds product management is acting in (which seems to be around 3):
We at Tolpagorni claim that Speed Layers is the Secret Sauce of High Tech Product Management. The claim is based on research as well as insight creation based on customer experience.
Bringing in the music
The concept of speed layers and speed management is developed as part of the Product Soundtrack®. In the Product Soundtrack® the key element of each speed layers is associated with music.
The key element in Speed Layer 1 is the Playground. This is the area where customizations and innovation are embraced, if there is a Playground that is. The music analogy is the concert and whether or not improvisation is allowed. When you are on tour with Madonna there is no Playground for the musicians. You will need to play the music according to the provided arrangement. No discussion. On the other hand, if you play on a Jazz club, like Fashion in Stockholm you are expected to improvise and the Playground is large and generous.
In Speed Layer 2, the Edge (product differentiator) is the key element. The Edge of a product corresponds to the hook in a hit song. What is it in a hit song that makes it stick? Is it the guitar riff, the refrain (Icona Pop, “I don’t care! – I love it!”), the clapping of hands (Queen, “We Will Rock You”)?
Finally, the Core which is the key element in Speed Layer 3. The defining technology, platform or in music that unique sound that your favourite band has. The sound that will tell you what artist it is even though you never heard the song before. The sound of U2 (which funny enough has a lot to do with “The Edge”) or maybe the sound of Max Martin (for example Britney Spears).
If the concept of speed management and/or Product Soundtrack® seems interesting you can watch the Webinar of the Tolpagorni CEO Magnus Billgren. You can even hear him do the Queen clapping to illustrate the Edge.