What if you could predict the future of your industry?
Product management is about telling the future
The decisions you are taking today will have an impact on your product for many years to come. It is difficult to understand the consequences a decision is having on your portfolio. Whether it comes to a specific requirement that you approve, project that you decline or market you enter. These decisions have a great impact on your future capabilities and activities. To make the right decision you need to know the future. Do you?
The Driving Forces Methodology is a model often used to understand the future and to build insights. Driving Forces are easily communicated and easily used for decision making. Driving Forces are being used not only by product managers but also by the Intelligence agencies around the world.
The Concept of Driving Forces
The concept behind driving forces is to think like Newton. Think like a genius and apply the physics from high school. If forces are applied on an object, it will move. In fact it will not move unless forces are applied. By the same theory we can conclude that the movement of the object can be predicted by analyzing the forces exerted upon it.
Figure: The Driving forces on and within a market will enable you to predict the future Market Need.
Identifying key driving forces
Driving forces can emerge within two areas: Micro and Macro environments. The macro environment forces puts a pressure on the Micro environment. The Micro environment creates the forces exerted on your market.
At Arizona University they have structured the Macro forces into seven areas.
- Economic forces
- Population & Demographic
- Science & Technology
- Work & Workplace
To define the driving forces in the Micro environment we can use the five forces of competition defined by Porter. He states that we can analyze the market by understanding the forces within the five different areas. To use Porter’s model for the driving force analysis you need to put your customer in the middle and yourself as a supplier. We want to find out the future of the market need and your customers.
The forces in the micro environment are to be found in:
- The customers
- Existing competitors in the market
- The existing alternative solutions
- The potential competitors
- The suppliers
By identifying the Driving Forces in your Industry you will be able to better understand the future. It will help you develop sustainable product concepts and to position your product in the market.