Do you all really understand each other?!

I think, when working as a product manager, it is very important to be able to express the product vision, strategy and the roadmap etc. Otherwise it may be difficult to get everybody on board and to get things done in the organization, as the level of formal authority typically is limited.

I have lately worked with two organizations where I have realized the true importance of defining words and concepts to the letter. These are organizations delivering “soft” products – products that consist of services delivered by people and/or services in combination with software or where the products depend on the implementation as part of a process.

For example, what is delivery?
Is it when the product runs on the target platform or is it when the users have done the training?
How does the price policy relate to pricing strategy?
What is the scope of the product “mortgage” – it includes the software administrating the credit verification but does it also incorporate the process doing this verification by somebody? 

The definition of what is what is all there is in cases like this! From a product definition perspective and from a product architecture perspective.

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What is the product and what is it not?!

And what parts does it consist of and how do they relate to each other collaborate? If the definition of what is what and why is unclear in any way, there will be masses of frustration and poor quality and efficiency in delivery.

To work through the definitions is a challenge and it can take a lot of time but is to my experience worth the effort. There are luckily professionals trained in building up and creating the definitions and how they relate to each other! It have been stimulating, fruitful and important for the success in the organizations where these challenges have surfaced.

So, when the frustration runs high and nobody really seems to “get it”. Do you all really understand each other?! Are you talking about the same thing?

Maybe it is time to sit down and take a look at the nomenclature.

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About Bo Tiderman

Bo has a focus on Product Strategies and Product Marketing. He has previously worked as a Product Manager, Marketing Director, President and Strategy Consultant in technology and consultant companies.

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