Early morning, just one day before your Product launch, a tiny demographic of people catches your eye in the report, who are curiously searching for….
“How do I make my umbrella go with my dress color ? “
*Please read my last article on building user-centric products, as I will keep using the same Product reference for my examples to drive explanations.
And the next thing, you end up doing is like pinging, emailing, opening Teams channel and asking the Designers and Engineers to implement some variation of Hex codes. And there is a whole another chaos rattling behind, where the Testers are grumbling about the impacts of color changes not tested yet while it will hit the market tomorrow.
Stop, don’t do that…instead try the below 5 steps !
Step 1: Deep Breath
Step 2 : Collect all the requirement details, in a spreadsheet along with the impact it might generate in the specific user group, who believe in color coordination of their attire on a regular basis. (P.S. That’s definitely a percentage, not all !)
Step 3: Schedule a 15 min meeting, with your team
Step 4: Get their opinion, talking does wonders…
Step 5 : Agreed : On a Coming Soon Prototype to showcase on the launch event (That’s Tomorrow !)
Step 6 : Everyone’s Happy !!!!
& Look A Benefit Strategy : You already have identified a user pipeline & targeted campaign for your next launch !(#whatcolordoyouwant)
Sometimes, these requirements can be very last minute and at the same time unavoidable :
Requirement 1.10 : As a user of an Umbrella, there should be a dry on its own button so that it should dry the Umbrella, within 5 min of the user closing it.
Requirement 1.11 : As a user of an Umbrella, it should be super accommodating so that a user can fit it into a coat pocket, like a pocket knife.
Last minute requirements are like the first of the three warning bells of an exam you are writing, where you have no choice but to answer all the questions but at the same time need to reserve some time for revising the other answers.
There should always be an active backlog fitted with queuing logic to reprioritize and deprioritize these requirements as they keep coming. Otherwise there is a heavy risk of bringing too much clutter into the mix, resulting in too less of a time to spend in refining and giving those last minute finishing touches to the features, that really will stand out for your Product in the market.
Engineers, Designers, Testers, all need clarity on certain things when it comes to building a durable product. If that’s missing then the product ends up being a master of none piece, that users struggled to use in the first place.
“Usability, is what drives human to try out new things”
In this article, my key user persona are Engineers and coming from the world where I played a lead engineer role myself, I have realized 5 Things that you as a Product Manager can package and provide them as they start working on Product Development :
Get Into The Technical Details, Will You ?
As Product Managers, talking to customers, listing out their pain points, knowing what resonates with the end user, is one thing but technical details like quality checks, expediting solutions to the market, sensor activation module, heat control panel, all these items needs to be vetted out with Engineers and they have to play a key role in designing these outcomes along with delivery estimations before development kicks off.
Always try keeping an open dialogue and get as much buy in from them. Give them a chance to influence those technical details based on their past experiences and skillsets.
2. A Solid Must Have List:
There are few things that are always an absolute necessity for great Products to get launched in the market…
- Like a user manual of How To Use Your Product
- Like a flawless onboarding journey, where your customer gets enlightened about your Product
- Like quality testing groups, to test the product before deploying to Prod or shipping it away for any defects
And many more, but my point is the must haves should be a comprehensive list of maximum 10 features that you need to share with the development group. So that each one of them are in the same page and absolutely no one should have the power to tamper with them. Not even God !!!
3. Make Some Room For Creativity & Innovation :
Products should always let Engineers be Engineers and not act as business managers thinking about profit but thinking about innovative ways of making the Product a Technology player.
As that’s what great engineers bring to the table, satisfying those non functional requirements of making your Product durable, scalable, always automating, always evolving. To cut off those tedious delivery cycles.
4. An Effective Plan To Handle Errors:
“It Is With Errors You Learn A Lot”
There always needs to be a robust plan to handle bug fixes, quality defects, user errors, cause if you don’t have a plan, your whole team will be in a mess when your Product gets launched. A great support engineering team, is the success to gain that upfront trust of your customers.
Please don’t have your lead engineer tackle those annoying bug fixes as they need to always think about progressing your product not wasting their time and energy on fixing the broken handle or the torn fabric of your Umbrella.
5. Grow Some Empathy :
Lastly, and most importantly after a successful Product launch, or a tiring overnight deployment, make sure to give Engineers the time off or a break that they deserve. Don’t burn them out till the point that they collapse and quit as the world is an ocean filled with great opportunities.
So learn to nail the art of Empathy, it’s by definition the act of being there for your people but not making them realize or burdened about your existence.
Breathe, For there’s too much to take in