Bad product teams outsource customer understanding. They rely on second-hand feedback and see “The Business” as a proxy for customers, gathering requirements through antiquated methods like MRDs. They rely upon analysts to answer every question regarding user behavior, which delays decisions by days or even weeks of time. PMs will then ask for more dashboards, but whenever they need to explain why a metric changed they say they’ll “get back to that next meeting” (and they never do).
Good product teams are customer obsessed. They interact with their customers directly to get first hand feedback. They bring the voice of the user right into the heart of decision-making at every stage of the process. They ensure that everyone in product development — PM, Design and Engineering — are experts on the customer.