5 reasons to start and speed up digital product management

Digital Products

One of the main objectives of a well-planned Digital Transformation journey is the creation of Digital Products. Having Digital Products means that some of the core systems of the company can be turned into a product or service. Other partners can benefit from! Or even your data will allow you to create new products that didn’t exist yet. That means new revenue streams, not necessarily aligned with the current business.

Some examples are famous and some of them are pretty new, showing that to create useful Digital Products all you have to have is the will to make a difference:

  • Retail started what we can see now. Then banks came with their apps, home banking, credit cards, insurance simulators and etc. All this Digital Transformation reality got strengthen with them;
  • BTG started in 2014 what nowadays is the SnakeBite911 app. With that people can collaborate and mark where they’ve been attacked the most by snakes. For BTG, they are offering clinical trials and have many other offers to come.
  • Vivino is a social network for wine lovers. A score for each wine and many other details can be added by the user. Vivino has been using the app to offer wine to the huge number of users they got.
  • Companies that sell farming fertilizers are mapping region’s soil, the weather forecast for the year and the next, and many other data. This way they can suggest their clients which fertilizers they should buy and when to buy it;
  • Health: apps who help runners to monitor their evolution, tracking how people feel while they train and suggest shoes, nutrition hints (and products), next events, etc. Also, smart things (like shoes and swimsuits) are already available, tracking a lot of data, and suggesting a lot of products and services to be acquired.

Be the one pushing the change

Some changes happen on how you and your team behave when you change from project to product-centric approach:

Project-centric — Delivery — that’s the mission!

Product-centric — Owning — change everything. The culture will change, the will to be part, motivation, etc etc etc;

Project-centric — Stay on backstage — yeah, IT usually is just the way to reach something, not the something that must be reached;

Product-centric — Stay in the front stage — IT leaders start being at the front stage alongside with business leaders;

Project-centric — Sensation of completion — leading to… nothing. Just more tasks;

Product-centric — Continuous — apply the mindset of improvement, avoiding the team’s sensation that a project who completely satisfies the final client is never delivered;

The 5 reasons

1st — “By 2020, 75% of digital business leaders will have abandoned Project model and adopted product management model” — opening keynote from worldwide flagship IT event in Orlando 2018. Project model is not fast enough. Every time a project ends, the team is disbanded. Then new negotiations for the new cycle of improvements start. But until its end and the new team come, is waste of time and waste of the team’s knowledge.

2nd — “By 2020, organizations that have embraced the product model will outperform the competition that has not, in both customer satisfaction and business results (Gartner)”. Since product-centric is faster, we must adopt it in order to stay ahead of the competition.

3rd — “78% of companies growing the most on American market are using a product-centric delivery (Gartner)”. Nothing to add here.

4th — “A product-oriented company’s IT department depends less on HR interventions, and takes by itself the leadership of culture and self-development initiatives with internal teams (Gartner)”. The first change is more power and influence to IT. But that doesn’t mean the other areas will be weak. It means they will put strength together to make things happen to have both visions: business-led and IT-led. None of them can exist without each other.

5th — Evolve the IT to turn into a hub to attract internal and external ideas, business partners and talent attraction (Gartner).

Having Digital Products in mind, the benefits above are natural, and the reasons to do it are compelling. It’s the fastest way to approach traditional companies to how the unicorns that are changing our economy are.

Recently I attended the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Orlando. Gartner shared some of the insights here (properly mentioned on the links). The rest of them I had while listening to the keynotes.