Every great product was once just a small idea to resolve a problem that some people had. Whether you are making a completely new product or looking to add a new feature to an existing one, you will run into an instance where the requirements are very simple. It sounds like “how to build an app for doing this, doing that” or “how to increase the revenue by doing X or doing Y”. Just with one sentence, the responsibility of a Product Manager must make a product as if by magic.
So, today, I will write some my experience and share some steps I usually follow when I was in such a situation. Now let’s get started.
Step 1: Narrow down the scope of the product/ question
Usually, the initiatives or early requirements of a product are often very general and ambiguous. Because of that, at this very first step, we need to clearly define the specifics in each aspect of those requirements. Some questions that I use often, such as:
- What is our product?
- Are there any specialized terminologies making us confused?
- What are the platforms that we need to use?
- Only in a particular region or global?
- Is it a standalone product or will be integrated into an already existing solution/marketplace
So, by asking clarifying questions, the shape of the product will gradually become clearer from the previous layer of fog.
Step 2: Define all user groups
In my point of view, I think this term is quite different a little bit from user segments and user persona definitions. At this point, you are going to define all types of users that can play any role in your product. Let me give you an example:
- If your product is about buying or selling something, what types of users will be in over there? Well, in my opinion, there are some roles that I can think of right now: buyers, sellers, who else? It might have experts who will play a role in validating the quality of items.
- Even with each buyer and seller type, we can also separate two more detailed layers: individuals or organizations.
Step 3: Select the target group for each iteration
After analyzing data from step 2, we will often have many different types of users. However, depending on each stage, you need to focus on the corresponding types of users. Going back to the example above, let’s say that the stage that I need to focus on is the launching stage, then the two types of objects that I will focus on are buyers and sellers — and more specifically, the individuals, not organizations.
These are the 2 largest user segment that will be using the app and derive maximum value in the marketplace.
Step 4: Define user pain-points
Thanks to the third step, we can focus on the types of users to analyze. In this next step, we will have to find out the pain-points of these users. Just a side note, we still need to separate the pain-points for each one, not merge them (because each type of user will have different pain-points).
At this stage, feel free to list all the pain-points you think users will experience.
Step 5: Prioritise the user pain-points
Now in this step, we are going to prioritise the user pain-points based on three criteria. They are how they will impact to end user, impact to business value and technical feasibility. This step sounds simple but actually it is the hardest one. I am surely going to have an own article about this.
Step 6: Define solutions
Yeah, after listing down all pain points that you think users want to be resolved most, you are going to find all solutions you can have. And again, when the ideas or solutions come in, let take all of them and don’t miss out on any idea — even the smallest and sounds like the dumbest. But what if you don’t have enough good ideas or worse is no idea at all, how can you have these solutions? Well, don’t worry, I will help you but in another article. Now in this one, assume that you have a couple of great solutions already.
Step 7: Prioritise the solutions
Just like prioritize pain points, you also need to do the same thing for solutions. Depending on how each solution impacts to end user, impacts to business value and technical feasibility, you are going to have the features you need.
Step 8: List down the metrics
No matter what you do, what steps you take, in the end, you are responsible for the success of the product. However, how do you know if it’s a success or a failure? That’s why, at this last step, you need to come up with metrics, metrics to measure. It can be the number of new user registrations, user retention rate or active user rate by day, month, week, etc.
I know that there will be many other “frameworks” out there with more detailed steps, and this is just theories. For each different product type, the impact factors will be different, from there, we will have different approaches to deal with the problem appropriately.
But I believe, the steps that I list out here will not be too far from the actual picture. In fact, I have used these steps quite often when faced with the requirement building something completely new.
Hope it helps you. Please give me some comments in case you find it useful. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends. Happy working!