In this weeks Product Warrior podcast titled “Adopting a product” we speak with Janna Bastow co founder of ProdPad. As always a big thank you to Mind The Product and KnowIt for supporting us. Managing a product that has a bunch of customers is not easy, there will be constraints, tech debt and a messy backlog of features with stakeholder expectations. Janna shares her advice on how to navigate these challenges and continue to innovate.
A product with existing customers introduces advanced users and new users. These different cohorts have different expectations and experimenting with ideas needs to respect their varied needs.
Changing an established product introduces fear of upsetting the user base and impacting numbers negatively. If you couple this with the vast amount of available data you might get caught up by some of these bad habits:
- Stalling making decisions until perfect data is found
- Making decisions based on unclean data or not enough data
- Shock when your data points you in the wrong decision
- Over focus on tactics and forget strategy
Keeping the strategic focus and avoiding becoming a feature factory needs constant alignment with the company vision. The MVP must not become the next big release. It is as important as ever to encourage small experiments that test the strategic direction.
The roadmap is key to supporting innovation and recognising the investment being made to support different personas and strategic bets. Does your roadmap look like a gantt chart? Or does it follow a template to encourage lean thinking like that used in ProdPad, with Now, Next and Future groupings of experimentation?
Listen to the Podcast to hear Janna explain the detail. Don’t forget to subscribe the next episode is a story from Brand Watch told by senior product manager Mark Rogers.