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  • How inefficiency is hurting product organizations

    Before we get started, it is essential that we clear the age old debate on efficiency and productivity. Business leaders often think of "efficiency" and "productivity" as synonyms, two sides of the same coin. When it comes to strategy, however, efficiency and productivity are very different. At a time when so many companies are starved for growth, senior leaders must bring a productivity mindset to their business and remove organizational obstacles to workforce productivity. Efficiency is about doing the same with less. Companies most often improve labor efficiency by finding ways to reduce the number of labor hours required to produce the same level of output. Productivity, on the other hand, is about doing more with the same. Growth in labor productivity is measured by the change in output per labor hour over a defined period of time. For an organization, it is directly tied to performance. For most of the last three decades, senior executives have been encouraged to take an efficiency mindset to their business. In effect, identifying labor hours (or materials) that are unnecessary in order to produce the same level of output. In the absence of growth, efficiency gains are most often monetized through workforce reductions. Starting with the quarter ending March 31, 2015, however, S&P 500 earnings began falling, and earnings growth has remained negative ever since. Without top-line growth, continuing to wring out greater profits through efficiency has become the managerial equivalent of attempting to squeeze blood from a stone. If efficiency is no longer the secret to superior performance, what about productivity? With that debate aside, let's take a look at how Product and Marketing teams are impacted by this impulsive thinking focused on "efficiency" Product management and marketing functions have often become isolated disciplines, focused on delivering yearly roadmap of milestones and events. Let's take a look at these detractors in detail Build Product teams often focus on ’Build and Deliver’ attitudes to align closely to a year-long roadmap, that was developed 6 - 12 months ago. Having a plan and an aligned direction for your team is useful however the problem is that with rigid, fully committed plans to your stakeholders and customers, there is little room left for adaptability and capitalizing on new, better, and more valuable emergent opportunities. Product teams must instead focus on establishing feedback cycles during product development, where you can Build – Measure – Learn. Each work item you undertake must have a benefit hypothesis, whether it is an epic, a feature or a user story. At the end of each cycle, allocate time to 'Measure' and 'Learn' – look at your Active Usage, Flow metrics, Throughput, Flow Time / Cycle Time, Work in Progress, Predictability and other Product Metrics – Leading indicators to determine, have you moved closer to your Product Goals and delivered business value. Yearly Budgeting To be adaptable, your core product use cases must be designed in adaptability as well. Why do we have yearly budgeting? Traditional budgeting is in most companies is still project based and projects need to be fully scoped out into lengthy Market Requirements Document and Product Requirements Documents with fictitious and non-attainable metrics. Unfortunately, the world of software is inherently complex and most of these estimates never deliver the value it was intended to. Any business metrics developed without understanding how customers are using your product, are a complete waste of time. What we need is a more agile, adaptable budgeting which forecasts intended outcomes but releases funds only on indicators of progress. Business Systems Companies today are burdened by siloed, difficult-to-use business systems that complicate processes and hamper operations. According to market research firm IDC, companies lose 20 to 30 percent in revenue every year due to inefficiencies. And yet, many companies continue to “make do” with their current applications and systems even though those may not be the right solutions. Unfortunately, companies will often repurpose one of these systems for a task which has a plausible functionality for the project Silos Regardless of what industry you are in, or the type of customers you serve, the challenge of managing process flow and operations across diverse platforms and systems is universal. Combining tedious manual tasks with the reliance that company departments have on a smooth daily workflow makes it virtually impossible to maintain any kind of competitive advantage. There have been studies done on the effect siloing has on productivity within certain industries. And the general conclusion has been that silos eat up a huge amount of resources, particularly in terms of interdepartmental cohesiveness. Poor Systems Integration The growth of automation has led to more systems and solutions being in place than ever before, each requiring a set of processes to enable its successful use. According to an IDC survey, The Document Disconnect, over 80 percent of business leaders surveyed from sales, HR, procurement and other departments agreed that problems “arise because they have different internal systems/applications that don’t ‘talk’ to each other," while 43 percent of workers surveyed said they often have to copy/paste or rekey in information. Bottlenecks Just because a process has been executed one way for a long time doesn’t necessarily make it the best option. Often, companies will overlook sources of process slowdowns because of their lack of visibility and inability to understand the impact of a bottleneck. These bottlenecks are sometimes the result of not adapting to new technologies -- or “gatekeepers” demanding control over a specific phase of a process. Lack of Insights Even when companies have the right business intelligence information available, it may be inaccessible or erroneously reported due to a lack of real-time data. Leaders who don’t have the most relevant insights at their fingertips are less likely to make smart choices. Loss of operational performance Without a complete understanding of all components of their business, executives lose the ability to identify critical weaknesses and plan for predictable growth. Simply put, they cannot remain reactive to operational vulnerabilities or mitigate the complexities of running a business in a global economy. Ultimately, a lack of process visibility leads to the assumption of greater risk, a loss of stakeholder trust and less positive growth. Summary Product and Marketing organizations are core to product success. Cloud and SaaS is redefining how software needs to be made. To cut down bottlenecks and promote common basis of understanding, It is essential that product teams rely on product intelligence platforms that centralize product performance data which can act as a source of truth for Product Management, Engineering and Cloud Operations teams. Siloed offerings focused on solving part of the problem will only lead to control issues and add to inefficiencies.

  • State of Product Organizations

    "Product Management is an art, more than science" - a popular meme. These are a class of product managers who have built their career based on hard knocks and personal experiences. This class of professionals, strongly believed that there is only one way to build good products, that is through hard fought battles. Great ideology, nothing wrong, but can we keep up with the pace of innovation! Only traditional and on-premise software will rule the world; Completed transactions are only true measure of user engagement; Perpetual licensing is a thing of future - As absurd as these ideologies sound, this thinking ruled the software industry. With the advent of Cloud and SaaS, every existing ideology that governed the software industry was put to test. Consumerization of Software, Customer Obsession, Continuous improvement and Rapid prototyping have given birth to personalized user experiences, user centered design, CI / CD and more importantly impeccable user experiences. Product Managers are adopting a wide variety of tools hoping to meet this goal. Surveys, Product feedback sessions, Star rating systems did what they were supposed to do, but could never capture the true emotion how a user feels when interacting with your application. To complicate this even further, organization culture can make it hard to align with common goals. Perceived difference between Product Management, Engineering, Sales and Customer Support of how the product is used makes it harder for product managers to prioritize features for future release. To keep up with competition and adopt to customer compulsions and needs, product organizations need sophisticated systems that not only help them draw accurate picture of current usage but also proactively measure usage in the future.

  • Modern Product Manager

    When Ben Horowitz wrote the article on Good Product Manager / Bad Product Manager, the idea that Product Managers are CEO's of their product, felt very divisive and taxing, then. Two decades later, every single word from that article is relevant today. As someone who has spent 18+ years in enterprise software industry, managing global portfolio of products and solutions, can certainly attest to this. Perception of Product Management function is changing rapidly and is increasingly becoming complex. The idea of how to manage only traditional, on-premise software no longer exists. Modern product management principles are redefining how products are built. With Cloud and SaaS products influencing software consumption, customer obsession has become central to every product management decision. And, so is the need to track customer behaviors and interactions. As Evan Michner at Atlassian pointed out, the nature of SaaS implies that your customer is constantly re-evaluating your product — weekly, monthly, or yearly. Switching has become easier. And for a PM, differentiation becomes more critical. It’s a reminder to go back to the basics of ensuring we’re solving the right problems to create products that customers love. "The nature of SaaS implies that your customer is constantly re-evaluating your product and switching has become easier" - Evan Michner, Atlassian With the arrival of the cloud, the scope of product management has increased enormously. Traditionally, product management responsibilities used to end once the code moved out of QA. However, with the arrival of the cloud, product managers are now required to manage product related activities until production deployment and beyond. This requires product managers to coordinate with newer teams such as DevOps and operations. Case for self-sufficient product managers Modern uses of data at scale can reduce costs, increase revenue or enable new breakthroughs, but did you ever wonder that this same data can be used to transform product management function? This trend has been shaping product thinking and even influenced paved the way for new kind of product managers. Very soon, data science will be a key skill for every product manager. "Product success depends on acting within data-driven framework" The need for product management functions backed by data science and growing product managers influence circle, is the foundation for modern product management systems. It is time for the birth of modern Product Management systems that offer comprehensive end-to-end view of the product performance. Makerspad is built on this same principle and we are fusing our years of industry experience and cloud-native technologies to meet this goal.

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  • Artificial Intelligence | Makerspad | United States

    Top of Page Features Why Us Subscribe Performance Analytics Cloud Increase sales with our e-commerce analytics solution Features BEHAVIOR ANALYTICS Read More > PERFORMANCE ANALYTICS Read More > CAMPAIGN ANALYTICS Read More > WEB ANALYTICS Read More > CODE ANALYTICS Read More > Benefits IMPROVE USER ENGAGEMENT Capture, analyze and visualize to determine stickiness based on user visits, journey and usage Subscribe Join Thanks for submitting!

  • Fullstack Developer | Makerspad Inc.

    Sr. PHP Developer Makerspad is looking for a fullstack developer who has experience building cloud based solutions utilizing opensource technology stack that will offer a sustainable advantage both short and long term. ​ Please direct your resume to info@makerspad.ai with the position you are interested in the subject line. We look forward to hearing from you. Responsibilities Requirement gathering from Product team. detailed, structured analysis of issues and potential solutions. Work with development teams and product managers to ideate software solutions Design client-side and server-side architecture Build the front-end of applications through appealing visual design Design & Develop high-volume, low-latency applications for critical systems and delivering high-availability and performance Optimize applications for maximum speed Write effective APIs Develop and manage well-functioning databases and applications Test software to ensure responsiveness and efficiency Experience 3 - 6 years’ experience Minimum 2 years of experience in Product Development Proven work experience as a Full Stack developer Hands on experience on any of MVC framework. Skill for writing reusable Java libraries Good understanding of RDBMS and experience with SQL Hands on experience with markup languages Experience with JavaScript, CSS, jQuery, Bootstrap, AngularJS Understanding of layout aesthetics An ability to perform well in a fast-paced environment Excellent Problem Solving & Analytical skills Willing to learn new technologies. Experience with Linux environment Knowledge on asynchronous programming.

  • Careers | Makerspad | United States

    COME JOIN OUR WINNING TEAM Openings Sr. User Experience Designer Senior PHP Developer Makerspad is the cloud-based product intelligence platform designed for Product Managers. Makerspad helps Product Managers deliver flawless user experience across web, mobile and wearables by analyzing user behaviors and identifying root causes and business impacts. With features such as behavior analytics, pattern recognition, anomaly detection, correlation analysis and predictive forecasting, Makerspad connects a user behavior data with code-level trace and infrastructure metrics to exactly pinpoint the issue, thus ensuring flawless experience both pre and post product launch. As we onboard this mission, we are looking to hire passionate team members who are willing to join us in meeting the goals. Please check the openings below.

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