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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!

  • Senior Experience Designer | Makerspad Inc.

    Sr. User Experience Designer Makerspad is looking for a passionate and experienced designer who cares about innovation through design and technology. You are a strong advocate for the best design practices and love learning new skills as well as mentoring others. We are building an innovative customer data platform to help e-Commerce marketers improve their campaign ROI. ​ This role requires significant experience and the ability to shape a new client engagement, provide design leadership and be comfortable guiding a team and working with clients on site. ​ Please direct your resume to with the position you are interested in the subject line. We look forward to hearing from you. Responsibilities Apply your UX knowledge and experience to the development of design processes and philosophy. Create and maintain design schedules. Communicate status and agreements with partner teams. Regularly learn and stay up to date on design theory, practice and tools. Apply as necessary into the organization. Mentor junior designers to support their development and continuous progress. Partner with UX researcher to write, facilitate, and analyze user research to build a strong understanding of users. Conduct usability studies and put together detailed, structured analysis of issues and potential solutions. Plan, facilitate and lead collaborative design sessions (including sketching and ideation) to generate ideas or feedback both remote and in-person. Help define product requirements by collaborative brainstorming and high-level prototyping with cross-functional teams. Experience Excellent problem solving and design skills - ability to understand and interpret user problems within the context of the product/business - and distill findings into actionable design recommendations and solutions. Strong communication & presentation skills (written, oral and visual). Ability to confidently work with cross-functional teams across the globe and to present information to all levels of the organization. Intellectual curiosity – initiative to dig into the who, why, where, what & how. Curiosity about people, their behavior and how they interact with mobile / digital products. Advanced knowledge of software tools & applications for conducting usability testing, creating prototypes and hi fidelity designs and delivering impactful presentations. Experience of working with agile development teams. Inherent interest in eCommerce & marketplace platforms and broadly in the consumer Internet & mobile space. Most importantly, an extremely positive “Can Do” attitude which continuously drives you to take initiative and demonstrate a high degree of self-motivation. Strong team player and leadership skills At least 5 years of experience as a user experience designer, interaction designer, information architect, or similar UX-related role working on consumer mobile products. Bachelor's degree in design, human-computer interaction (HCI) or a related field. Preferably a Master's degree in design. Experience in designing consumer-facing Mobile apps, both for Android and iOS An online portfolio or samples of work demonstrating relevant experience Knowledge of best practices for information architecture and interaction design, user-centered design process, as well as user experience principles and techniques At least two (2) years of experience working in a collaborative team and directly with developers and product managers Communicate and present design work to the user experience team, product team and senior leadership for review and feedback and to drive decisions and get the commitment on final UX deliverables. Effectively sell design solutions to cross-functional teams and stakeholders through design storytelling and by demonstrating traceability in the design thinking. Work with visual designers and engineering teams to ensure the integrity of user experience in the final product.

  • Web Analytics | Makerspad | United States

    Web Analytics Energize your business growth by prioritizing your investment areas with insightful data of your customers Location Analysis Build an accurate picture of your users by gathering geo-location data of your customers. Use this information to prioritize your business growth User Segmentation Categorize users by age, sex, region & preferences to build targeted campaigns to support growth

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