Product Development New Year’s Resolution: Get a Strategy

strategic framework

If you read our past blog posts, you probably gathered that we believe creating a well-defined strategic framework is one of the most important activities in executing your product development system.

This is what we see as consultants when we work with:

…organizations that have well-defined strategies: CLARITY

  • Exude a sense of purpose and clarity
  • Better ideas, since you know your products/categories/competitors/external forces/customers
  • SPEED: Decisions are made rapidly without extensive debate and politicking, because the goals are clear for all members of the team (executive and project team)
  • Alignment between business, innovation and product strategies helps to ensure that the most valuable projects are chosen
  • Optimized resource allocation

…organizations without strategies: CHAOS 

  • Chaos reigns over the entire organization as the various functions try to cope with different agendas
  • Wasted time debating which projects should be pursued
  • Product managers are forced to develop their product line and category strategies in a vacuum, trying to infer the direction of the organization
  • Projects are preempted as new priorities become urgent
  • Resources are not allocated to the most valuable projects, or are wasted on unnecessary or unprofitable projects

How do you realize the New Year’s resolution of implementing a well-defined strategic framework?  It starts with your senior management team.  If they don’t see it as important, it probably won’t work.  We have seen product managers attempt to build their product strategies and roadmaps in a vacuum, and it is generally a wasted effort since priorities change so frequently at the top.

How do you engage senior management?  Work with them to understand the importance of building the business/enterprise, business model and innovation strategies that help inform your product strategies.  Send them our white paper on the strategic framework, or just print it out and highlight the key points within the white paper so they get the hint (you may want to place it on their desk while they’re gone).