Digital Products are for all companies
Global and local economies are digitising. This is forcing some companies play catchup or die, whilst others proactively seize opportunities and thrive. Digital products are not easy to launch and sustain: multiple disciplines must work together to create customer value. However, processes break down, products are delayed, or fail to deliver customer satisfcation.
Digital products fall broadly into two categories. The first are the purely digital products like LinkedIn, virus scanners, or computer games: they are not related to a physical product. The second category are traditional products or services that are wrapped into 'digital experiences' such as mobile apps or websites that complement existing products. Examples are mobile apps to control home security, cars, or interactions with government services.
The central challenge of digital product management is no standard, holistic, cross-domain method exist to pull disciplines together around common, external needs (usually the customer). Initiatives to improve this require expensive 'transformations'. Teams of consultants help navigate through the 'digital forest' - building a path as they go. Often, the path built is itself not digitised or data-driven. Value streams are not setup and tools are not integrated to value streams - preventing the operationand capabilities from being measured. What's needed is a holistic, fast track highway to mature digital product management; streamlining strategy, competitor management, customers need, , user centred design, software design and build, and product support and improvement.Digital Product Maturity can be measured using the Capability Maturity Model. Most organisations are at level 2.
- Chaotic & Ad-Hoc. No processes exist, individuals heroics get things done.
- Repeatable.Process are documented but no officially standardised.
- Defined. Processes are agreed on and standardised. Basic metrics exist.
- Measured. Processes are quantitatively managed.
- Improving. Continuous process improvement is engrained into the operating model.
Using better tools, value streams, and off the shelf processes, our goal is to fast track you to level 4 Product Management where processes are well defined and span disciplines, capturing end to end data. An integrated toolset guides complex processes, and captures all key data across disciplines, giving clarity, transparency, and product and portfolio level reporting. The Prodigise method implemented in the Prodiggi platform and tools provides a new highway through ad-hoc forest paths.
The Prodigise MethodBy Justin Hume, Founder of Prodigise
The Prodigise method was created primarily to make product management easier and cheaper for a wide audience of business and technology people. It addresses not just planning, design, and building products, but also the on-going, multi-year operation and improvement of products. To do this, the method needed unify key disciplines (knowledge domains) required for a successful product, and then, create standardised processes and clarity on what data those processes need. From the outset, our goal has been to digitise a holistic method into a holistic platform and toolset. The platform would digitise processes within a domain, and processes across domains, and help guide users through those processes. The platform would also need to include core tools that solve old problems in new ways, such as visual, traceable journey management, or holistic product reporting, or fully automated prioritisation.
The disciplines unified by Prodigise method are below.
A product is a business. It should have a defined vision and goals, a business model, an evolving problem statement and value proposition, as well as clear understanding of market segments and customers withing those segments, and an idea of what "killer features" the product will have. In addition, market forces such as shifting competitors and regulatory forces need consideration as this affect priorities, ie how the product and it's features or improvements are taken to market. Finally, revenue generating products should have a monetisation strategy to break down product offerings, and forecast revenues.
Information captured by this discipline directly drives and impacts many processes in other disciplines. By integrating with processes and data from other disciplines, strategy can be measured against the operations that implement the strategy.
Market & Grow
Whilst the other domains focus on defining or creating customer value, this domain exists to describe that value in a tailored and attractive to each market segment the product is targeted towards. As such, the messaging and collateral (value engineering) needs to be linked to these other domains via a defined and commonly understood 'value framework'. Growing the product across diverse segments requires a "Go To Market" (GTM) plan that defines activities within and across segments including what message, value propositions, and product collateral (advertising) are delivered into teach segment.
Customer Value Creation
Products are only used if they create some sort of value for their users. This value is realised through products features that resolve user pains or user gains. This domain focuses on defining users and their experience (good or bad) and creating user value through mocking up, designing and validating features.
Often it is not possible to deliver all the value at once, so a roadmap of prioritised features defines the order in which value is delivered. A common challenge is the prioritisation of value, which can be complex and subject to diverse factors. It is easy for large organisations to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on prioritisation. As such, our method, and the Prodiggi platform has implemented several approaches help automate priority and also generate feature roadmaps.
Software Engineering - Design
Imagine building a house without a plan. Whilst this may be acceptable for small "huts" or the most simple software, once a degree of complexity is reached some degree of design must be done to avoid misunderstandings and the resultant, costly rework. The Prodigise method aims to simplify this step as much as possible, making it easier to create a design you understand, and track and manage with whomever helps you build out your designs. This includes technology agnostic screen designs and "backend" designs for data structures and software components (building blocks).
To help simplify these technical tasks, we have a novel approach and set of tools to automatically generate roadmap based designs (iterative and version controlled) which help you visually identify and manage tasks, dependencies, quality, and functional completeness of your designs.
Software Engineering - Delivery
Delivering the roadmap. The roadmap identifies the major versions, or iterations of a product. This discipline is focused managing the delivery of a version. This includes setup, configuration or integration to ticket management systems (e.g. Jira), and reporting on progress and defects. Also included is automation of testing and deployment (CICD).
Engage & Support
The goal of any digital product should be to take a minimum viable product to market then measure response and improve the product based on that response. This requires both a well prepared customer and tech support teams, and product analytics to capture bugs, user requests, and user behaviour. Users also need sufficient product collateral such as user guides, FAQs, etc., to get answers quicker: this also helps keep a smaller support team.
Critical data is capturing by this domain which is fed back into refining or creating new user value, updated problem statements and value propositions, revised marketing plans, and more.
Bringing Disciplines Together
A good product management capability is made up of different disciplines that work together. These disciplines should ideally be in the same team, however this is not always a viable option. As such, the Prodigise method has been implemented into a single digital platform (Prodiggi) to reduce the gaps and rework between teams. Prodiggi is fundamentally a set of digitised, orchestrated product management processes.
Processes & Value Streams
The Prodigise method defines one "process domain" for each discipline. The key tasks in each domain are defined as processes with steps (tasks), information needs, and roles/people. These processes together form a value stream that underpins the entire product lifecycle. The Prodiggi platform then digitises and manages this value stream, and provides "pathways" to step through the complexities of digital offerings.
Our processes fit together to create a value stream. To allow for well planned, scientific like improvements, value streams should be transparent, traceable, and measurable. Because our processes have been defined, including their information needs (creating a central, standarised data model), it's easy to measure and reporte on this data. Prodiggi's modules, tools and reports are specifically designed to streamline and integrate these data flows, and to provide an unprecedented level of holistic reporting across all disciplines and processes.
Many products exist to address the challenges of each of the domains described above, however, they are not holistically integrated. Tool A might integrate to Tool B, but Tool B doesn't integrate with C, and so on. Furthermore, for tasks such as feature roadmapping, or backlog prioritisation to be very effective, upstream data from other disciplines is required, but is not available. This creates gaps in processes and reporting, and fragments product operations. Recognising this, we have built a set of core tools that work around a central platform, Prodiggi. Some of the tools are available in a standalone version for companies that don't wish to use the full platform.
The Prodiggi platform is designed as a holistic Digital Product Management (DPM) platform. It provides easy to follow "Pathways" through multi-disciplinary processes, tracking progress, capturing data, offering reports, and a set of tools to make things easier and cheaper for a more diverse group on non-technical or semi-technical users. Where assistance is needed, the platform supports real-time advisors who can come an help you for an hour or two with tasks you need help with - this avoids the need to engage expensive technologists on a long term basis.
If you read this far, and are still interested, please contact us to learn more about our products and services.