Play in the Gray: Implementing a Framework for Solid Payback

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Blogs and News, PMP | 0 comments

iStock_000000213115Medium

Last year, a financial technology (Fintech) company found itself in a quandary. The product management team was stuck using an ad-hoc approach to get new products and enhancements to market. Amidst its nearly 100 product managers, the product leadership team admitted they didn’t know what type of framework process to adopt and use. They asked if I could help. Shortly after, a second, company in a different industry sector asked the same. Naturally, I said yes, and realized that these companies would have to take very different paths to solve the same problem.

The projects caused me to pause and reflect. How do technology companies get off track, and why is it so hard to course correct? At what stage should the company begin to use a more formalized approach to get software from idea to market? What outcomes can leadership expect if they make this investment?

The problem for most software companies is how to maintain the initial speed and agility they needed to survive before success was achieved. Leadership will implement business processes to manage cost, risk and to maintain compliance. These processes usually come at the expense of speed and agility. It is not that processes are inherently slow; learning to coordinate with an emphasis on documentation and reporting saps the agility of a team.

Read More

Passing the Knowledge: Answering the Top 10 Sales Questions about your product

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Blogs and News, PMP | 0 comments

relay13[1]

Passing the Knowledge

By David Shoaf

It isn’t easy for a group of product and marketing to pass their accumulated knowledge to the company’s sales force.  For many, doing so is unfamiliar territory. Why? Because the motivations and perceptions of a successful sales force is orthogonal to product marketing functions.

Let’s take a look at why this is.

Prior to my career as a product manager, I was a quota-carrying, territory-based sales guy in business-to-business accounts. I was on the receiving end of product management training many times. Of course, the product managers are enthusiastic—they need to be, but I didn’t like the training because they weren’t answering the Top 10 Sales Questions.

Most product managers understand their products inside and out; they have deep product knowledge and they’re usually pretty good at translating techie-speak into value propositions. What product managers do not understand is that this knowledge alone is insufficient for motivating the sales rep to get it sold.

Read More