Following my Growth marketing checklist for FinTech in previous posts, for me personally the most interesting part is a product management, because it is 80% of success on the market.
A lot of things depends on Product Owner but how to know that your Product Owner performs well? Does she/he ask right questions with right customers? If product owner writes a lot does not mean he/she is writing well. Development might be re-writing everything behind the scenes because the requirements are so poor that they cannot be tasked as written. Or how to get a good Product Owner?
Consider some KPIs for Product Owners.
1. Measure communication.
At first, your product managers have to get out talk with people: customers, potential customers, partners, suppliers and regulators to have a solid view of your market. To be involved in the sales, marketing, development and delivery of the products.
The writing requirements and support documentation should not take an entire day.
Objective: know your market & company inside-out, keep your knowledge up to date.
- External communication: number of conversations with customers, potential customers, and industry experts 1/week.
- Internal communication: meet with each department and review priorities 1/month.
2. Value of new ideas
If your product owners research market problems, generate ideas on how to solve them well, they will be able to answer the following questions for an hour, backed with market evidence:
- How does your target market look like?
- What market issues exist in your target market?
- Which issues tremendously affect your target market?
- What is the solution to the problem?
- Is your solution enough valuable to the target market?
- What is cost of your solution to implement?
- Do other companies try to solve the same problems?
- Why is your solution better for the target market than anyone else’s?
Each month find out at least one new idea and present it with the evidence with one senior representative from sales, marketing, legal, finance, development, and product management.
Pitch ideas for 5 minutes, you have to be able to answer all questions for 10 minutes. Otherwise, scrutinise reasons, refine them and try again next month.
For great ideas create a detailed business case that are worth pursuing, collect rejected ideas for review later.
Objective: pinpoint the ideas that form the ground for successful future products.
- Knowledge: Are your ideas clearly and easily reflecting their benefits?
- Perceived value: how many of your ideas are approved for further digging?
3. Roadmap planning & management
For the next 12 months your Product Owners should be able to create an order of development priorities based on their market knowledge and research.
By doing that, you get a long-term destination defined along with the time you expect to arrive there.
Otherwise, it is possible to get there with different routes (flexibility in decision-making). In real life priorities change, thus you need to review your roadmap every month and adjust if necessary.
To change anything in the mid of route, it is needed to make sure there’s a significant set of reasons to do that and it should be written.
The roadmap has to be updated, but it is not necessary build all around it. Important for all sales / marketing / development / senior management / customers / partners know what’s coming up or why things have changed and understand the reasons.
Objective: deliver the right products to market at the right time, in the right order and keep everyone aware what’s in it.
- Communication: update roadmap at least 1/month or whenever when major changes occur in the roadmap.
- Time: compare initial project start and finish dates to what actually happened, including time required for research and writing requirements all the way to release.
- Budget: compare estimated project costs with actual costs.
- Scope: compare initial project scope with what was actually delivered.
4. Requirements. Acceptance Criteria. Customer feedback
Keep User Stories short. Bad requirements are usually too long, there is a lack of important contextual details, and sometime it is from hard-to-impossible to test.
Good requirements usually are concise and Development team does not need to interpret them.
Objective: produce brief, highly useful to the Development and QA, requirements and reflect customer needs.
- Number of User Stories/Requirements that had to be split or re-written by the Development team.
- Number of Acceptance Criteria that had to be re-write by QA.
- Pro vs cons (Customer feedback) on the new feature or function after launch.
5. 🛒📲 New release
Don’t allow someone to screw up the launch.
Make sure, all departments involved in a launch have the information they need, in the form they need, before launch.
Good communication before launch and management of your roadmap are halfway of the good launch.
For consistency, create a checklist of things each department in your company, customers and partners need to know, and when it is needed. Review the checklist at least 1/week.
Think about to kill off older versions of products.
1. If you want to move up customers to the newest version of the product, thus you need to incentivise them to upgrade.
2. Convey End-of-life of your product to your company’s departments, customers, and partners in the right form, at the right time for them to use it effectively.
The excitement and anticipation around the new version and its benefits are great motivators for customers to upgrade.
Objective: rapid uptake of products at launch time by new and existing customers
- Readiness: how prepared were the customers, partners and employees for the release.
- Pipeline: quantity of business anticipations for the new product (prior to launch).
- Effectiveness: real financial performance of the product after release.
- Upgrades: % of existing customers moved to new product version (and timeframe).