Friday, July 25, 2014

Building a Product

I have been involved in the building of Products in the past and in present, but more from the angle of a technical executor. However this role has provided me an opportunity to work closely with Product owners and Product managers.
I think any product building and managing process has to be looked from four different perspectives. Each perspective has to work in tandem with each other for the success. The perspectives are as follows: 

Functional perspective

This is where the classical product management function sits. Also can be loosely termed as domain expertise, though it is more than domain expertise. Domain expertise is a must to develop a functional perspective, but more than that it requires a strong vision about the future of how things are going to evolve. For example, take the example of a movie. The genre of the movie, or the basic idea is what makes the functional perspective. In the case of software, it's about nailing down the requirements and use cases to last bit. What we are trying to make and for whom we are trying to make?

Structural perspective

The structural perspective is more about the actual building blocks of the element. It's the mechanics, the engineering behind it. I think it's very important to have a strong structural perspective of how the things will be going to be. In a movie making process, the structural perspective is the script, the screen play, the cast and in Hindi movies the songs. In Software, it's about technology choices. Open source vs proprietary. Which platform. To be on cloud or behind firewall. It involves your deployment scenarios and the ecosystem in which the software piece is going to sit and work.

Process of building perspective

This is the place where everything starts falling in place. It's where the things start taking shape. It's about choosing locations, arranging junior artist, making sure that the actress mother is kept happy at shooting locations. In software building this is about processes including development, QA. The process of alphas and betas. Make sure you have the right tools and people in place to do Software development. Nothing can replace good execution.

Financial perspective

Many times in the process of product building, this is which gets missed most often. This is true when movie is being made or the software products are being made. The financial perspective here is not so much about cost control, but about whether we can sell the things at the end. This is where finally things make or break.

The corollary is if you cannot sell it don't even think of making it. 

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