Sustainable business success is determined by continually delivering superior value to your targeted end customers directly, through business partners or through channels where your customers purchase. Whether centralized or distributed across the organization, product management is a systemic function that should provide: an in-depth understanding of your target market and competitors; your target customer segmentation; translation of those understandings into the customer required deliverables that deliver the customer’s desired overall experience with your company; and enables your business to consistently and continually execute on those deliverables across the product lifecycle. At the same time, the product management function also needs to concurrently and continually update the “long view” of your target markets and competitors’ evolution. To accomplish this, the product management function typically splits into two areas of focus: current execution and a future planning (long view) effort. The current execution portion focuses on the current product’s or service’s lifecycle from detailed definition and development to obsolescence in relation to your overall portfolio of products and/or services. The long view enables business planning, future strategy planning, identification of potential market and solution opportunities, and identification of required capabilities of your organization to evolve the business for sustained success in delivering next generation products or services. Sub-optimal business results typically reflect a breakdown of the product management function. These breakdowns can include: missed market or competitor opportunities or evolution; lack of common or complete customer understanding; lack of synchronized execution due to incomplete or missing communication flows; conflicting goals or metrics across the organization; mismatched accountability and control within and across the organization; unanticipated shortfalls in functional capabilities and/or conflicting processes and policies. The Product Management Innovation service focuses on collaborative identification and improvement of systemic and function-specific suboptimal business result root cause(s) impacting your current and future total customer experience.
The Product Management Innovation service focuses on the function of systemic product management. Note that “function” does not necessarily relate to a particular job title or organizational structure. Instead, the term “function” denotes the processes, policies and metrics that define and generate your organization’s deliverables to customers and associated internal actions that determine your customers’ current and future experience with your company. Almost all solution-producing businesses have 6 core vertical functions (Business Planning, Product Generation, Demand Generation, Order Capture, Order Fulfillment and Customer Satisfaction) that directly impact delivering a successful customer experience and associated revenues. The Business Planning function obviously focuses on the long term view while the remaining 5 functions are all about your revenue engine. The product management function spans across these vertical functions to provide long term and solution specific market, customer and competitor perspectives, and specific solution requirements and actions by function across the solution lifecycle to enable sustained success by your business. The Product Management Innovation service philosophy is driven by thinking “outside in” to provide a customer-centric mindset and then utilizes a hybrid Six Sigma approach for collaborative engagement, scaling the depth and breadth of the process below appropriately to the service option chosen.
Discovery – this phase focuses on establishing the context of the engagement and can include: your business’ goals and aspirations regarding the engagement; the current state of the customer experience with your company; current state of your business and how your key contributors/ management team view the current situation; what are the critical communications flows, metrics, processes, and policies affecting the current situation. Design – this phase includes: initial identification of the suspected problem(s) or challenge(s) impacting the delivery of your customer’s desired experience; definition of the desired future state goals. Measure – the measure phase is intended to provide validation of the problem(s)/challenge(s); collaborate on any refinements to the initial problem/challenge identification and desired goals. Analyze – this phase delves deeper into the problem/challenge focusing on collaborative identification of root causes. Improve – the improve phase focuses on collaboratively identifying and implementing key improvements to remove root causes and can include design, implementation of, or changes to: processes, policies, metrics, communications flows, structure and/or training. Control – this phase focuses on the effects of the key improvements and that they are producing the desired results vis-à-vis the engagement goals through collaborative monitoring and measuring the success of the improvements and potentially adjusting or modifying as necessary.
At the end of this process your team should be comfortable in that they actively participated in the effort as desired and appropriate, understand how the root causes and potential improvements were collaboratively generated, and feel pride of ownership in the results.
Companies can elect whether they just require Appleton Greene for advice and support with the Bronze Client Service, for research and performance analysis with the Silver Client Service, for facilitating departmental workshops with the Gold Client Service, or for complete process planning, development, implementation, management and review, with the Platinum Client Service. Ultimately, there is a service to suit every situation and every budget and clients can elect to either upgrade or downgrade from one service to another as and when required, providing complete flexibility in order to ensure that the right level of support is available over a sustainable period of time, enabling the organization to compensate for any prescriptive or emergent changes relating to: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Information Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing; or Production.
Businesses must see their investments of time, money, and effort in existing, emerging, or newly viable customer-driven solutions overcome the risks and challenges to deliver sustained success and return significant financial reward. Ultimately sustained success is determined by the total customer experience across your solution’s customer lifecycle, not just “what’s in the box”, and is the result of your entire organization working in synchronization to deliver that superior total customer experience; i.e. through a deep understanding of customer requirements and desires, your organization delivers a best-in-class customer experience from initial awareness, through learning and use, and ultimately upgrade or replacement. The Product Management Innovation service delivers systemic design and improvement based on senior executive experience, cross-functional strategic and tactical product/product portfolio management knowledge, and a range of tools, skills and practical experience insights for companies or company business units that want to be market leaders with their existing product or service portfolio and/or create new categories of market-leading products and/or services. Our mission is to collaboratively work with your organization to enable successful delivery of profitable superior customer experience across the solution lifecycle by providing unbiased, experienced-based, and systemic product management expertise addressing processes, policies, systemic customer-driven metrics and business structure through advising and support, analysis, assessment and improvement, tools and training, as well as project oriented services.