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Successful Product Delivery by the Greater Product Team

A technology company is usually a complex machine, much like the technology it builds. Each component needs to do the one thing it is there for, and as a whole they must work in synergy.

The Product is responsible for Product deliveries, Marketing delivers the right message to the market, and Sales are responsible for delivering dollars to the company bank account. Straightforward tasks for each group, yet some magic is required to make them all dance nicely to the same tune...

Scope - Time - Quality

From Product perspective, a successful delivery is for the right scope, on time, and of good quality. Sounds simple enough, yet very complex to achieve, and you all know the routine - pushing to excel in one of them, usually creates a negative effect on the others...

With some good (and bad) Product Delivery in my bag, I can point out 3 main complexities that can cause a potential miss out. Some efforts involve just one, and some involve more. Obviously the more complexities involved, the more risk to deliver the product successfully.

  1. Technical Complexity - Will be driven by new or sophisticated technology, complex integration, a lot of 'moving parts', and other reasons. Some products actually are "rocket science".

  2. Project Complexity - Will be driven by trying to sync many working hands, challenging outsourcing management, unreasonable goals, unqualified or lack of resources, and more.

  3. Market Complexity - This is probably the less common of the three, but the one with the most destructive consequences. Will be driven for example by introducing a new/disruptive product to the market, unique market needs or customers' pain-points, trying to address multiple markets or use-cases with a single solution, etc.

The Greater Product Team

Initial and on-going designing and planning is the basis for successful delivery, and all 3 complexities and their potential effects should be considered while doing it. This is the responsibility of the 'Greater Product Team', as I call it.

I am a true believer and supporter of the 'Greater Product Team', its existence, validity and accountability - as a real org-chart team or as an autonomous virtual one.

The 'Greater Product Team' are all the people sharing the same goal of delivering the specific Product's scope, on time and with good quality. As said, they might be from different organic teams, but they sure share the same task every morning when they come to work. They are the Product Manager, UI/UX Designer, the System Architect, Developers, QA engineers, Project Manager, Technical Writer and others, whomever they are.

This group of people is by itself like a mini company - many parts working in synergy for a single purpose, Successful Product Delivery. They should identify the complexity matrix, each individual contributes from their set of skills, and monitor it carefully as they moves forward, because changes will happen.

The Inevitable Change

Technology changes and can affect long term Product developments (see Flash gradually pushed away from the web, for example), the market changes suddenly or gradually (I remember the first iPhone introduced on 2007, changing the mobile world and customers' requirements pretty much over night...) and obviously the project itself changes much more dynamically (with people leaving, changing positions, etc.).

Only as a unified unit, fully accountable for the same goal, the 'Greater Product Team' can face these changes and achieve a Successful Product Delivery.

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