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Plotting Market Success Through a Killer Product Strategy Framework

By Jasjit SinghGlobal Product Director, Quick Commerce, Delivery Hero

In the realm of achieving market success, the pivotal question emerges: which customer problems should you prioritize? The correlation between understanding these core issues and carving a path to triumph is undeniable. But how does one discern these key conundrums? How does one adeptly structure the process of validation, ensuring an unwavering focus on the customer conundrums that hold paramount importance? This is the crux of the matter, a strategy that can unravel the gates to triumph.

This blog delves into the insights shared by Jasjit Singh – Global Product Director, Quick Commerce, Delivery Hero on each of these elements. Here we will peel back the layers to create a framework that not only resonates but also equips you to seamlessly integrate these principles into your daily professional undertakings. Further unraveling the tapestry of market success and weaving it into the very fabric of your organizational endeavors.

Key Takeaways:

  • A killer product strategy framework revolves around the idea of effective prioritization.
  • Here we will delve into the importance of problem/opportunity assessment in bringing impact.
  • Further uncovering the ways to transform the organization into a product-led culture.
In this article
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    Why Do We Need a Product Manager?

    When faced with an abundant array of resources and an endless array of predicaments, the necessity for a product manager becomes less pronounced. In such a scenario, problems emerge and are promptly addressed without the need for prioritization. The catch, however, lies in the stark reality of finite resources in the tangible world. The ceaseless resources persist as a classic illustration of the supply-demand dynamic. Navigating this intricate supply-demand conundrum necessitates a strategic approach—deliberate prioritization is imperative. 

    The challenge at hand is to discern the optimal problems to tackle, those that promise maximum impact. These are the enigmas that hold the potential to alleviate significant customer pain points or pave the way for truly delightful experiences. Yet, a critical query arises: 

    How does one validate these choices? 

    This is the key crux of the matter, attempting to address every issue under the sun while grappling with the constraints of limited resources.

    What Are the Key Ingredients You Should Incorporate in a Great Product?

    As the pieces of the puzzle converge, questions arise including 

    What are the different elements that coalesce into a comprehensive strategy? 

    How does one seamlessly weave these diverse facets together into a cohesive whole?

    Central to this endeavor is the profound understanding of the customer, an intricate exploration into who they are and the pain points they grapple with. Delving deeper, the pivotal query emerges, how does the customer perceive these challenges? The journey continues with the pursuit of the most impactful quandary, followed by the artful dance of solution discovery and experiment design.

    How Do Product Managers Navigate the Terrain of Decision-making?

    The four major strategies that stood out after a survey of several industry practices, and a quest to uncover the most effective strategies for prioritization, include: 

    1. The Blue Ocean Strategy:

    An embodiment of uniqueness, this approach centers on identifying the customer’s pain points, differentiating one’s offerings, and delivering distinctive value. Aptly christened the Blue Ocean strategy, it casts a spotlight on carving a niche that sets a product apart.

    2. Portfolio Thinking: 

    A shift from focusing solely on inputs, this methodology directs attention toward outputs. Maximizing returns while minimizing market entry costs and risk becomes the fulcrum of decision-making.

    3. OKRs (Objectives and Key Results): 

    A paradigm that seamlessly bridges the gap between new and familiar, OKRs channel efforts towards defined objectives mapped to specific key results. This approach cascades from a broader product vision down to granular objectives, with teams interwoven by shared OKRs, ensuring coordinated pursuit.

    4. Visualize success through Blogging: 

    A uniquely innovative approach involves envisaging success and translating it into a tangible narrative through blogging. This practice serves as a compass, steering teams toward the envisioned impact, fostering alignment, and promoting a cohesive understanding among stakeholders.

    The bigger picture becomes very significant and allows one to subsequently delve into the intricacies of the components and the encountered situations. Additionally, ensuring the alignment of all relevant parties becomes a crucial aspect. At times, a fusion of these approaches is employed, while in other instances, emphasis is placed on a singular strategy. Yet, when examining the overarching concept being conveyed, it revolves around comprehending issues of discomfort. It pertains to optimizing gains and arranging the predicament in a manner that delineates distinct objectives and a lucid framework to pursue. The ensuing step involves ensuring that both the individual and the associated stakeholders possess an understanding of the predicaments being tackled.

    How Can These Foundational Principles Be Applied to Product Development?

    The fundamental principles can be applied to product development in three major ways, including:

    1. Problem/Opportunity Assessment:

    What are the primary inquiries to consider? Instead of elaborate tables and ostentatious displays that might not substantially contribute to a product manager’s effectiveness, the approach here revolves around a structured framework built on queries. A product manager’s most valuable tool is a well-framed question. Can they formulate pertinent questions at the appropriate juncture, enabling them to cross-reference, comprehend, and perceive their surroundings? This is where the relevance of problem and opportunity assessment comes into play. At this stage, the core issues encompass:

    what problems are we trying to solve? 

    How big is this problem? 

    How unique is this problem?

    What will be the impact? 

    Upon identifying these key problems and gauging their magnitude, the subsequent step involves validation through a return to research and data analysis. This entails deciphering the ‘what’ through data and the ‘why’ through research, and then harmonizing diverse sources of information, such as market insights, and primary and secondary research, to ascertain the prioritization and sequence for addressing these problems. Often, product managers exhibit a predisposition towards devising solutions prematurely. This tendency is universal. Even in their own introspection, the instinct might be to instantly ponder potential solutions, rather than taking a moment to grasp the essence of the underlying problem.

    2. Discovery solutions:

    At this juncture, the focus shifts to delineating the problem space comprehensively. The various facets of the identified issue have been grasped. Now, the endeavor involves correlating this predicament with potential avenues for resolution. Central to this stage is pivotal queries including:

    What are the best ways to solve the problem? 

    How do we know that this indeed solves the problem? 

    This phase revolves around a process of validation. It entails generating an array of solution variants and subsequently subjecting these alternatives to rigorous validation against the backdrop of the identified problem and opportunity. The objective is to determine whether the proposed solutions align effectively with the problem in question. This stage also involves contemplating whether the known solutions suffice or if experimental approaches should be explored. In essence, this phase represents the exploration and discovery of solutions that stand poised to effectively rectify the identified problem.

    3. Learn Experiment Design:

    The final phase entails transitioning from the realm of problem analysis to that of solution variants, where validated resolutions emerge. This progression establishes a robust framework for progressing from conceptualization to concrete implementation. Within this sphere, attention shifts toward devising strategic experiments and orchestrating well-calibrated rollouts, all aimed at maximizing return on investment. Key considerations within this context encompass:

    How do we know if this will work? 

    Is the team aligned? What does it take to roll this out?

    Furthermore, the aspect of collaborative creation assumes significance, necessitating the harmonization of diverse stakeholders’ inputs. The approach involves venturing into the realms of design and usability testing to validate and enhance the user experience. It also extends to engaging with various teams, such as business and sales, to glean insights from their on-ground knowledge, which can be seamlessly integrated into the operational flow.

    In essence, all three phases encapsulate the strategic process of pinpointing the pertinent problem, formulating solutions that aptly address it, and orchestrating a coherent market entry that resonates effectively.

    What to Do When?

    The critical juncture lies in identifying the points of greatest exertion to bring a product concept to fruition. Whether it is during the ideation and hypothesis formation phase, the actual building process, or the iterative refinement phase.

    Prior to the hypothesis stage, user stories, documentation, and validation, primarily reside within the realm of conceptualization. However, the crucial juncture arises during the experimental phase that bridges between hypothesis and iteration. This is the phase of practical application, where development takes center stage. During this build phase, the meticulous sorting of user stories and elements is pivotal. A lack of organizational coherence can lead to unfavorable outcomes, or conversely, set the stage for successful strides.

    Through experience, it becomes evident that this is where the majority of efforts are channeled. Proper diligence prior to this phase equips the team to better navigate the challenges and deliver value to their customers. Neglecting this preparatory phase can lead to a cycle of improvisation without tangible progress. Hence, the crux of the matter revolves around skillfully framing problems, uncovering solutions through customer experimentation, and subsequently refining them during iterative cycles. Concurrently, effective communication and stakeholder management plays a vital role in crafting a compelling narrative that underscores the journey.

    How to Mitigate the Risk of Prioritization Errors?

    How do we make this strategy more usable for us? This is commonly referred to as ‘balancing risk with the truth curve.’ The underlying concept revolves around determining the appropriate level of fidelity required for a given task. The measure of fidelity signifies the depth and accuracy of information necessary for informed decision-making. As fidelity increases, the depth of insights and learning also escalates. However, a pivotal judgment comes into play: deciding whether to pursue insights through a low-fidelity method like a paper test, a medium-fidelity approach such as a prototype, or a high-fidelity engagement with the live product. This decision hinges on the consideration of the associated risk and cost.

    Consequently, it serves as a crucial factor in determining whether to proceed further, implement a more extensive array of experiments, or execute a full-scale rollout. Ultimately, the route to certainty is paved through the validation of ideas, systematically lowering the risk of failure. The choice of fidelity for design and experimentation is intricately linked to the level of inherent risk. Navigating this nexus effectively is pivotal in the pursuit of well-informed, successful outcomes.

    How Do You Transform an Organization Into a Product-led Culture?

    Cultivating a product-led culture within an organization entails a deliberate process. The key catalyst for this transformation, as previously emphasized, lies in the art of inquiry. Simplifying the path to this evolution involves the following steps:

    1. Asking why:

    Start by delving into the fundamental question of ‘why’:

    Why are we doing this? 

    What are we doing? 

    What problem are we trying to solve? 

    And how big is this problem? 

    This introspection aligns seamlessly with the principles of problem opportunity assessment, extending beyond the realm of any particular product and potentially becoming a guiding framework for optimizing daily pursuits. This foundational understanding then serves as the springboard for devising solutions.

    2. Validating the ‘How’: 

    Subsequent focus shifts toward validating the ‘how’:

    How do the chosen solutions correspond to alleviating customer pain points? 

    This phase involves a comprehensive evaluation of the approach and methodologies employed to address customer grievances. 

    Now a refined comprehension of the ‘why’ and ‘how’ are achieved. Now you could look at what is it that you should define.

    3. Defining the ‘What’: 

    The process involves the establishment of a shared understanding and consensus on multiple facets. This includes defining and formalizing the criteria for completion, crafting comprehensive user stories, mapping out scenarios of both positive and negative user experiences, and outlining the specific metrics that warrant pursuit and measurement.

    About the Author

    By Jasjit SinghGlobal Product Director, Quick Commerce, Delivery Hero

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