In this ProductTank Vienna talk, director of product management at Kununu, Johannes Mayer, illustrates the importance of having a company mission by explaining how things worked at Kununu in the past, the problems they faced, and how they solved them.
Watch the video to see Johannes’ talk in full or read on for an overview of his key points:
- Three years back
- Rethinking the approach
- A focus on user-centricity
Three years back
Johannes takes us back to how things were at Kununu before they had a defined mission. Business goals were present, but there was no higher intent. New goals were created at each turn of the year with no continuation. Too many topics cluttered the roadmap focusing on features instead of value, and many decisions came from only the top down.
This behavior created a lack of buy-in throughout the organization, there was a lack of focus, and the product didn’t provide much user relevancy.
Rethinking the approach
Eventually, Kununu set up a group of diverse people to decide where to take the company forward and rethink the purpose, mission, strategy, and roadmap. The answer, Johannes found, was to start with why to align people behind a purpose, mission, and company vision. By re-working these areas, they discovered that they needed to take a user-centric approach to business goals.
A focus on user-centricity
Kunnunu incorporated user-centricity into everything from their initial product building and testing phase where they focused on:
- Exploration – identifying the next products or features
- Guidance – screening and optimizing prototypes
- Validation – refining products for market success
To their post-product launch phase where they focused on:
- Benchmarking – monitoring the product’s performance
- Improvements – optimizing and improving the longevity
Since then, they have a clearly defined purpose and strategy, a user-focus, and precise planning and processes.
As a takeaway, Johannes provided some steps that product managers can take to improve their team or company by adding purpose and user-centricity. These include to define a user-focused purpose and share it with the organization, continually emphasize the why, get a clear understanding of users, and transition into a constant user validation mode. Finally, regularly share user feedback and findings to help improve the product.
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