In this ProductTank Berlin talk, Sandra Hinz and Rainer Collet, co-founders at ValueRebels, provide a framework to help solve some typical challenges in a product organization and avoid wasting months of work.
Watch the video to see their talk in full, or read on for an overview of the key points:
- Typical challenges in a product organization
- Value engine framework
- What you need to implement this
Typical challenges in a product organization
Product managers frequently encounter similar problems in their organization, such as creating feature factories, doing too little discovery work, prioritization, and more. For many product managers, launching a new product may involve going from backlog to one month of analysis, five months of development, two months of testing and rollout. They may then discover that the product needs to be scrapped or that it creates negative value for the company, resulting in six months of work wasted.
The value engine framework
With the value engine framework, product managers can deliver more value faster and at scale. Based on real-life experiences, it connects strategy and the operation process and can work for teams of 5 or 50. As a dual-track framework, it covers both discovery and delivery.
There is hardly a company with too few ideas, and most product managers are overwhelmed with ideas. Everyone in the company should be involved in idea generation, but after coming up with 100 ideas, you need to select the most viable. Each idea should have a specific pain and gain associated with it and someone available to lead the idea before it can move onto the next phase.
There are several ways that companies typically prioritize ideas to pursue, from management selection to quarterly goals to gut feelings. However, the selection of ideas needs to happen regularly, and neglected ideas should be removed from the idea board. This shouldn’t be a perfect step but simply a point of evaluation. Before an idea can move onto the next phase, a cross-departmental and cross-functional team should be theoretically available to work on the idea, think through its initiatives, and ensure everyone is committed.
Next, pull selections into the draft phase. You need to reduce the uncertainty in your ideas by testing their value, usability, feasibility, and viability. The ways to help make the decision include seeing if it aligns with your product vision & strategy, conducting marketing analysis, and quantitative and qualitative research. At the end of the draft phase, you should have a pre-validated concept, understand the dependencies, and know which metrics your product will affect.
Most product teams would move from the draft phase to developing an MVP. However, a minimum measurable product (MMP) should be developed instead. This is a product that enables you to test and see how people interact with it before creating a fully functioning product.
Once the measurements found in the Hack Phase are positive, you can then move to the ship phase, where the minimum viable product (MVP) is shipped to a select group of users to see how much value can be achieved from the idea.
Finally, technical debt can be worked on in the tune phase, and the product can be made scalable, secure, and compliant. While some companies may choose to do these things initially, doing so contributes to wasted effort. At the end of the tune phase, you can have a product that everyone loves.
What you need to implement this
To use the value engine framework, you need an experimentation culture that allows you to limit the impact of the product fails and provides an avenue for a safe rollout, easy releases, and measurability.
The key takeaways from this talk are that the value engine framework should only be used for big initiatives and not every bug fix. When employed correctly, you can go from idea to tuning in two months, creating value after just one month and allowing you to focus on the customer and business needs.
Enjoy more from ProductTank
ProductTanks are informal meetups, created by Mind the Product, to bring local product people together and to enable speakers to share amazing product insights. Today we have ProductTanks in more than 200 cities across the globe and there’s probably one near you.