Dany Wyss, Andreas Meier
Develop a product instead of a project mindset
This blog post is about the mindset that we believe that companies should develop if they implement a custom software product solution.
In today's business, there is a lot of talk about projects. The current business view is to approve these budgets to get these projects off the ground. This one little thing could be additional functionality that a particular business unit values as "The Feature" and that will make a huge difference to the revenue generated.
After implementation and usually spending more than the approved budget, the understanding is formed that there are outside effects that forced this feature to not perform that well. This argument is then taken for adjusting assumptions to start new projects.
This way of thinking still leads to assumptions that are made internally but don’t meet the needs of the end consumer.
Let's take a closer look at this issue of mentality between project and product.
Definition of a project
A project is usually defined with a start date and an end date. This time frame is needed to accomplish the difficult task of managing resources, be it human, material, etc., and to get the best out of costs and profit for that undertaking.
Or in other words, as Wikipedia states: “A project may be a temporary (rather than permanent) social system (work system), possibly staffed by teams (within or across organizations) to accomplish particular tasks under time constraints.”
Definition of a product
Intangible products such as software are characterized by the fact that they are products that can only be perceived indirectly.
But in general, a product in e.g., marketing is an object or system made available for consumer use. As described in Wikipedia: “It is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy the desire or need of a customer.”
This means that a product can exist on the market as long as the consumer need is satisfied.
Why your company should focus on a product mindset
From the difference of the definitions of a project and a product, we can note that a project is limited to a certain time frame.
However, when the decision is made to implement a solution to a specific problem, it means that there is a need in the market or within the company to solve a problem that people are struggling with. This clearly implicates that there will be an implementation solving a problem that will make life easier for all concerned.
As we know from experience, this one solution will not last forever. It needs to be optimized and changed to adapt to the changes that external or internal progress brings. This leads to the conclusion that any implementation that is carried out is not bound to a time frame and requires constant maintenance and changes.
This makes the handling of software implementations as a project inappropriate.
So why is it so important for the word ‘product’ to be more present in your company?
Since humans are social animals and depend on communication, words play a big role, even a bigger role than we assume. If you have team members who are well trained in project management and are new to the world of software product development, they need to be taught that there are two different philosophies. On the one hand, there is the project philosophy, which is primarily about beginning and ending, and on the other hand, there is the product philosophy, which is about the long-term improvement of systems in order to serve the customer (internal or external) in the best possible way without time limits.
At Ardevia Innovation, we believe that you should bring this product mindset into your business to achieve a better experience for all stakeholders, whether for internal process optimization or customer satisfaction.
We accompany innovative product initiatives to build a perfectly coordinated and highly effective software development organization.