How do we navigate when our internal stakeholders are misaligned (and they usually are)? It’s important to understand what drives this, see the pattern rather than get angry, and find some tools to keep our products/business moving forward.
ProductFocus’s Ian Lunn and I will talk through how software product companies make money, and how that’s in direct contrast with how software outsourcing and custom development companies make money. Then we’ll apply that to B2B/enterprise software vendors who may have conflicting business models.
There are no generic or universal KPIs, since every business has unique aspects. So if we want KPIs for a B2B/enterprise company, where would we start? And how do we avoid committing to improvements in metrics/KPIs before understanding our current scores (or situation)?
As product folks, we should be responsible for reasonably anticipating misuses of our products, as well as harm that flows from fundamental product/economic goals. It’s not clear how we step up to this, though.
Industrial hardware and enterprise software are both great business, but have very economics, scorekeeping, and development models. To run a strong software business, we may need to retool some operating processes as well as executive assumptions.
Software is intangible: it doesn’t have weight or size or per-unit manufacturing costs. But if we’re in the software business, we have to assign units and prices that reflect our value to customers. And we should be mapping out pricing strategy before we start development, not the day before product launch.
It’s easy for CEOs to think that they personally are the best-informed people within their companies about what customers need and what markets want. In reality, product and design teams have the time, focus, expertise, and large numbers of non-selling interviews to do more objective validation of product ideas.