Where a number of entrepreneurs make a costly mistake is in jumping into a new product launch and making a product launch checklist without spending an adequate amount of time gaining an intimate market knowledge and building strategy. When this occurs, developers and engineers (Representatives) build things because they can not because they should.
How do we end up with a 1,000 page bill? ( few have read, and fewer understand?) Or an ipod station and toilet paper holder? Or a laptop that smells?…. ( by design)
Without a clear understanding of the problem you want to solve, and clear requirements and not understanding who you are solving them for, you will build stuff.
Developers are creative problem solvers. They want to be given problems and requirements. They go nuts if you also tell them how to solve it. Just as salespeople hate it when accounting tries to tell them how to sell more.
The inherent problem though lays in the fact developers also see problems that are real to them, that may not be market problems. So they have their “wish list” of solutions they want to introduce.
If you lack a clear definition of the problems you want to solve and the requirements needed and just “throw a challenge over the wall” two things will happen;
1. Development will create a perceived list of problems and prioritize them themselves.
2. Without a clear direction, they will build what they always wanted to build and not necessarily what the market needs or wants.
What happens next is even more dangerous. So you have shared your “big hairy audacious goal” with your market: “A Health Care reform bill before the August break”.
Not having a connection to the problems your team will connect to something…so the August goal is clear, measureable and written so they rally to meet that goal.
The achievement of the goal date becomes more important than solving the unresolved market problem.
When this occurs your team tunes out the market and its needs and tunes into the leaders goal ( and often ego).
Teams aligned around the wrong goal “tell and sell” versus “teach and share the problems they solved” and markets often rebel.
Buyers like to buy; they do not like to be sold.
With the power of social media, and the lack of alignment to the correct goal, a solution can launch and die within hours.
Market leaders understand the value in spending the time upfront, clearly defining the problem(s) they want to solve and developing requirements that set their developers up to win, and ultimately add value to the bottom line of the organization.
Market Losers are so focused on a delivery goal they Haste, and they waste. Focus on the wrong goal results in their team members thrashing around, starting and stopping and not able to develop revolutionary solutions that the market willing buys.
How about your organization….
Does your team throw things over the wall?
Do your developers ask for more information and the prioritization of requirements, or do they assume they know.
Has your company launched something because you could and not because you should? ….How’s that working for you?