What went wrong? A Product Management Case Study

An Indian software firm has been providing services to US market for last 10 years. The owner of the firm heard there is a demand for Healthcare Product for the Eastern European market and wanted to develop and sell a software product in the six months. The owner had few leads in hand for the new product.

The Organization does not have specialization in Eastern European markets. The Program Manager created a large program management with the state of the art technology. The Organization uses Agile methodology where the product managers worked closely with development team. The product managers conceptualized that the product will be sold in mid market segment. The product was built and released to sales. The organization recruited few sales members in Europe, established offices in few cities and involved in direct selling of the software.

The Organization could sell the product in the second year almost free. The organization completed a high level beta testing for the product and went with little hiccups.

However implementation took more time than expected. Development team kept receiving more change requests only to make drastic customization in the product. This leads to more development resources on the projects. The product cost increased and the organization had increased the licensing cost. As a result of this, prospects turned away from the deals.

Users found difficulty in adapting the product and felt that the product has never lived up to their expectations.

After few years of waiting and spending a few million Euros in advertisements and promotion, the Organization realized it wasted more resources in the product and scraped it.

What went wrong?

There are many reasons why the product and the Organization failed. A few are listed below.

1. Absence of Strategy v/s Tactical Operations:
The Organization spent least time in strategic activities and more time in tactical activities. The product manager’s have not performed any market research. This leads to incorrect understanding of the market requirements, customer’s expectation, and channel management. The organization spent more time in correcting the issues in product later, which turned out to be costly.

2. Poor Vision
The organization does not have a long term and short term vision. There is no clear cut product road map. As result of that the Organization could not have a clear cut hiring plan, could not hire key personal on time. The leads to issues in managing the project and delivering it.

3. Absence of Product Strategy
The product design was technically oriented than market oriented. The development team felt if the product has better technology, automatically customers will buy. The organization does not have a long term and short product strategy that incorporates functional, non functional, Usability, UI, security, documentation, implementation, licensing, configurable needs in the product. The development was adhoc and there is no architectural framework involved in the design. This leads to poor product design.

4. Lack of understanding of Customer requirement v/s market requirements
The product requirements were taken from the customer, which was different from the market requirements and does meet current the market trends. The product manager’s do not how to gather and analyze competitive, licensing, legal, cultural non functional, usability needs and incorporate in the product Strategy. As a result of this, the product manager’s have delivered a ‘Me-Too’ and customer specific product without any differentiation, which did not interest the prospects.

5. Lack of qualified product management team
The product management team was not aware of the strategy principles, market research and providing a differentiated, low cost product for a focussed market. The product strategy was influenced by technology.

6.Lack of GTM readiness
The Organization designed a poor Go To Market strategy for the mid market segment. The organization does not have any resources with European market knowledge or experience.

The Organization has not spend effort and time learning the new market or analyzing the buying behaviours of the target market segment or training it’s resources in the European market. The Organization has not mobilized it’s different departments for the go to market.

The beta testing for the product was carried out for functional testing. It was customer oriented than market oriented. The Organization has not done beta testing for the usability and UI. This absence of usability feedback created issues in adaptability of the product.

7. Expensive Implementation
The product team built the features for the mid market segment. But true demand was in the lower and higher market segments.
– The product does not have any configurable tools in the product, which further made it difficult to configure for needs of other market segments. As a result of this gap, the implementation customized each feature, which took long time with the initial customers.

– Sales could not sell to other prospects

8. Support Troubles
The implementation team has customized the product to the needs of every customer. This leads to more support issues. The Organization spent more money in the long term than the money it received from customers.

9. Expensive Channel
Direct selling approach of the Organization leads to more expenses. It did not spend time in researching the indirect low cost channels partners. Ideally they could have recruited few persons in India on cost marketing methods. The marketing team have not spent resources on creating a brand image.

10. Lack of product management process
The Organization does not have a structured product management process. Their understanding of agile is incorrect and they have hurried up designing a product without understanding the market’s expectations.

11. Ineffective Pricing
The management increased the software price based on the higher cost of production. It has not performed complete competitive price analysis or economic value analysis. The cost based pricing was higher than competitors and leads to loss of prospects.

12. Management’s support
The management did not know the challenges in developing a new product. It set a deadline based on it’s project management expertise. The time was too short to conceptualize, design deliver a product. Due to unrealistic deadline, the team has delivered customer specific project than a product, which has killed the product.

Rather than scraping the product, the management should have spend time in auditing existing practices, analyzing the root causes of the issues, learning from the mistakes, providing adequate training to resources, correcting them and then improving the product.

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Product Management Consultancy

CONSULTANCY

At ProductEnvision, we provide consulting services catering to your needs based on rapid developments in business and technology models. Our goal is to provide is to provide fresh ideas, expertise and methods for you to develop your business.

We value our clients and we listen to their needs. We work in a critically and highly confidential, pattern, under mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). We recognize this conviction and perform all our commitments with distinction and consideration.

We offer the following consultancy services:

1. Establish Product Management Team

2. Product Management Process

3. Best Practices Product Management

4. Market Research

5. Business Architecture

6. User Centric Design

7. Technical Writing

8. Go to Market Strategy

Establish Product Management Team

Set up a Product Management Team from scratch (job descriptions, interviewing and selecting suitable candidates).We also help you to define and structure responsibilities of the product management team to facilitate more efficient and productive working, for better revenues and high-class products to meet customer needs.

Product Management Process

Implement Product Management Process with tool kit designed especially for product managers to help them complete their jobs more proficiently. We provide the starting point, structure and tools for executing an efficient product management process.

Best Practices Product Management

Train your team on best of the breed agile product management practices and empower them with tool kit. Best practices help you in making acceptable product decisions: understanding customer needs, prioritizing features, UI design optimization, and metrics.

Market Research

Conduct market research to assist in business plan, product vision, road mapping, release planning and delivering market requirements, product requirements and functional design. We follow multiple methodologies for market research, helping to propose a research design to fit each customer’s distinctive needs

Business Architecture

Define business architecture and information architecture using Business Process Management (BPM) and enterprise architecture frameworks. Business architecture plays a major role in business scenarios and so, we offer business architecture from a solutions perspective.

User Centric Design

Assist in user centric design based on personas, develop prototypes, & conduct usability evaluation. Using UCD, we aim at making products safe & easy-to use for strategic plan for competitive and thriving business. You also learn the expectations from designers – processes and outcomes, also enabling you to mange innovation and design processes and systems

Technical Writing

We provide a distinctive and robust platform for training in Technical Writing. Highly qualified mentors, with practical experience in technical writing provide you with the advantage of getting a comprehensive learning experience.

Go to Market Strategy

Define Go to Market strategy that meets your finances and resource availability. We help you to develop a marketing program to produce, capture, and maintain value with the organization’s offering for the customers, given that the organization has decided to market a product.

ProductEnvision helps you sort out your organization’s product strategy by planning the best Product Management plan tailored to your organization needs.

Please contact ProductEnvision for more details.


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Product Management Training – Online

TRAINING
We offer customized product management training to meet your organizational requirement.

During the training, your team resolves your company specific real time problems and deliver the out come of case studies for your future use.

The complete coverage of the training is given below. We offer either full or partial list of training depending upon your organization needs.

1. Introduction
– What is product Management?
– What are the roles and responsibilities of product management?
– What are the emerging trends in product management?

2. Market Research
– How to analyse market opportunities
– How to perform market and customer research?
– How to create a business plan?
– How to perform competitive intelligence?
– How to write a Market Requirements Document?

3. Product Strategy
– How to create a product strategy?
– How to create a vision and multi-year roadmap?
– How do we deliver an on-time, well-communicated, professional product release?
– What is impact of User personas and Buyer personas in product designs?

4. Voice of the customer
– How to gather the market, legal, cultural requirements for a differentiated product?
– How to prioritize features?
– What are the best practies in writing a product requirement? use case?
– How to use the Kano model?

5. Enterprise Architecture Modelling
– What are the trends in Enterprise Architecture?
– How to create a Business Architecture using business process modelling?
– How to create a Documentation Architecture?
– How to create a Information Architecture?

6. Prototyping
– How to create a UI roadmap?
– How to create a prototype?
– How to conduct the usability audits?
– How to perform the market validation of prototypes?

7.Product Readiness
– How to identify beta customers?
– How to manage beta customers?
– How to identify the general availability of the product?

8. Launch Collateral
– What are the best practices in technical writing?
– What are the emerging trends in technical and business communication?
– What are the inbound and outbound collaterals to create?

9. Go-To-Market strategies
– What are the emerging trends in go-to-market strategies?
– How to create a sustainable go to market strategy?

10. Pricing
– What are the trends in pricing strategies?
– What are the different pricing strategies available?
– How to set your product price?

11. Product Management Process
– What is a product management framework?
– What are the metrics to gather and analyse at different stages in product management?

12. Product Management Software
– What are product management softwares you can use ?

Please write to us at info@productenvision.com for training schedule and price.
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When your President asks you to set the price of new software, how will you determine it?

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Pricing is an art and can make or break your company.

You shall have the detailed information on the internal and external factors impacting your pricing before you set a ‘Base Price’.

Internal factors responsible are:

1. Quality of your product. Lower the quality, lower will be the perceived price of your product

2. Cost of Production. Lower the cost of production, you can set the price lower to meet the same profitability levels. You may need to break the different tasks that contribute to your cot of your product starting from the raw materials, resources and reduce/out source those tasks that are unproductive and non profitable. Identify the breakeven point.

3. Economic Value analysis of your product and arrive at a pricing

External Factors responsible are:

1. Brand Power : Higher the brand power, higher can be your price

2. Pricing objectives of your company: Whether your company is interested in market penetration or market skimming.

If your company wants to penetrate the market for your new product, in which case you shall set the price lowest one. (market penetration)
If your company wants to target only luxury consumers, in which case you can keep the price higher.(market skimming)

3. Identify the target in which you ant to focus and the buying behaviour of your consumers.

4. Purchasing power and income of your consumers. Lower the purchasing power and income of the target consumers, lower shall be your price.

5. Availability of substitutes for your products

6. Identify your ability to analyse, monitor the Prices of your competitors and the their ability to change the prices. Identify the price trends. identify the street price and book prices of your competitors. Identify the closest competitors from whom you want to gain the market share

7. Analyse and identify the Perceived and Psychological prices

8. Bargaining power of your consumers and other stake holders

9. Identify the barriers in selling and their influence on price

10. Talk to your sales and marketing teams and gather more information around pricing

Based on the above factors,
1. Set the Price Objectives and discuss with your President/key stake holders
2. Arrive at a Long term and Short term Pricing Strategy after consulting with key stake holders
3. Prepare a price book and identify your ‘Base Price’ based on your strategy, that you can help you to reach your objectives.
4. Identify various channels that help you to sell, distribute your product
5. Identify the different discount ranges for each channel that motivates them to sell
6. Identify the ‘Book Price’ for the different products
7. Perform a test marketing and identify the issues around the selling
8. Improve your Base price.
9. Maintain a pricing intelligence system to meet your long term pricing strategy

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