Figure out your products North Star Vision, it's important.
I know, ANOTHER vision? Every project seems to require a vision nowadays; or at least it feels like that. Ok, let me qualify that product visions are MOST useful if you're continuously improving your product. Much like the actual North Star, which is most helpful to sailors who are moving; it wouldn't help much if they were standing still. So, it can be very important to figure out what principles your product should follow as it evolves over time. What's important to your customers? What's important to your business? What STABLE dimension should be your true north? Trust? Inspiration? Accessibility? Excellence?
Product management is fun if you set it up right.
A product vision is the cornerstone of an effective product strategy; important, without question, but not a complete strategy in and of itself. Hostile Sheep has helped dozens of product-owners define their product vision and subsequently their product strategy for progressing toward their vision.
Environmental Scanning: Whether you know it or not, your products have competition. When a customer hires your product, they probably fired another product they were using to get a job done. In order to create an effective product vision, we often want to know all about that competitive landscape. Our environmental scans unite insights/findings from existing papers with a systematic evaluation of the competitive environment your product exists in.
Problem-space exploration: When Hostile Sheep is hire to explore the problem space, we usually begin by identifying customer "pains" and "gains" associated with getting jobs done and using your products. We often do a literature review of existing material, because most organizations have given significant thought to the problems their products are trying to solve. If not done, we may do some journey mapping or service blueprinting to identify all the pains and gains customers may experience. With pains and gains identified, we can begin exploring the problem space with customers and business stakeholders.
Product strategy: Hostile Sheep can HELP YOU develop a product strategy but we can't develop it for you. It's your product, you need to manage it and you need to understand how to formulate and adjust your product strategy as you go. This is a: give you a fish versus teaching you to fish scenario. We've helped dozens of organizations through a tried-and-tested process for developing detailed, actionable, realistic product strategies.
Vision-alignment is hard to evaluate from inside.
When you're part of a continuous development organization that is constantly improving products and releasing new features, it can be hard to determine if your latest releases are actually aligned with your product vision. Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes, or someone that's not in the weeds, to raise a flag that a product is moving away from its north star vision.
Satisfaction research: We help organizations determine how satisfied customers and employees are with the products that help them get jobs done. This tends to go far beyond what can be learned from standard NPS, CSAT, and CES metrics. We don't just determine satisfaction-levels; we determine areas of investment to increase satisfaction-levels. This can help you determine if your product roadmap requires any course correction.
Experimentation: One of the best methods of learning what customers really think about new product-features is to run experiments that examine different options. Experimentation may seem like an early-stage form of product research but it's actually a sign of design maturity. Hostile Sheep can help guide you through the process of developing theories, designing experiments, creating prototypes, and analyzing results.
Measurement & observation: When it comes to digital products such as websites and apps, we can measure everything; that doesn't mean we should measure everything. In fact, a measurement strategy is all about determining what to measure and what NOT to measure. A well configured analytics platform will enable product managers to cut through the noise and head-off issues, identify opportunities, and learn from product evolutions. We can help you get there.
Not exactly what you're looking for?
We move our clients through discovery and definition phases of product design projects. Hostile Sheep has tackled almost every aspect of product design from conducting primary research to uncover needs, to co-creating alpha/design rapid-prototypes that can be tested with real customers and can inform downstream development teams. Read more on our home page.