The User as Hero

"Leaders must keep in mind that the customer is the superhero and your job is to tell them how your product will help them become a hero." (Donna Lichaw) The history of product innovation has repeatedly shown that companies who ignore the user in favour of the technology fail. They fail because they fall victim to what is now known as the ‘stack fallacy’. (read on article) Slack, Uber, Facebook, Google, even Microsoft have proved Sharma right. Success in any given market always comes down to the same fundamental question, “Who understands the user better?” Product managers have traditionally discussed products in terms of solving problems. But in a hyper-competitive world it’s no longer enou

How Agile is your Operating Model?

Let me start with a definition of agile as it applies to operating models or processes: “being able to turn on a dime for a dime” and “being able to change faster and more cheaply than your competitors”. These phrases are taken from Craig Larman, who was part of the team who coined the term agile as being relevant to the lean and six sigma community. In this community, agile is associated with short-period (often six-week), test-and-learn projects, at the end of which priorities and direction can be reset based on what has been learned. It is also associated with “minimum viable product”: the way of testing a new idea. So what has it got to do with operating models? First, when making c

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