A product company should be focused ultimately on two things:
Best-in-class product, support, rollouts, and everything “product.”
World-class relationships with customers
The problem becomes that business gets very busy, and there are a million possible things to focus on in a given time. You could have employee issues. You could have internal IT tickets to worry about. You could have key decision-makers away at a conference when a client engagement is at risk. People can be sick. There could be spaghetti code within a section of the product. Things get busy and our attention gets pulled in different directions.
A product company that is trying to scale successfully will focus on product and customer relationships above everything else. Most of the major companies of the last 20 years have taken this approach.
How software development fits in
Software development is obviously crucial. You want to make sure your software is quality and tested and that the code won’t break. You want to ensure that quality software, and an intuitive approach for the end user, underscores your entire product. But good software development takes a lot of time, and companies can have negative repercussions from full-time hires who don’t have the right skill sets. If your software is consistently breaking or sub-par, your end product will be poor too. When your end product is poor, your customer relationships obviously suffer. Software development is an important brick in the product process.
But here’s the issue…
A good product team cannot spend all their time focusing on software development. They need to focus on the overall product, customer relationships, and customer information/data. They need to be thinking holistically about the product and the customers.
Everyone has a role underneath the product leads, obviously. Marketing needs to design campaigns to drive the product in market. Sales needs to build relationships with prospects to find new customer areas. Account management and support need to be there ready to resolve any customer issues or needs. And software development needs to ensure the best software is being shipped within product.
But too often, the product lead spends much of his/her time on software development issues, which can leave the other areas less covered. That starts to get the ecosystem out of whack and the product can have issues.
What should you do?
If you’re a product lead, focus on the whole product and your customers. That should be where you spend 80 percent of your time.
You can find a software development partner. That’s what we do. That gets you a team with experts in various coding languages and product development, here you can take a look on our Data and Tech sheet. We actually operate a Team Extension Model so that we won’t feel like something else you have to manage; we blend into your team. Now you have expertise working on the software side, so you can worry less about that and more about the overall product. Your time is being spent more wisely.
To find out more about how to select the best software development partner for your business, download our checklist here:
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