The current environment of post pandemic fallout, volatile markets, rising interest rates and heated global political conditions have put incredible pressures on firms. Numerous digital product launches have been cancelled, scaled back or abandoned. Capital budgets across many Fortune 500 firms have suddenly become frozen or slashed due to the market stutter steps. Start-ups are scrambling to stay afloat in many cases. Is your product roadmap prepared to weather the storm?

Now is the time to take a hard look at your product roadmap. Most firms operate with a messy hybrid of agile and lean methodologies with some expectation of achieving speed to market with measurement baked in. The reality is that few realize these benefits and instead are left with monolithic programs that often over-run budgets and under-deliver on customer and internal expectations. Many firms have over-engineered incremental redesigns of their existing business models, products, and platforms. Instead, a more revolutionary approach should be taken to focus on true innovative creation vs evolution.

McKinsey’s newest global survey on digital strategy shares how leading performers have capitalized on more revolutionary strategies, “…bolder, at-scale investments in technology are significantly more likely to support a successful transformation than those that are smaller in scope.” The diagram below further supports this.

Mckinsey

Recommendations For Leading Through A Downturn”entitled lists being ‘Bold’ as the number two recommendation. “During a recession, you have three choices for how to make decisions: 1) hold on to the past, 2) respond when required, or 3) get in front of the wave. The first two options keep you locked into the past, while the third option allows you to start looking ahead.”

What Are The Top Risks and Roadblocks to Your Strategy and Product Roadmap?

So how exactly can firms create a bolder, more revolutionary strategy and ensure product roadmaps are created to be able to deliver with speed and success? We can see where things may go wrong by taking a look at a case study. A notable top US bank tried launching a digital bank a few years ago only to shutter it within a year of launch. A lack of differentiating features from the core traditional bank and reliance upon existing legacy back-end infrastructure were the primary problems. A more aggressive and incremental strategy here may have been more successful.

These are the top roadblocks we see our clients facing with their product roadmaps that limit the potential of their product strategies:

1

Inability to Effectively Prioritize

You are trying to do too much, appeasing too many stakeholders.  See Dave’s blog that introduces the concept of Defining your Minimum Measurable Product (MMP) vs a Minimum Viable Product. Balancing your product management and development processes for both agility and scale is tricky to ensure your product strategy stays resilient, differentiated, relevant and feasible. Employing product innovation sprints (not to be confused with pure design or development sprints) led by the right experts can help guide more rapid, successful, and consistent prioritization.

2

Pressure to Leverage Legacy Assets

Leveraging legacy assets often results in achieving very little and watering down new product ideas and features. Start-ups and smaller firms benefit here if they can create the right partnerships to achieve speed to market while keeping true to their product vision. A revisit to the early 2000’s may be needed where large companies spun off separately funded and managed entities to truly innovate and build. It is our experience that the #1 impediment to innovation and speed to market is executive stakeholder alignment across legacy institutions for product groups tasked with creation of new products and service

3

Not Having The Right Talent

This can be for either or both for creation and innovation as well as execution. One client who leads Product Management for a top 5 financial services firm stated “We are good at defining discrete product opportunities in a timely fashion-like finding pots of gold, and we send lots of lean teams to go get them but we are spread too thin”. Finding the ‘just right vendor’, likely not a monolith and not a freelancer, something in between that can partner with your team to scale in the best way to augment your weaknesses and optimize your team’s time. Boutique teams of experts will help to bring fresh ideas and broad experience that often is not found within legacy teams.

4

Matrixed Ownership and Lack of Accountability

This often manifests itself with independent product, design, IT and operational divisions that report very high in the organization. While well intentioned, KPIs often drift from top-level business/product goals into micro-goals that then wag the proverbial dog. Creating smaller/cross functional teams with tighter alignment, integrated goals and top level sponsorship will help speed to delivery and reduce product dilution. Alternatively, selecting a set of capability that cuts across fewer organizational boundaries for initial releases can improve odds for success and build much needed momentum for future releases.

The goals you begin your intiative with are really a hypothesis and your initiative is a series of tests

Do You Need to Evaluate Your Product Strategy?

If you are wondering if you need to have a bolder strategy or need help ‘pressure testing’ your product roadmap to ensure it is resilient to withstand upcoming change, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Has your team been able to launch products/releases on time?
  • Have these projects been measured in months, not years?
  • Have you gained measurable success (increased market share/revenues) with these recent launches?
  • Are you a market leader in your category/region?
  • Have you had to adjust your product strategy or budget?
  • How are capital funds currently being allocated?
  • Do you have the talent you need to innovate and deliver?

Pressure Testing Your Product Roadmap

Our team of experts can quickly help you assess and re-invent your product roadmap in time for your next budget and planning cycle using our proprietary and proven NovusNorth methodology. This product strategy framework utilizes 7 key domains which helps us to assess and create new and differentiated product roadmaps in as little as 2 weeks. In this framework, we look at everything from audience and design to technology and client-facing processes to look at how your product strategy can quickly react to external factors, and identify areas that need improvement to increase the resiliancy of your product roadmap.

Have a project, a question, or a challenge?

We have seen it all – having worked with some of the largest F500 institutions as well as fintech and startups across industries as well as non-profits. Reach out to us for a confidential (and complimentary) initial conversation regarding your initiative.

Contact Us

The MMP is the smallest unit of functionality that enables you to measure outcomes against customer goals or business goals

About The Authors

Michelle Palomera

Michelle Palomera

Chief Growth Strategist, NovusNorth

With an extensive career in design, technology and consulting for 30 years, Michelle has helped global firms develop and create market-leading and award-winning digital products and customer experiences. A former leader in several start-ups and public firms herself, Michelle has also led various acquisition, integration and strategic partnership initiatives.

Linked In

Dave Cowing, CEO NovusNorth

Dave Cowing

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of NovusNorth

NovusNorth is an outcome-oriented experience consultancy that drives business results by creating compelling experiences for customers and employees in the fintech and financial services industry. Dave has 30 years of experience helping companies ranging from Fortune 500 market leaders to disruptive startups with new ideas.

Linked In

The current environment of post pandemic fallout, volatile markets, rising interest rates and heated global political conditions have put incredible pressures on firms. Numerous digital product launches have been cancelled, scaled back or abandoned. Capital budgets across many Fortune 500 firms have suddenly become frozen or slashed due to the market stutter steps. Start-ups are scrambling to stay afloat in many cases. Is your product roadmap prepared to weather the storm?

Now is the time to take a hard look at your product roadmap. Most firms operate with a messy hybrid of agile and lean methodologies with some expectation of achieving speed to market with measurement baked in. The reality is that few realize these benefits and instead are left with monolithic programs that often over-run budgets and under-deliver on customer and internal expectations. Many firms have over-engineered incremental redesigns of their existing business models, products, and platforms. Instead, a more revolutionary approach should be taken to focus on true innovative creation vs evolution.

McKinsey’s newest global survey on digital strategy shares how leading performers have capitalized on more revolutionary strategies, “…bolder, at-scale investments in technology are significantly more likely to support a successful transformation than those that are smaller in scope.” The diagram below further supports this.

Mckinsey

Recommendations For Leading Through A Downturn”entitled lists being ‘Bold’ as the number two recommendation. “During a recession, you have three choices for how to make decisions: 1) hold on to the past, 2) respond when required, or 3) get in front of the wave. The first two options keep you locked into the past, while the third option allows you to start looking ahead.”

What Are The Top Risks and Roadblocks to Your Strategy and Product Roadmap?

So how exactly can firms create a bolder, more revolutionary strategy and ensure product roadmaps are created to be able to deliver with speed and success? We can see where things may go wrong by taking a look at a case study. A notable top US bank tried launching a digital bank a few years ago only to shutter it within a year of launch. A lack of differentiating features from the core traditional bank and reliance upon existing legacy back-end infrastructure were the primary problems. A more aggressive and incremental strategy here may have been more successful.

These are the top roadblocks we see our clients facing with their product roadmaps that limit the potential of their product strategies:

1

Inability to Effectively Prioritize

You are trying to do too much, appeasing too many stakeholders.  See Dave’s blog that introduces the concept of Defining your Minimum Measurable Product (MMP) vs a Minimum Viable Product. Balancing your product management and development processes for both agility and scale is tricky to ensure your product strategy stays resilient, differentiated, relevant and feasible. Employing product innovation sprints (not to be confused with pure design or development sprints) led by the right experts can help guide more rapid, successful, and consistent prioritization.

2

Pressure to Leverage Legacy Assets

Leveraging legacy assets often results in achieving very little and watering down new product ideas and features. Start-ups and smaller firms benefit here if they can create the right partnerships to achieve speed to market while keeping true to their product vision. A revisit to the early 2000’s may be needed where large companies spun off separately funded and managed entities to truly innovate and build. It is our experience that the #1 impediment to innovation and speed to market is executive stakeholder alignment across legacy institutions for product groups tasked with creation of new products and service

3

Not Having The Right Talent

This can be for either or both for creation and innovation as well as execution. One client who leads Product Management for a top 5 financial services firm stated “We are good at defining discrete product opportunities in a timely fashion-like finding pots of gold, and we send lots of lean teams to go get them but we are spread too thin”. Finding the ‘just right vendor’, likely not a monolith and not a freelancer, something in between that can partner with your team to scale in the best way to augment your weaknesses and optimize your team’s time. Boutique teams of experts will help to bring fresh ideas and broad experience that often is not found within legacy teams.

4

Matrixed Ownership and Lack of Accountability

This often manifests itself with independent product, design, IT and operational divisions that report very high in the organization. While well intentioned, KPIs often drift from top-level business/product goals into micro-goals that then wag the proverbial dog. Creating smaller/cross functional teams with tighter alignment, integrated goals and top level sponsorship will help speed to delivery and reduce product dilution. Alternatively, selecting a set of capability that cuts across fewer organizational boundaries for initial releases can improve odds for success and build much needed momentum for future releases.

The goals you begin your intiative with are really a hypothesis and your initiative is a series of tests

Do You Need to Evaluate Your Product Strategy?

If you are wondering if you need to have a bolder strategy or need help ‘pressure testing’ your product roadmap to ensure it is resilient to withstand upcoming change, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Has your team been able to launch products/releases on time?
  • Have these projects been measured in months, not years?
  • Have you gained measurable success (increased market share/revenues) with these recent launches?
  • Are you a market leader in your category/region?
  • Have you had to adjust your product strategy or budget?
  • How are capital funds currently being allocated?
  • Do you have the talent you need to innovate and deliver?

Pressure Testing Your Product Roadmap

Our team of experts can quickly help you assess and re-invent your product roadmap in time for your next budget and planning cycle using our proprietary and proven NovusNorth methodology. This product strategy framework utilizes 7 key domains which helps us to assess and create new and differentiated product roadmaps in as little as 2 weeks. In this framework, we look at everything from audience and design to technology and client-facing processes to look at how your product strategy can quickly react to external factors, and identify areas that need improvement to increase the resiliancy of your product roadmap.

Have a project, a question, or a challenge?

We have seen it all – having worked with some of the largest F500 institutions as well as fintech and startups across industries as well as non-profits. Reach out to us for a confidential (and complimentary) initial conversation regarding your initiative.

Contact Us

The MMP is the smallest unit of functionality that enables you to measure outcomes against customer goals or business goals

About The Authors

Michelle Palomera

Michelle Palomera

Chief Growth Strategist, NovusNorth

With an extensive career in design, technology and consulting for 30 years, Michelle has helped global firms develop and create market-leading and award-winning digital products and customer experiences. A former leader in several start-ups and public firms herself, Michelle has also led various acquisition, integration and strategic partnership initiatives.

Linked In

Dave Cowing, CEO NovusNorth

Dave Cowing

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of NovusNorth

NovusNorth is an outcome-oriented experience consultancy that drives business results by creating compelling experiences for customers and employees in the fintech and financial services industry. Dave has 30 years of experience helping companies ranging from Fortune 500 market leaders to disruptive startups with new ideas.

Linked In

Exploring what’s next?

CONTACT US

Exploring what’s next for your organization?

CONTACT US

Hello and thanks for stopping by!

(Now that you know us a little bit better, send us a message and let’s talk about you.)

Send Us A Message Now

Our Capabilities

We’re ready to help you envision and create great digital experiences that achieve your goals.

About Us

Say hello to the team and get a peek into who we are, our culture, and why we’ll make great partners.

Our Latest Insights

  • Product planning and management requires discipline, practical decision making, and flexibility. Learn how product roadmaps are used to achieve success for both short and long term value-added feature releases to customers for a community bank.

    By NovusNorth

  • The NovusNorth team participated in the 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer's in Scituate, MA. More than 6 million people are living with Alzheimer's today and 13 Million will by 2050.

    By NovusNorth

  • Leading Product in an Emerging industry requires insight and flexibility. Learn more from the Product Director at YellowDog, a leader in cloud workload management.

    By NovusNorth