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Providing Customer Value Beyond Software

One of the principle tenants of product ownership is a deep understanding of your customer or user needs. This viewpoint needs to look beyond the tactical use of your product to also incorporate the opportunities and threats facing your customers. Identifying tactical needs helps prioritize your short-term backlog changes but fails to account for a customer’s longer-term strategic goals.

Trisotech recognized its customers were challenged by the threat to business continuity from COVID-19. It decided to address the immediate customer need by creating a COVID-19 apps page. These tools weren’t core to its product, requirements, and process management platform; however, the company was willing to make an investment in its customers.

In this case, Trisotech recognized that the threat to business continuity was more important than long-term strategy. Once its customers stabilized operations, then it could continue moving forward with changes managed through its management software.

Longer term, this is an opportunity to demonstrate not only its concern for its customers, but also the longer-term strategic value of its software platform. By managing requirements and process information as an asset, the most important information about your product is centrally available during staffing disruptions. In addition, organizations can better trace business continuity policies to their products to improve operations the next time a significant disruption happens.

Our Take

  • A tactical assessment of end-user needs supports short-term roadmaps and backlogs. Taking a strategic look at your customers will help you plan your long-term roadmap.
  • Try to adapt your product or service positioning to solve the threats your customers are facing first. Most companies prioritize threats and risk more than growth.
  • Finally, plan your roadmap to support long-term objectives of your customers so you can help them achieve their goals as a trusted partner.

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