In 2019, one of America’s most successful companies ran into major issues centered around their product development. Boeing, the world’s largest planemaker, found issues with a stall-prevention system known as MCAS after a Lion Air crash in Indonesia when pilots were believed to have lost a tug of war with software that repeatedly pushed the nose down. A second deadly crash in Ethiopia also involved MCAS. The two accidents killed a total of 346 people.
Even though Boeing had been a highly-respected and a top performing technology company, they suffered a major setback that we can all learn from – and inspire changes in our own technology development processes. Here are 5 product management takeaway ideas that can help you advance your company, reduce your risk, and improve the performance of your technology products and services:
1. HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE IS WORKING OPTIMALLY
What if your customers could see how you test the new products you are launching? What about your products in the market right now – how do you know they are working as well as you planned? Make sure you are being thorough enough and that you are following industry best practice protocols for testing new products and monitoring product performance. Take a look at your processes next week – and make them better!
2. HOW WELL ARE YOUR DOING MANAGING YOUR PARTNERS PERFORMANCE
Do you have partners that affect the quality performance of your product? Partners should be working alongside you to deliver high-quality solutions. Are they doing the right things? Are they taking the right steps? You cannot absolve yourself if your partner is failing at their job and ultimately makes your company fail. Take a deep look at how your organization is evaluating the expertise and capability of your partners – and add technical strength if you need it!
3. WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS AND SPEED WITH NEW RELEASES
Have you looked at your product updates and new product enhancement release timing? What kind of speed do you have? Is the responsiveness of your company acceptable to you? To your customers? Find out how long high-priority issues are taking to get fixed in your company. Start tracking this and making changes to improve your release speed and effectiveness!
4. LOOK AT YOUR PRICING FOR ADD-ON FEATURES
Do you have add-on features that are safety related or even quality related, that should be included in the price of your original product? We should make sure that our customer has the features they need in the base product to deliver a safe and high quality result when using even our base product.
5. WHAT IS YOUR DEBRIEFING PROCESS WHEN YOU HAVE A MAJOR PRODUCT FLAW
Ask your organization one question if you have a serious product performance issue: What are we going to do differently tomorrow – to prevent this from happening again. Debrief with your team on all major incidents. Get answers within hours of an incident. Agree a plan and act on it immediately. Make sure your organization and your performance step up each time.
The bottom line is this: The leader’s commitment and passion toward the company mission – builds employee commitment and passion. And the leader can inspire the team to make sure products and services instill customer confidence and actually make customers more effective – and in some cases even improve and save customer lives. If you can infuse leading product management commitment in your company, and build the quality discipline to monitor and guide your product performance, you can take your company all the way to the top!
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- 1-on-1 Coaching: Gary has implemented the ideas above successfully with his own teams, and he is actively refining them today with his CEO coaching customers. Can we help you implement positive results in your company? Contact Gary directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
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