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Top 10 Things Needed to Create a Successful Product
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Top 10 Things Needed to Create a Successful Product

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Top 10 Things Needed to Create a Successful Product by …

Top 10 Things Needed to Create a Successful Product by
Ruth Hennigar at SVPMA Monthly Event October 2003

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • 1. Top 10 Things Needed to Create a Successful Product Getting from Market Requirements to Final SoftwareOct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 1
  • 2. Who is Ruth Hennigar?  20 years in Information Technology  Product Development Experience at Fortune 500 & Start-ups  As an executive and member of the rank and file  Shipped over 15 Hardware and Software products (Consumer & Small Business devices, Networking Software, Operating Systems, Commerce Web Site)  General Management as well as Engineering experience Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 2
  • 3. This Presentation  Focus on building products  Not selling/marketing  Concept/Market Requirements to ‘Golden Master’ Software  Relevant to first products and follow-ons  Applicable to large and small companies, teams and projects Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 3
  • 4. #10: Define the Customer  Attributes of the core customer base  Specific examples  Problem definition  Feature definition  Who ISN’T the customer  Write it down  Whole team needs to be clear • Product Management - Engineering - QA - Execs Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 4
  • 5. #9: Set Up-Front Product Goals  Release timing  Must-have features: prioritized  Quality goals  Technology goals  Milestone exit criteria  Write them down Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 5
  • 6. #8: Identify Core Team Members  Identify a Project Lead  QA, Product Marketing, Eng, Human Factors, Developer and/or Customer Support, Sustaining Eng  Executive sponsor/Company sign-off  Clarify roles and responsibilities  Ensure (and continue to ensure) buy-in and ownership  Do it Early! Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 6
  • 7. #7: Identify Key Issues Early  Technical unknowns  Market unknowns/follow on research  Outside resource requirements  Licensing or acquisition of technology  Partnerships  Allow time in the schedule for resolving the issues  Assign resources to resolving them ASAP Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 7
  • 8. #6: Learn From the Last Time  Use last project Post Mortem findings  Current or last company you were at  In planning/team meetings, review what worked and didn’t the last time  If it didn’t work last time, don’t expect it to this time, unless you changed something Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 8
  • 9. #5: Understand the Tradeoffs  Resources: people, money, hardware.  Time: ship date  Features  Quality  Cost of customer support post ship, reputation  What can be adjusted?  because something will have to be Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 9
  • 10. #4: Tell the Truth  Don’t shoot the messenger  Listen/learn/understand  Truth vs what you want to hear  The sooner you find out, the more options you have Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 10
  • 11. #3: Communicate  Set up non-meeting communication channels  Be clear and specific  Don’t assume  Core team vs entire team  Effective meetings  Agenda, minutes, pre-work all are critical Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 11
  • 12. #2: Focus Focus Focus  Ruthless prioritization  Short list of critical items  Review new requests and data against original product goals  Avoid feature creep  Avoid ‘last customer input’ trap Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 12
  • 13. #1: Make Decisions  And stick with them  Consistent decision making process  Who makes the decision?  Who has to be included in the decision? Who has a vote vs an opinion?  Who needs to be informed of the decision?  Write down the decision and the options reviewed  SUPPORT THE DECISION MAKER Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 13
  • 14. Thank you for listening Now, it’s your turn. What are your Top 10?Oct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 14

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