Top 10 Things Needed to      Create a Successful Product                   Getting from Market                   Requireme...
Who is Ruth Hennigar?     20 years in Information Technology     Product Development Experience at Fortune 500 &      St...
This Presentation     Focus on building products          Not selling/marketing   Concept/Market Requirements to ‘Golde...
#10: Define the Customer   Attributes of the core customer base   Specific examples   Problem definition          Feat...
#9: Set Up-Front Product Goals   Release timing   Must-have features: prioritized   Quality goals   Technology goals  ...
#8: Identify Core Team Members     Identify a Project Lead     QA, Product Marketing, Eng, Human Factors,      Developer...
#7: Identify Key Issues Early   Technical unknowns   Market unknowns/follow on research   Outside resource requirements...
#6: Learn From the Last Time     Use last project Post Mortem findings          Current or last company you were at   I...
#5: Understand the Tradeoffs   Resources: people, money, hardware.   Time: ship date   Features   Quality          Co...
#4: Tell the Truth   Don’t shoot the messenger   Listen/learn/understand   Truth vs what you want to hear   The sooner...
#3: Communicate   Set up non-meeting communication    channels   Be clear and specific          Don’t assume   Core te...
#2: Focus Focus Focus     Ruthless prioritization          Short list of critical items     Review new requests and dat...
#1: Make Decisions     And stick with them     Consistent decision making process          Who makes the decision?     ...
Thank you for listening                      Now, it’s your turn.                      What are your Top 10?Oct 8, 2003   ...
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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
Ruth Hennigar at SVPMA Monthly Event October 2003

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Top 10 Things Needed to Create a Successful Product

  1. 1. Top 10 Things Needed to Create a Successful Product Getting from Market Requirements to Final SoftwareOct 8, 2003 Ruth Hennigar @ SVPMA 1
  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. #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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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