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Eating Our Own Dog Food

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A case study of how integrating Agile software with Content Strategy poses challenges to a team that is more service oriented than product and customer oriented. How we have dealt with it, and how we are moving forward. This talk was presented at the Content Strategy Applied Conference in London, January 2017, by The Transformation Society's Ray Gallon and Andy McDonald of TECH'advantage.

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Eating Our Own Dog Food

  1. 1. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Ea#ng Our Own Dog Food Ray Gallon Andy McDonald
  2. 2. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Ea#ng Our Own Dog Food Ray Gallon Andy McDonald Unifying a content strategy for software publishers
  3. 3. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr  A service company with a handful of major clients  Developed internal authoring tool for delivering contextual information to software  Could we turn it into a product and market it? There Was a Tool… Lots of small software companies don’t have “documentation”
  4. 4. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr How can we do it?   How do we convert that tool into a product?   How do we move from service to software publisher? Market Positioning Niche The PRODUCT Mktg Plan
  5. 5. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr A Clear Roadmap Go/no go RoadmapBudget Ressources Technology
  6. 6. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Virtual marketing as we understood it   Drive the funnel through a persona-based content strategy   Test & tune the roadmap as we go   Build success through successful onboarding
  7. 7. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Then we had an idea   Product strategy and content strategy are one and the same   As a software company, designing a tool for software publishers, surely we have a unique position ?
  8. 8. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr   What if we had a nimble, agile approach, everywhere?   What if content people work with techies?   What if everybody contributes to design and content?   What if features are planned via content strategy?   What if we inject content strategy into the agile model?   What if our product is the user experience/journey? Product Strategy and Content Strategy: One and the Same
  9. 9. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Content in the agile process Product Strategy and Content Strategy: One and the Same
  10. 10. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Content in the agile process Product Strategy and Content Strategy: One and the Same
  11. 11. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Content What is our dogfood?   Content includes pre and post sales   Content embedded deep in UI – integral to user journey & UX   Continuous update and integrated feedback embedded in the design   Content strategists collaborate with developers   Continuous testing conducted by users, content strategists, and devs ü  Product’s real added value ü  We prove it by doing it
  12. 12. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr   Features correspond to real persona requirements   Quick concept testing allows refinement   Develop just good enough and reiterate   Be nimble: rapid implementation of game changing requirements   UI/UX design with content people   Onboarding in the product, not only in content Features What is our dogfood? ü  Product’s real added value ü  We prove it by doing it
  13. 13. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Painful Practical Truth   We had all the components for success – in silos!   Distributed around France – many had never met   Agile terminology and procedures ≠ AGILE MINDSET   Service oriented developers resisted design input from content and marketing people   Development schedule ignored market requirements
  14. 14. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Finance Impact of virtual marketing (VM)   Balance of power Marke=ng Development Support 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 % revenu
  15. 15. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Finance Impact of virtual marketing (VM)   Balance of power Marke=ng Development Support 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 % revenu
  16. 16. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Content Impact of virtual marketing (VM)   Addresses people’s needs – “let us help with your pain points”   Selective messages to targeted groups with common interests via personas   Snowball effect   Window of opportunity is a moving target, must be planned   Affects the product roadmap (semi real-time)
  17. 17. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Features Impact of virtual marketing (VM) Address pain points and fulfill the promises we made in content Conceived and added to roadmap based on real-time user feedback   Need to be just good enough – “Perfection is the enemy of the Good” Adapt and improve in relation to user response
  18. 18. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Development Impact of virtual marketing (VM)   As much as possible, developers’ priorities driven by customer needs priorities   Agile priority changes Staged development – make it work for today, scale it up tomorrow   Let product team and beta testers break it
  19. 19. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Support Impact of virtual marketing (VM)   Customer care is primary   Responsive, accessible, visible   More and more bot driven   Incorporates user feedback and know-how sharing among ALL stakeholders
  20. 20. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Support Impact of virtual marketing (VM)   Customer care is primary   Responsive, accessible, visible   More and more bot driven   Incorporates user feedback and know-how sharing among ALL stakeholders
  21. 21. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Digestible?   NO Changing process for a dev team is a nightmare   In a service company with bespoke clients, customer journey is unknown   Agile is easy to masquerade, impossible to impose
  22. 22. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Digestible?   NO Success required a transition which challenged practices, habits even company culture   Product is really a tool for a new CS paradigm in software, but dev knows nothing of this – no buy-in Walls errected between product and dev
  23. 23. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Error Codes   <001> Failure not acceptable   <002> Invalid Sequence: development initiated before strategy   <003> Product ownership ≠ project management   <004> HR allocation error   <005> Tools proliferation error   <005A> Unused tools error   <006> General failure: information sharing fault
  24. 24. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr If we started again? Spend time onboarding ourselves   Content strategy should drive agile governance Everybody needs the same agile experience   Charter core values: transparency, rapid delivery, reactivity, collegiality
  25. 25. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr A CS role in small software companies?  4 key roles:   Understand   Design   Negotiate   Interface
  26. 26. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr A CS role in small software companies?   Understand the role of the customer/user journey in entire life-cycle   Define it through personas   Deal with how pain points are addressed (content), catered for (features) and relieved (support)   Understand the market and the niche   Understand how developers work   Understand management objectives
  27. 27. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr A CS role in small software companies?   Design persona-based strategy   Consider the entire journey and not just marketing   Features, UI design, interaction design, onboarding, service and support   Be garantor of the promise fulfilled and what satisfaction means
  28. 28. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr A CS role in small software companies?   Negotiate the adequate   Everything costs   There is a balance between content and features, just as much as there is between features and support
  29. 29. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr A CS role in small software companies?   Interface with marketing, dev, support & management   Delivering a strategy to management is not enough   Must ensure, facilitate and accompany its implementation
  30. 30. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr A CS role in small software companies?   There is significant overlap and a blurred boundary between content strategist and product owner   In some situations, they may be the same person
  31. 31. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Lessons learned   Everyone must understand the marketing funnel – how it affects the entire project   In digital marketing, everyone – development included – needs to be on the same page   Onboarding is critical   Onboarding cycles influence priorities in delivery   Difficult for developers to digest, creates insecurity Marketing
  32. 32. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr   Agile is not just methodology, it’s a mindset   Product owner is not a director of development   Chief navigator piloting a complex vessel   Multiple teams collaborate, using their particular expertise   Upstream preparation saves time downstream Agile Lessons learned
  33. 33. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr   Unqualified support from highest level is essential   Team building cannot be ignored   Transparency is of the essence, especially in agile.   Planned, specific contract between all participants   The shorter the cycles, the more transparent everything must be Team Lessons learned
  34. 34. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Our Next Steps OURSELVES BeIer late than never! §  Reality check §  Agile education §  Change some roles §  Team & confidence building §  Roadmap adjustment Re
  35. 35. @RayGallon @AndyMcD_TECH @TransformSoc @techad_fr Thank You! Want to know more? Talk to us! @AndyMcD_TECH @techad_fr Webs: www.transformationsociety.net www.easydoccontents.com/en/home/ @RayGallon @TransformSoc

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