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Sense & Respond: Book Review & Panel Discussion


Published on

A seen on the "Product Thinking NYC" meetup page:

Join us at Alpha as we do a deep dive into the book entitled:

"Sense and Respond: How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously", written by Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden

The End of Assembly Line Management

We’re in the midst of a revolution. Quantum leaps in technology are enabling organizations to observe and measure people’s behavior in real time, communicate internally at extraordinary speed, and innovate continuously. These new, software-driven technologies are transforming the way companies interact with their customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

This is no mere tech issue. The transformation requires a complete rethinking of the way we organize and manage work. And, as software becomes ever more integrated into every product and service, making this big shift is quickly becoming the key operational challenge for businesses of all kinds. We need a management model that doesn’t merely account for, but actually embraces, continuous change. Yet the truth is, most organizations continue to rely on outmoded, industrial-era operational models. They structure their teams, manage their people, and evolve their organizational cultures the way they always have.

Our Guest Panelists Include:

- Chul Kwon, Head of Product at InterviewJet
- Jordan Bergtraum, Management Consultant (formerly VP of Product Management at ServiceChannel)
- Jenine Lurie, Director, Innovation by Design at Genpact
- Nis Frome, Co-Founder & Content Lead, Alpha

Published in: Technology
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Sense & Respond: Book Review & Panel Discussion

  2. 2. Chul Kwon Head of Product InterviewJet Jenine Lurie Director Innovation by Design at Genpact Jordan Bergtraum Management Consultant (formerly VP of Product Management at ServiceChannel) Nis Frome Co-Founder & Head of Content Alpha
  3. 3. 1. Valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools 2. Focus on creating working software over comprehensive documentation 3. Establishing product team and customer collaboration over contract negotiation 4. Responding to change over following a fixed, anticipated plan
  4. 4. 1. Creating two-way conversations with customers. 2. Focusing on the outcomes. 3. Embracing continuous change and continuous processes. 4. Creating collaboration. 5. Creating a learning culture.
  5. 5. 1. What can we do to facilitate these two way conversations? 2. How can we articulate the right outcomes? 3. What does continuous change and processes actually look like? 4. What are the best steps towards generating collaboration? 5. What are the best steps towards creating a learning culture?
  6. 6. 1. What can we do to facilitate these two way conversations?
  7. 7. Why should we have two way conversations? • To find out what customers really want • To get feedback
  8. 8. The power of user generated content, via YouTube: “YouTube has been flooded with how-to videos.” “It’s not because the brands haven’t tried to create their own content. It’s because users want to hear from other users.” (p. 83)
  9. 9. How does Xiaomi release products quickly? 1. Xiaomi releases phones in “small batches” 2. Customers provide feedback on the Xiaomi online forum 3. Product managers review feedback for ideas 4. Product managers work with engineers on new feature requests based on ideas 5. New phones with new features are developed and deployed (p. 35)
  10. 10. How did Facebook fix their “inappropriate photo” reporting feature? “Because [Facebook] team members weren’t sure what was going on, they started to update the product in a way that would help them figure it out.” Each update was designed to: 1. Fix the problem, and 2. To get more information about the problem. (p. 20)
  11. 11. The power of user generated content, via “By allowing customers to review products on its site, the company actively engaged in two-way conversations with its customers and provided a material advantage to other shoppers seeking to purchase products on the internet.” (p. 82)
  12. 12. 2. How can we articulate the right outcomes?
  13. 13. Outcome: What happens as a result of doing something. Output: What can be made and delivered to someone. Outcomes Outputs
  14. 14. “As our software systems get more complex, it becomes harder to predict what people will do with them [outcomes].” (p. 17)
  15. 15. Outcome-based Road Map “It neatly ties the work you’re planning to the outcomes you believe the work will have, and it ties the outcomes you seek to the strategic objectives you are trying to achieve.” (p. 129)
  16. 16. 3. What does continuous change and processes actually look like?
  17. 17. Software (and now hardware) can be made to improve continuously and over time. (p. 23 & 34)
  18. 18. 4. What are the best steps towards generating collaboration?
  19. 19. The Balanced Team Design: “What kind of product will users want to use?” Engineering: “What kind of product can we really build?” Product: “How can the product meet business goals?” (p. 144)
  20. 20. Multichannel Services: Lessons Learned from (p. 87) 1. Collaboration is about providing a service. 2. To generate the best outcomes, you must work closely with the business, and more importantly, their consumers. 3. Designers must find more ways to satisfy customers via collaboration. 4. That’s why providing a product or service is not enough. Create experiences for your customers.
  21. 21. 5. What are the best steps towards creating a learning culture?
  22. 22. Elements that make up a learning culture (p. 196) 1. Humility 2. Permission to fail 3. Self-direction 4. Transparency
  23. 23. “Sandboxes, blameless postmortems, and other safe-to-fail learning tactics mitigate the big risks organizations face. They allow teams to learn and to respond to changing conditions. They do this by encouraging small amounts of risk.” (p. 201)
  24. 24. “For every Netflix that has embraced change from the beginning, there is a Blockbuster that has failed to create the adaptability it needs in order to survive.” (p. 220)
  25. 25. Talk with your colleagues and management about: 1. “We understand that designing software is a continuous process.” 2. “We want to admit that we don’t always know the answers.” 3. “We are always willing to find the answers.” 4. “We need the time and opportunity to research and experiment.” 5. “We will fail sometimes, and find the wrong answers.” 6. “We still want your support in continuing to find the right answers.”
  26. 26. A special thanks to our guest panelists:
  27. 27. A special thanks to Thor Ernstsson, Nis Frome, and the team at… Alpha
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