Innovation

Why must businesses take the product thinking approach?

Kartik Dhokai

For a long time now, digitalization was based on the line of processes and projects. There is no master plan for this approach, no definitive process of developing the best product. The method of developing a product is essential, but is it more important than the product itself?

Product thinking is more of a thought process rather than a framework. Whenever you plan to launch some applications into the market, you come across many features, customers, revenue, and marketing.

You also think and talk about all the features you’ll be launching, but very few speak about the customer’s problems, which is more of a Product Thinking.

With this blog, we want to take you on a journey of product thinking. We are sure that you will find out some exciting things that need to be considered for a successful product launch.

What is Product Thinking?

If modern businesses want to be successful in an era driven by digital transformation, they must design, build, and maintain digital experiences with the right way of thinking.

Many businesses have already started combining product development techniques with a startup mindset, a new “product thinking” approach.

In the current market, there is a widespread general agreement about the digitally transformed companies.

Businesses that are still stuck working in the 20th century find it challenging to figure out how to break free from outdated structures. They struggle to digitally transform their businesses because they do not have the plan, resources, or intent.

Let’s look at some of the digitally native yet disruptive businesses such as Airbnb, Uber, and Spotify. Their business model successfully captures product thinking, an approach of human-centered design, lean delivery, and modern engineering marvel.

What these companies achieved from product thinking is an approach that allows them to grow the value others derive from their product. They got better at meeting their end-users’ needs.

An app might be a product for the owner, but is it a product for the customers? The app will only be a product when you try to solve the end customers’ problems you are targeting. It focuses more on the end customers’ issues than just a solution (i.e., just an app).

Product thinking is not all about getting product backlog loaded heavily with all used or unused features, but it’s more about prioritizing the features and get them on an app or the product at the correct time. 

It is more about business, design, and technology. It helps think from viability, technical feasibility, and customer’s point of view (i.e., customer experience) to enhance the product and take it to the next level.

Why do businesses need Product Thinking?

Let’s see what goes into product thinking before answering the question. When you and your team are working towards streamlining the product design or development process, follow a simple three-step routine like this.

1. Do the right thing

Employ people-centric design and focus on business outcomes

2. Do the thing right

A continuous improvement of process on development that delivers value early; building constantly.

3. Do it effectively

Work in multi-disciplinary teams. Treat agencies and partners as an integral part of the team.

When you indulge in product thinking, making a connection between investment and return becomes easier. Doing so allows you to prioritize development activities more effectively.

For businesses, product thinking endorses

  • customer-centric approach
  • connects teams and individuals
  • creates a collective sense of purpose
  • returns value quickly

You must ask these questions in sync with product thinking.

  1. What is the business or customers’ problems you are looking out for sale? 
  2. What are the jobs which need to be done for support?
  3. What are the goals or outcomes you are going to enable?
  4. What is the real-life impact you are going to address?

Product thinking helps us focus on the types of innovation you target regarding product offerings as product offerings are directly proportional to your target markets. It helps us get to the roots of the customers’ problem and identify the product’s viability, usability, releasable and marketable features.

What value business derives from Product Thinking?

Product Thinking helps you to slice product releases with four different factors as

  1. Delightful
  2. Useable
  3. Reliable
  4. Valuable

Apart from features & functions, product thinking helps us think and indulge in operations, logistics (if any), and, most importantly, the compliance part (if any), which is much needed to get on the floor and launch the product into the market. It’s also about thinking about the cost and efforts a business would require to put in place for achieving organizational goals. 

  • It helps businesses think about the target audience. If there is any specific age group that can be potential customers.
  • It’s about addressing the needs of end-users, but at the same time, it’s also about figuring out the impacted users, if there are any.
  • It helps think for users facing a problem.

Product thinking is a process where you learn continuously with your time around the customers. This will keep you on your toes and learn from the customers’ feedback and keep on updating the product, even once after you launch the product.

The Takeaway: Use Product Thinking as an advocacy tool

We have already established how Product Thinking enables businesses to build better products. This concept is a way of examining your product design decision in context with the problems’ with end-user experiences. Product thinking also enables businesses to establish better sync between user experience and product management.

For many, product thinking is just a new buzzword. As we mentioned at the start, there is no exact process of this approach. Yet, you can use it as an advocacy tool while explaining the product development approach’s nitty-gritty approach to a manager, client, team member, etc.

How can Rapidops help you successfully launch your next digital product?

We have been creating digital experiences that engage and develop happy customers worldwide.

Since 2008, we’ve assisted high-growth companies across many industries, from venture-backed startups to middle-market growth companies to Fortune 500s, to build advanced digital products and solutions that create sustainable competitive advantages.

With 200+ products launched, Rapidops specializes in building high-quality, scalable, and re-usable “digital assets” for its customers using the most advanced technology, design, and analytics. Take a look into our futuristic projects and services

Let’s talk about how digital strategy can work for your business. Book a free consultation for your next project. Drop us a message here!!

Author

Kartik Dhokai

A Strategic Agilist, the one who loves to transform the businesses digitally and helps enterprise customers to overcome their challenges in product thinking and design thinking.

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