Product Innovation: Building Products that Matter (Part 8)

Product Innovation: Building Products that Matter (Part 8)

Prophix’s software meets and anticipates customers’ evolving needs

As the Chief Technology Officer for a global company, I lead a team of dedicated professionals who ensure that the technology infrastructure underpinning Prophix’s software meets and anticipates customers’ evolving needs.

For me, product innovation is more than building a product with a ‘rock solid’ infrastructure. Product innovation also means building a product that people truly want to use. For Prophix’s customers, that means honing a product that effectively balances ease-of-use and depth of functionality. With this objective in mind, true product innovation requires constantly applying the following principles:

Go beyond what customers currently do to address their challenges. That means spending time to understand the core issues that underlie the challenges that customers seek to address.

Test frequently. Every well-designed test illuminates ways to improve the product, and ultimately the experience, for the customer. As a result, conducting rigorous tests is a discipline that keeps products on track.

Involve customers. Throughout the development of a product, tap into the insights of existing customers and would-be users. The more that customers want a solution that addresses their challenges, the more time and energy they will invest in ensuring your product is a resounding success.

Use the latest technologies. The technology tools used throughout product innovation are evolving rapidly – for example, such tools are used for: ideation, building/coding, visualizing, prototyping, piloting, launching, project management, and measurement. Using the latest technologies allows you to take advantage of process efficiencies in a highly competitive market where your products are on aggressive development timetables. These technologies also serve to attract ambitious and talented team members as well as hone their skills.

Hire people who genuinely care about customers. Building effective solutions always requires talented people who can apply non-conventional thinking to solving real-life challenges. But, only people who truly care about helping customers to overcome their day-to-day business challenges channel their compassion into creating great solutions that are always practical.

Park egos at the door. Encourage your team members to collaborate and share ideas freely. Do this by openly recognizing ideas when they come from team members with varied backgrounds, skills. and titles.

Consistently apply these tenets and your product innovation will generate products that customers will genuinely look forward to using.

Bob Walker

Bob Walker is Prophix’s Chief Technology Officer. He leads a team of professionals who ensure that the technology infrastructure underpinning Prophix’s software meets and anticipates customers’ evolving needs.

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