“In 90 days the team pivoted the product, saved a major account, captured a large order, cut schedule from 18 months to nine months, and developed virtual backlog. Two years after release, product market share was up by 30% to 70%. Twelve of 17 competitors were gone. The division was the dominant global player.”
Cardinal Rules of Synchronous Customer and Product Development
- Meet Customers as a Core, Cross-Functional Team authorized to act within a defined envelop.
- Report to a “Board,” to explain and defend your strategy and business case
- Meet Customers’ Decision Making Teams not just users
- Meet on Site in the customers’ habitat: Home, office, lab, factory, or playground. See what they do. Meet their colleagues, form relationships, help fix stuff now, and return as required
- Test Sell a Validation Prototype: Renderings, specs, and props. Don’t sell a vision! False positives result.
- Ask questions. Take Notes. Ask question of fact, not opinion and shut up. Take notes. Tag data and quotes.
- Disclose Limitations to surface objections. It enhances your credibility, too.
- Conduct Trial closes. There are thirty good ones starting on slide one.
- Meet in Waves to get bonked over the head by patterns, two customers per day, Tuesday to Thursday.
- Find and Fix Bad News. Bad news early is good news, if you find and fix it early.
Abstracted From “Massacre at IBM”. To read the article, click here.