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Product Success Product Lifecycle Management product collaboration

Converting Product Strategy Thought Leadership into Actionable Content

It's likely that the social platforms you're consuming, are packed with a wealth of Thought Leadership content, across a range of topics that may often not always be at the heart of the day to day operation in our roles and organisations. 

Couple this with an ever increasing number of books on Product Management best practices and techniques, and I'm sure we can all align to the depth of opportunity created, however, are regularly asking ourselves "how can we actually utilise these resources?"

In many conversations about just this, the feedback is often how it's difficult to get some momentum behind it into the workplace, and that typically people and organisations struggle to know where and how to start.  

Accessing training courses/groups appears to be one such approach, however, this is often costly and not budgeted for, and doesn't lead to that momentum back into the organisations following attendance at the sessions. 

In addition, being unclear as to the actual benefits, can result in limited airtime for the proposals. Feedback often suggests that "we're doing some/most of this anyway, so why is there a need for change?", or "it's just all theory, and won't really make a discernible difference". 

We begin to see that a number of reasons are usually shared, so to highlight the main 3 we hear, in a little more depth:

  • Decision making and budgetary restrictions may quickly feel like they're pulling the rug from beneath the feet of those promoting the ideas. 

    There has to be a degree of investment, across such as people, roles, time, training, tooling, and processes. So why bother, particularly if the idea isn't supported by any pre-defined budgets for these needs, and even more so if there isn't a clear decision maker and budget holder to make them?

    One such example appears to be in organisations without a Chief Product Officer. By not having that role, or where it does exist, by not investing in the position with an appropriate budget, the risk of apathy and inaction quickly grows. Who is going to make the decision for the greater good of the organisation and the Product team? 

    Spending anything has become harder and harder, simply pushing the advocates back into a place of consuming the theory alongside those also with the interest, however, their ability to convert this into a practical outcome, is limited by the lack of decision makers, and the restricted approach to allocating funds. 

    If Product teams and the overall organisation are to realise the benefits, the investment and desire to change, requires a new level of support and sponsorship. 

  • Level of Commitment required across the organisation can seemingly lead to the idea quickly losing impact.

    All these ideas and points of theory are easy to talk about, and seemingly do indeed create an appetite for change, however, actionable steps are much harder to bring to any concrete conclusion. 

    Teams and organisations are so busy pushing their way through the inevitable challenges of the day to day inside their organisations, that whilst these new ideas sound cool and interesting, not enough time is put aside to understand and ultimately embrace them. As a result, the theory can quickly become lost to history, and BAU just takes over. 

    There is a requirement for strong and innovative leadership, those who can see beyond where they are today, and are able to visualise the benefits of a pivot in the methods and approaches previously taken. This may mean some 'stop and start' from the old to the new, or could be the introduction of completely new thinking and practices. 

    Out with the old and in with the new, always requires brave and innovative leadership, and with the understanding that a measurable and impactful difference can be made. 

    There is a longer term picture to consider. Demonstrating the investment in embracing new techniques, not only enthuses the existing workforce, it also supports creating an environment that is more attractive to new recruits, as they see an organisation that has moved from 'words' to 'actions', creating a workplace ready to meet and support the ambitions of Product professionals who are seeking these new and dynamic methods. 

  • Uncertainty over the tools needed is very close to our heart at Skyjed. We know that organisations have some degree of a lens on the marketplace for toolkit options, however, we see there remains a gap in true appreciation of the opportunity. 

    In a recent review of tools for the Product Management market (Q4 2023), we captured 267 different options, spread across a dozen or more segments. Workflow, Delivery, and Roadmap stood out with the most tools in their segments, whereas Marketing, Operations, Lifecycle, and Discovery felt underrepresented, and indeed not well appreciated or understood. This being very much indicative of the gap in the decision making space. 

    The marketplace for toolkits to support Product teams in their ambitions to grow, remains crowded and unclear. Organisations need to invest more time into the evaluation, with dedicated roles (even if short term), rather than asking existing advocates or team members to treat it like a side project, where a very small amount of their time can reasonably be allocated to the activity. 

    This only results in poor quality understanding, limitations in the recommendations, and ultimately a lack of credible proposals to get behind. 

From my own interactions, and also during conversations across my network, it's clear that Product leaders and teams are keen to embrace more about such as Strategy, Discovery, Outcomes (often via OKR's), and Marketing. However, for the reasons outlined above, the investment typically just isn't there. 

In addition, there's a difficulty in appreciating how such steps could be brought to life in an effective manner. Ultimately this often results in that apathy and lack of any real progress.  

I’m seeing Product Operations as the key to unlocking this problem. As this role becomes more prevalent, with a focus upon such as process and supporting technologies/tools, this can create the opportunity to be the catalyst for change.

The role could well be the 'go to' for embracing the opportunities, and driving a step up in the capabilities of the Product team, with associated benefits for the entire organisation. 

It's not about seeking to over structure the way teams work, with prescribed processes to follow. Whilst that is a danger to be aware of, it's really about providing a landscape to thrive upon, and in order to do so, investment is required. 

Product Operations can be the driver, the advocate, the evangelist, the role that gets this done! 

At Skyjed, this is where we help. Our Product Management Lifecycle solution is well positioned to support the objectives and pain points being experienced across organisations, coupled with simplifying the technology solution portfolio, reducing cost, and driving efficiency. As Mission Control for your Business and Products, Skyjed supports that desire for greater collaboration.

The Skyjed platform creates the environment to build up all the content an organisation needs to embrace such as Product Strategy and Design, enabling users with the ability to create and track progress through templates and versions, all supported with a straightforward and effective workflow and reporting capability. Your single source of truth for a lifetime of activity and effort across the Product Lifecycle. 

If you're that decision maker, that Product Operations lead, or perhaps you've seen the opportunity to embrace the ever increasing new thinking in the Product space, we can help. At Skyjed we've been supporting many organisations on this journey, and we're always seeking to listen to your examples, and understand how we can be even better placed to help. 

Would you like to know more about how Skyjed's Product Lifecycle Management platform could help to grow your operation? Book a Product demo with me, Simon Tuddenham, and let's discuss the opportunity, and how Skyjed can help you raise the bar.

About Skyjed
Skyjed’s AI-powered end-to-end lifecycle and governance platform is mission control for product management and your business as a whole.

Bringing together every data point across your entire product portfolio and lifecycle into a single source of product truth, it gives our clients a new perspective to make more strategic lifecycle decisions to launch, monitor, optimise and win with brilliant products.

Our industry-leading platform has received numerous awards and recognition from clients and industry bodies, demonstrating our commitment to innovation and excellence.