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What agile teams can do after launch

by Leica Ison

Agile provides a great framework and suite of tools to support business teams in new product development. However, once these products are launched in the market, an agile digital product management approach and discipline around managing these products often falls away, to the detriment of the business.  Effective oversight of product after launch sets a foundation for long-term growth.


Product management has just gotten harder

The challenge of collaboration between product development and product management teams has always existed.  However right now in these times - this is challenging in remote working.  Many global surveys for years have shown that - silos, unclear roles, competing objections and adhoc reviews are what leads to poor product growth and unproductive product teams.

Based on my years of leading product growth and lifecycle teams I've developed a simple model to help product managers make better decisions and lead successful product growth.  It has three simple steps plan, review and act.  Best practice post-launch product management sets a routine of plan, review, act to ensure successful decisions as the market changes rapidly.  Setting the foundations of a continuous plan, review, act framework will not only break-down silos - it will ensure your see emerging risks and course-correct for long term product success.

So what is involved in the three steps of plan, review and act:

Step 1: Plan

In times like these having a product vision and strategy is essential.  The reality however is that the market has changed and resetting product plans is vital.  You need to shift your focus to reviewing marketing trends, revenue forecasts and cost profiles for your product.  Quickly set new product plans and a routine of cross-functional reviews with your buddies across the business.  A more systemic and structured approach to resetting your product plans will set the foundation for long term success

Step 2: Review

Product leaders now need to review all products with structure and routine. What adjustments are needed to realign your virtual team and product plans to the market changes?   Even more in fast-moving and changing times you need to consider a frequency and new cadence of product reviews.  We recommend you do a deep dive product assessment every 90 days and set action plans.  Monitor the plans on a weekly basis with your virtual team.  Its like a product meet-up in your agile product management software tool and one example is Skyjed's automated product management software tool for digital product management.  Its unique as it steps you through your product review and generates reports including a product health-check score.  The product health-check is like a pulse assessment of your product - it shows green the opportunities and strengths and red the emerging risks to monitor.

Step 3: Act

If you are finding it difficult to focus and set your priorities or your product tasks we recommend setting two types of action plans - strategic and risk mitigation.  Set these plans and monitor your product risk assessment.  Setting risk actions help you update management on emerging risks and increase your chances of identifying risks early.  This means you can reduce impact and intervene early.  Adding the Skyjed health-check score means you don't need to have truck load of reports to get management or the Boards attention and support.  For management and boards it brings transparency and forward looking insights.

What are the tips of how to lead your product after launch for success?

  1. Collaborate and buddy with cross-functional team
  2.  Start a routine of 90 day product deep dive reviews
  3. Monitor risk and set action plans to improve
  4. Update your product forecasts every month
  5. Start using automated software to reduce ad-hoc reporting and
  6. Spend more time on forward looking reviews.

Skyjed CEO Leica Ison said product lifecycle management is a critical function in any business however we still talk about product lifecycle management and that curvy graph which emerged in the 1960's.  

“Product governance at scale is a really hot topic right now.  We are seeing a lot of businesses adopting an agile approach for new product development, but facing big challenges building the bridge between agile development teams and product lifecycle teams. Unfortunately, this means that businesses are leaving value on the table by not taking a disciplined framework for monitoring and  reviewing their products post launch. Investment decisions are being based on the wrong drivers, growth opportunities are being missed, risk isn't being sufficiently identified, and products which should have been exited years ago are still taking up valuable resources within business”. 

Emerging artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions can help product leaders close the product governance gap and make better product growth decisions.  Product teams are familiar with using analytics dashboards and tools like Jira which are great for new development but just don't help when you have to make forward looking growth and risk decisions.   Emerging tools like Skyjed are fundamentally different as they automate all the steps you need to manage your product after launch with real-time automated reporting.

In a software tool like Skyjed you you can wake up in the morning from anywhere in the world and jump into your product space. At Skyjed we have created a Product 360 workspace where you can create product strategy, undertake consistent 90 day reviews and  complete an AI-based health-check of their product in minutes not weeks, identifying areas of risk or untapped growth opportunity. Skyjed does all the heavy lifting for you and uses sophisticated tools and algorithms, built on decades of experience and proven strategic framework, to provide product managers with an edge in managing their in market products.  Its saves time on reporting, reduces the amount of time you need to spend in meetings and makes it easier to assign and track actions.

For many product managers this view of their product is often out of reach, as they are largely swamped by administration and backward looking product reviews. Being freed up to navigate and audit the degree to which their core products strategy is  hitting the target market, providing the right product experience and being able to quickly respond to change and regulation, in such a simple way, is a total game changer.

Skyjed isn’t just useful for product professionals.

“The Skyjed tool is a new technology for Board Directors to get a transparent and independent review of their product core product assets, prior to leading into strategy day sessions and to have in the day-to-day business operations a best practice product governance framework.

Skyjed is designed to address product governance challenges in product and technology organisations globally at a time when we need a new approach to close the  product governance gap.

Have you tried Skyjed? We have a 90-day trial available here - our recommended amount of time to Plan, Review, Act on product strategy. 

Hungry for more? Check out our detailed guide on solving product strategy adjustment and virtual team alignment. How to re-evaluate product strategy and forecast the COVID effect as you respond and adapt.

Topics:Product GovernanceProduct PeopleProduct SuccessDigital Product Management