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Product Monitoring & Reviews Annual Product Reviews Lifecycle Management

The Lesser Spotted Product Review

We're all typically working to ship that next round of enhancements, fixes, or at times, that new Product! So when do we ever schedule a Product Review, and if we do, what are we including in that process?

During my own time in Product, hands up, I can never recall an occasion when I've been through a formal Product Review process. In hindsight, that feels rather like a significant miss.

Sure, there have been times where we've looked at the high level metrics, and usually they've been revenue or cost based, so in reality are just skimming off the top, and typically without any deeper insights being explored. 

When, for example, do we invest time into a Customer Journey Map review, into a deep dive of customer complaints and associated Product pain points, or unearth the gems from a look into metrics associated with the Product experience. Perhaps some of these are done, and more often when there's a specific issue raised, however, the opportunity exists to take a more holistic look at our Products, through a formal and scheduled review process. 

It could be that an annual review is where we go deepest, whereas on a quarterly basis we look in a lighter manner. Time is always against us, however, if we don't do this at all, then aren't we burying our head in the sand, accepting the norm, and simply being reactive to those specific issues as and when they arise.

Then there's the 'how' we approach these reviews, and what are the optimal toolkits available to support these activities. Most conversations I have with Product leaders and teams, highlight that more traditional tools are being used when these reviews or escalations occur. In all discussions, there is a clear absence of specialised toolkits that simplify and elevate the opportunity.

A Product review is just one key element of the many activities Product leaders need to pay increased attention to. Having a Digital Operating System (DOS) for the entire Product portfolio, centralised, and proactively highlighting risk and opportunities, all leads to a significant elevation in the bar for how Product teams operate, and how they can quickly react when needed. Whether it's activities like Product Reviews, Product Vision & Strategy, or Product Performance, an effective DOS can be the platform to this goal.  

If we don't pay the right attention to Product reviews, then what are we losing and missing along the way? The Product review further provides an opportunity to think beyond just the pure straight line performance metrics, and consider opportunities in such as the Innovation or Sustainability domains. 

Sustainability (the ESG agenda) is fast becoming a key area of focus for all sectors. Governments and sector specific bodies are fast defining more in depth approaches for organisations to be compliant to. The space is extensive, asking many ethical questions that had perhaps been ignored, avoided, or not even understood until now. A Product review is the perfect place to stop and think about the impact of our Products upon the environment, in addition to the processes we undertake to even build them in the first place. 

By taking the time to think of new or disruptive trends in technologies, what others across our market are driving towards, and how the changing needs of consumers are placing organisations in a position whereby they cannot stand still and must think differently, then Product innovation questions become even more relevant. 

These are challenges for everyone in all Product roles, not least for Product leaders, who must ensure appropriate time and resource is placed into the review of existing Products, and into the design of new. This is reshaping the way Product leadership need to look at the activities of current roles, and posing questions around the emergent roles needed to meet these objectives.

Does it come into the sphere of Product Operations, Product Lifecycle Management, or even suggest the need for something totally new. Might we see a role that looks continuously at these aspects of the Product portfolio, and is full time in the cycle of ongoing Product review?

Personally, I find this a refreshing opportunity for Product teams and careers. As said earlier, I've rarely seen organisations spend much time on the Product review and it's many domains and elements. As this changes, the question has to be asked about 'how' will this be executed? Not just what are the roles we need? Also, what are the toolkits we need to support this growth, increased visibility inside and outside of the organisation, and in an efficient and cost effective manner?     

Once thing is for sure, Product is continuously evolving, and as we turn our attentions away from simply shipping more, the way we think about the lifecycle of our Product portfolios comes closer than ever before.
  
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Keen to know more about the opportunity for Skyjed's Product Lifecycle Management platform to solve your key pain points? Book a Product demo with me, Simon Tuddenham, and let's discuss the challenges you're facing, and how Skyjed can help you solve for them. 
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About Skyjed

Skyjed’s AI-powered end-to-end lifecycle and governance platform is mission control for product management. 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.