Egress Solutions Product & Innovation Management Blog

New to Market Discovery? Here's What You Should Know

Beware of early feedback, it’s mostly noise 

It’s so exciting to get new ideas and find market problems at the start of the process. The users are engaged and you are doing your best to empathize with their situation and feel their pain.  

Based on our experience with market discovery and the feedback we hear from our clients, it’s best to file away initial input and refer to it later in the process. It may be compelling, especially if it comes from a group of very impressive non-customers that your sales team is itching to win over. Generally speaking, this early input will not be enough to formulate a compelling problem statement 

Don’t be discouraged! Collecting input from a wide range of customers - current, competitors and potential - will unearth the true nature of the market problem explicitly, with emotion and provide the value of solving it.  

Read More

Avoiding Hiring Interns For Your Small Business? Read this first.

As a small company we have learned the hard way that talent means everything. 

In this tight labor market, we have shifted to a balanced recruiting practice. Looking for experienced consultants and product management professionals while recruiting high potential individuals through internships 

For a company our size, the internship route can seem like daunting task and high risk. We had to invest a lot of thought into the goals of the internship. We sought to answer these and other questions.  

Read More

3 Non-traditional Lessons For Product Management Success

Early on in my career as a Product Manager, my peers described me as a ‘Maverick Contrarian’. Truth be told, I doubt it was meant as a compliment but I kind of liked it. I wasn’t satisfied with what I was told a product manager was supposed to do or not do. Twenty years ago (perhaps still today), PMs struggled to illustrate their importance to their organization. PMs worked to define their role and responsibilities almost to their detriment, boxing themselves into a comfort zone to do their job but limiting their ability to lead.

Read More

3 Things No One Tells You About Market Validation

Your research has uncovered a market problem that your company may be able to solve. Congratulations! It’s worth celebrating, but keep in mind that your work is about 30% done. Just like you wouldn’t run off and marry someone you just met, your decision to move ahead with committing company resources to this particular problem must be based on more than just recognizing its existence. You must see if there is a fit – a true opportunity for your company to make money – validation that this market problem is a keeper.

Read More

What Product Managers Must Do to Turn Ideas into Strategic Thinking

Every product and service we have today was once an idea. Even the most basic creations did not exist before someone came up with an impression for a better outcome that would be useful in some way.

When you stop and think about it, the number of incredible products and services available today is truly amazing. In many cases, these great products have developed into product lines, companies and even industries. And it all started with an idea.

Read More

An Insight into the Problem with Finding Market Problems

We all know that finding and validating market problems are the most important activities for a product manager.

Yet, many Product Managers struggle to consistently engage in this best practice.  The reasons for this challenge may vary, however what we hear most often is that Product Managers collect ample data from customers and potentials but find it difficult to aggregate into meaningful information.

Read More

8 Keys to Successfully Implementing a Product Management Framework

Organizations eager to do a better job building and launching products that win in the market are smart to look to product management frameworks. Who wants to waste time reinventing the wheel when market opportunities require speed and stakeholders are obsessed with agility? The tested, refined, and re-refined product management best practices from the industry’s thought leaders have done all the hard work, so why not just “paste and go?”

Not so fast! As we outlined in our previous post, training your product teams is an important step, but just that – a step – in transforming your group into a well-oiled product management machine. To truly leverage the product management framework, an organization needs to understand its objectives, identify strengths and weaknesses, and tailor the implementation.

In our years of helping companies adopt the most valuable elements of industry standard frameworks based on agile, lean product management and market-driven models, we’ve taken note of the key “ingredients” to a rapid, complete, and successful implementation.

Read More

Our team has been through product management training… now what?

Getting a product management team up to speed is a big commitment and investment. Training is an essential part of their journey to high-performance, but multiple studies show us that overall retention of training material is very low – about 10%, according to most experts. Furthermore, if team members don’t get to put that new information into practice, they will struggle to retain even that small fraction.

This isn’t the fault of the product managers or product team leaders. The many high quality training courses available for product teams simply aren’t sufficient. Such training programs are the foundation of what is required to transform your group into a high-performing product management organization.

Read More

Should You Hire or Grow Your Next Product Management Leader?

Perhaps your VP of Products has decided to join a hot startup or you just realized that it’s time for your product management group to have its own seat at the leadership table. Regardless of the circumstance, you find yourself in need of a product management leader.

You can picture who you want to step into this role:

  • someone in sync with the company vision and goals
  • an effective leader who will focus the product management team
  • someone who can earn the respect of development
  • a professional who really gets product management
  • they know it is also a market facing role and won’t let the team get bogged down in countless meetings

So how do you get from here to there?

Should you hire or “grow” your next product management leader?

Read More

The ABCs of Win-Loss Analysis

As we discussed in our recent post How to Quantify the Return on Product Management, it’s essential for product management teams to focus on market-sensing activities. How do customers and prospects view your solutions relative to the competition? What are the most important factors in their decision? Who is involved?

A golden opportunity to gain insight is right after a customer or prospect chooses to buy or not buy. But it’s not as simple as just asking a new customer why your company won, or asking the sales rep why you lost. To pan the gold out of the wins and losses happening every day, you’ll need a carefully planned and executed win-loss analysis program.

Maximizing the Benefits of Your Win/Loss Analysis Program

Your program should consist of 4 main steps – prepare, survey, interview, and analyze. Because your sales team won’t be excited about this (you know it’s true) and not every customer/prospect will take part, your approach needs to maximize participation and extract the most value from each interview. Here is how to do that.

Read More