My foray in the technology industry began with services. My company offered IT and IT enabled services. What this meant was, we worked with clients on helping them develop projects. This often meant working with clients on a project, and moving on once it was complete.
Actually, that was not quite right. While I did work with clients on their projects, more often than not, my involvement was even shorter – I would be involved only in the sales process. But, that didn’t stop me from being a nomad. And, this holds true even for the consultancy I provide – especially with startups wanting to develop their own product.
However, in my latest role, I sit at the other side of the proverbial table. I am now, by business definition, a client, and a product owner at that. But, this transition wasn’t as seamless as I thought it would.
THE LONG ROAD AHEAD
Being in services, created a transactional approach to developing software. But, with products, it needed to be about the long haul. When I first started, my planning was very much ‘project’ driven, not product. It meant lack of visibility into anything but the short term, and milestone induced anxiety. This anxiety, I associated a lot with project managers that I worked with before.
To overcome this, I figured I needed a paradigm shift:
- I started making detailed product roadmaps – I mapped the evolution of initiatives, features, and functionality. This reduced the transactional nature of my involvement
- Instead of focusing on milestones, I focused on outcomes. This meant reduced anxiety to achieve timelines (not that I didn’t pay attention to them), but I focused on ensuring the best possible releases
I started this series of posts to document my journey in product development. While I just started, it’s been quite a revelation. More on that soon.