Product Management White Papers

The Top Ten Things that Differentiate Successful Product Development Initiatives from Failed Efforts

The Top Ten Things that Differentiate Successful Product Development Initiatives from Failed Efforts
By Greg Geracie

Before we get to the top ten list a little bit of history is in order.

In January of this year, Enterprise Agility and Actuation Consulting joined together to conduct a global survey of product team performance. The survey enjoyed the support of the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM), the International Project Management Association (IPMA), the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) Chicagoland Chapter, Diversified Business Communications (publishers of the Project Times and Business Analyst Times), and Accept Software.

The study also had the support of a variety of other organizations; the Lambert Consulting Group (Lee Lambert and team), Orange County Product Managers, the Chicago Product Management Association, and PCamp Chicago.

Over 607 respondents completed the entire survey and we gleaned a tremendous amount of valuable information. Much of this information is available in the form of a white paper that will be made available to the general public on July 9th. Advance copies are currently available through two of the study’™s sponsors; IPMA and AIPMM.

There was so much data that not all of it was incorporated into the twenty page white paper. So I’™d like to share some of the findings in this blog post and future posts down the road.
One of the survey findings that did not make the white paper was based on the question; œWhat characteristics do you believe differentiate your organization’s successful product development initiatives from those that have struggled or failed?

The following list of the responses is in descending order.

  1. Strong, committed product teams
  2. Executive buy-in and support
  3. Well defined requirements
  4. Client-centric approach
  5. Dedicated (product team) resources
  6. Strong project management
  7. Shared goals and objectives
  8. Strong planning and funding
  9. Compelling vision
  10. Focus

We’re believers that strong, committed product teams are critical to successful product development initiatives. In fact, the point respondents are making here is that commitment to the team has to be organic and cannot be imposed from the outside. Respondents saw this as the most important aspect of successful product development initiatives.

Here’™s what one respondent had to say,
“WHEN we’re successful, it’™s because strong teams have gelled“ and they support each other, for their own desire to achieve team results.”

The second point around executive buy-in and support is also very important. If the executive team buys-in and actively engages with the product team the odds are that the project will be more successful. In our experience, this breeds increased levels of trust and enables the team to get resources that might otherwise have been withheld.

Respondents also cite well-defined requirements as rounding out the top three factors. No surprise to anyone involved in product development projects. This is clearly a critical aspect of developing a successful product.

How does this list match up to your experience? Would these be your top three?
Let us know. We’™d like to hear your opinion!