Why Political Positioning Is Not the Best Long Term Strategy

This post is primarily intended for user experience professionals and product managers; however, I hope  that folks from many disciplines will find this post relevant and conclude that it is a good starting point for a spirited discussion. Please comment away!

Some people believe that the best way to produce a successful product is to align it with power and influence in the organization, referred to in this post as political positioning. Political positioning means that you create product requirements that are primarily consistent with the views of the most powerful people in the organization. The idea is that they are the most powerful and influential;therefore, they must know what is right. While this might be an effective short term strategy, it is often the very reason why products fail to meet customer needs, why infighting occurs within organizations, and why product plans fall short of their goals. Continue reading “Why Political Positioning Is Not the Best Long Term Strategy”

How to Innovate by Observing Customers

You probably think that innovation is something people do in bright conference rooms with flip charts, colored pens, and sticky notes. If your answer is Yes, you are right, that’s how a lot of innovation is done but it’s not the only way it is done. Sometimes the best innovation happens, not when you are in a conference room, but when you are observing customers in the field.

This is because when you are with customers several things happen.  You are watching a real customer in a real environment and you can experience this person’s world first hand.  You are better able to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and understand their needs and frustrations as well as really see the details of their environment—things you could never do in a lab.
Continue reading “How to Innovate by Observing Customers”