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Many IT, Development, and Product teams are focused on delivering internal products. Platforms, packaged software, hardware, or custom solutions that underpin the products sold to customers or help employees do their job. They are often stuck serving the businesses – trapped in a world of disparate applications, technical complexity, demanding stakeholders, projects, deadlines, and changing priorities. Always under pressure to deliver and unable to get ahead of the game.
Here’s how they might escape … with a product thinking mindset shift.
Product thinking for internal products
Product thinking is at the core of most businesses. It’s about having standard products that you build once and sell many times. Companies love this because, as a business model, it’s very efficient – it brings economies of scale that maximize profits.
But product thinking isn’t often applied to the internal products in an organization – products and platforms that solve real business problems and provide real value for your internal stakeholders.
What’s more, by default, internal products are often managed by IT teams – as part of a large estate of applications. And IT teams typically apply their existing operating model to hit project-related delivery – rather than driving the roadmaps and strategies you need to maximize business outcomes and value. They are seen as a cost center, not a source of strategic value.
This is important, as although your customer-facing products generate revenue, it’s your internal products that underpin business success.
How does product thinking help?
Product thinking and the discipline of product management help you tackle the following challenges:
- How do you proactively manage internal products to provide a sustainable service to the business? So, moving away from just delivering something on time to thinking about the whole life cycle.
- How do you achieve a more commercial focus that drives business success and saves money? The answer includes moving from a ‘project’ mindset of one-off solutions to a ‘product thinking’ mindset.
- How can you change the focus from output-driven (i.e., when will the next feature be ready?) to outcome-driven, where you help internal stakeholders realize the maximum business value?
- How can you take on more of a leadership role to add value to the business? Of course, you need to respond tactically to short-term needs, but you also need a longer-term strategic view as the company develops.
This white paper helps you explore what this can mean in your business.
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