In this impromptu interview, Anders Eklund and Nate Chai share several tips on how to optimise your product or service using examples from an engineered based product.
Should you have a slow internet connection or cannot hear the interview, Anders Eklund’s tips are summarised below the video. However, if you can, we recommend you watch the interview for more insights and learnings than our notes provide.
How to Optimise your Product
Ask the right questions
Whenever you’re looking to improve a product, system, or process, you need to start asking questions.
- Who owns the process, product, or system?
- What does the product/service development roadmap look like?
- How can we use this product in different markets/Where else can we leverage this?
Let’s address these three questions.
The Process Owner
The first question of ownership is vital and is one of those emotional-thinky-feely type questions. What you as a business owner needs to discern is who wants to be responsible for taking the product, process, or system to the next level.
When you give responsibility to someone, most take it as an honour. When your team member feels that they are in charge of something or that they “own” it, their commitment levels and need to succeed soar.
Service Development Roadmap
The second question is all about having a goal and a development plan or product roadmap. Having a vision for your product, system, or process is an essential aspect of optimisation. What is called for here is specificity! Simply saying, “our goal is improve the product” doesn’t help anyone.
A better goal is “we need to improve the efficiency of our product by 20 per cent”. When you specify what you need, it’s easier for the brain to start asking more focused questions on how to achieve the goal.
Other Markets for your product
The third component is; which other markets can your product be used in. Some outside the box, creative thinking may be required here. Use the collective brain power you’ve used to find solutions and redirect it to sort out a strategy to apply them in different markets or areas of the business.
A great example of this is Elon Musk putting desks on the manufacturing floor of his Tesla factory. By allowing “Blue-collar” and “white-collar” workers to mingle, more ideas were created and the speed of implementing new ideas accelerated.
Similarly, once a product has reached maturity, and you understand everything about its capabilities, it’s easier to find a need for it in other markets.
How to Optimise your Product
The Three Levels of “Why”
Another concept Anders shared was the core value of understanding “why” in your business. When the “why” for running a business is clear, making decisions becomes lightning fast, your team will be more effective, and the efficiency of the business will rocket!
The reason for this accelerated efficiency? Focus.
When humans are given a task to solve, they feel comfortable. Uncertainty is expected because they are solving a problem that hasn’t been solved before. Similarly, everyone has accountability for their actions through one question, “does this help us reach our why?”
This “why” changes at three different levels of the business; corporate level, team level and personal level.
The business’s mission statement. Why was this business created? What ultimate goal is it hoping to solve? Examples of the mission statement include; “Make air travel affordable for everyone” or “Create the world’s most powerful engines”. You may have a socially conscious reason for starting the business such as “to provide ethical coffee to the world” or “make communication in the engineering sector easier”.
It may even be a combination of several of the examples we discussed. The important takeaway is to get to the core of your business’s values.
Why was this team created? For what purpose does it exist? Why is this team different from the other teams that exist within the business?
There are two reasons why the answers to these questions will help your product optimisation. The first reason, is that it gives the team a focus on a smaller more manageable level. The second reason is that by answering the questions about a team’s “why ” it builds a sense of identity.
A sense of identity within a team creates a sense of family or team camaraderie. This camaraderie creates a sense of belonging and responsibility so that projects are more likely to be completed on time because team members are less likely to want to disappoint other team members.
Finally, it’s important for individuals to discover their own “why”. Once an individual has shared the reason why they work, you and they will have a clearer understanding on how you can help each other. Naturally, this is different for everyone. Here are some common “whys”:
- Provide for their family
- Gain recognition
- Increase social status
- Become wealthy
- Get to solve bigger challenges
To move forward in your product optimisation, schedule conversations with your team. Take an hour to work through the questions presented in the interview and in this article.
Huge thanks to Anders for sharing his insights with on how to optimise your product. If you need any help, be sure to send Anders a message at whttps://geneswissconsultancy.com.
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