Agile Software Development

Top Reasons Why Companies Fail at Product Discovery

Product discovery is an incredible way to frame the problem, test assumptions and concepts, and learn from your end-users. Product discovery helps minimize risks while developing a specific feature during each sprint. However, many teams fail to properly execute the product discovery approach because they often misunderstand the intent or discovery techniques. In this article at Business 2 Community, Stephan Wolpers explains some product discovery anti-patterns that often lead to product development failure.

Anti-Patterns to Observe

No Engagement With End-Users

Product development requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of the end-users. The best way to gain insights into the product is to directly engage with end-users; communicate to them about the tasks and goals, background, and influences. Ask them for feedback and capture their likes, dislikes, and ideas.

Validating Your Opportunities

Product discovery’s purpose is not about validating every opportunity in the backlog. Anyone with enough data can validate any opportunity. Product teams must realize that these actions will lead to the development of failed features. The purpose of product discovery is to build the right product before you actually construct it. This process helps you in separating good ideas from bad ones.

Using a Single Method for Testing

One of the significant setbacks of using a single method for testing is that there is always uncertainty. Additionally, it increases the risk of the assumptions. Therefore, try to use two or more methods for testing each opportunity in your backlog. This process will undoubtedly increase the chance of success. The testing methods include:

  • Analytics – goal and path analysis
  • Card sorting
  • Beta testing
  • Clickable prototype
  • A/B testing
  • Online surveys
  • Eye-tracking
  • In-person interviews
  • Focus groups

Annual Roadmaps

“Contrary to popular belief in traditional command and control organizations, product roadmaps are subject to continuous planning,” says Wolpers. Adapt your product roadmaps from product experiments to meet the expected standards.

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