Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A simple solution for better product development and management

I'm coming to my point straight, the simple solution I mentioned in the title is "Right Metrics". Having-  "Right Metrics" results in better product development and management  It may look obvious, but many didn't get this right. . We all have some type of metrics to track our product development and  progress. But whether our metrics are in-line with the product goals?  Does it reflects the actual reality?.

To explain this, let's take an example that you are going to develop a youtube style app for kids called "KidsVid" and assuming you have enough resources to start your project.

I'm giving you some fictional situation to explain what could be a Right Metrics in this product life-cycle.

Situation 1:  Product Development Metrics

Suppose if you are taking the metrics after first month to track the progress on the product development of this KidsVid app, the metrics has to reflect the progress on core aspects of product development like.

1)  API  Delivery ( All product functionality are exposed as API)
2)  Product Spec Delivery
3)  Zeroing of Minimum viable product
4)  Wireframes, Design documents and delivery for UI
5)  Product Technical Framework
6)  Core Technical  block of  the project like adaptive website, video streaming .etc
7)  Delivery of workflows and modules which are in-line with your spec (or) minimum viable product.
8)  Implementation of best practices like product management tools, test driven development, continuous integration.etc

These metrics are highly specific to your project and business. But the core idea here is get the metrics that matter.

Situation 2:  User Adoption Metrics

Now assuming you have successfully launched your product  and you want to see the user adoption for your product. Metrics which talks only about  user visits (or) sign up with your site is not saying the entire story. Your metrics has to reflect - how many users actually using your product , what actions they performed .etc so that you can track the real user adoption. Basically your metric has to see from different dimesionsions

Situation 3:  Analytic Metrics

You may want to see the analytics of videos in your site. Here, Video Retention Rate is the right metrics to have rather than  just tracking how many user clicking the video.

Having a right metric helps to track the actual progress and adoption of your product.  A Right Metric has to tell the truth in simple terms.

Sharing some tips on having right metrics.

Dimensions and View Point

We have to see from different dimensions and view points to have a right metric..

Dimesions - Dimension covers all aspects of a situation/problem. Product Development Metrics cited above covers different dimensions of product development.
View Point-  We have to see from the view point of customer, developer, product owner, business .etc.

Time Period for Metrics

Preparing the metrics may not be a day-today activity for all use cases. For marketing, it may be daily. For Product development metrics, you can have it monthly . This time period  also plays an important role in having a right metrics.

Accept the Shortcomings

If your  are not satisfactory with the metrics, just accept the shortcomings. Especially this is very important if you are at a higher level of your organization like investor, advisor, cxo, co-founder, product manager. etc.

Improve Iteratively

Good if you are not satisfied with the metrics.  Now go-ahead and create appropriate tasks for your team to achieve a satisfactory metric, thus you are iteratively improving to build a better product.

Get your metrics right to build a successful product with a wonderful customer experience!.


  1. Sir my name is manigandan. i am studying mba in alagappa university. i follow your blog seriously.

    thanks for the articles sir.

  2. Glad you liked my article. All the best for your studies.