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This week's topic: Building better internal products with a user-centric approach.
User-centricity is key in product development, especially when building internal products. As a product manager, understanding the user experience is the cornerstone of creating effective products that truly serve users. To do this, stepping into the users' shoes, identifying their pain points, and mapping their needs is necessary.
I’m not sure how your company handles idea submissions from team members, but rest assured - finding a million of them won’t take long. The challenge lies in distilling these down to the most impactful ones.
Let’s explore how we can help you build better internal products.
Embracing a User-Centric Mindset and Discovering Opportunities
User-centricity is more than acknowledging user needs—it's about intertwining these needs into every stage of product development. This demands a deep understanding of your users, their workflows, and their challenges. By immersing yourself in their world, you can unearth unique insights and craft solutions that streamline their work, boosting efficiency and satisfaction.
Identifying user pain points and opportunities for improvement is a crucial aspect of this process. This involves active listening and keen observation, being present where users interact with your product. Through this, you'll pinpoint pain points and uncover opportunities for introducing new features. These insights will fuel your ideation process, leading to a wealth of ideas to enhance the product.
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Prioritizing Ideas and Leveraging Tools for User-Centric Product Management
With a sea of ideas at your disposal, the task lies in identifying the ones that will have the most profound impact. This is where a framework could work. The RICE framework is personally my favorite and allows you to prioritize ideas based on their Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. Evaluating each idea against these factors ensures your team's efforts align with the most impactful solutions.
In the realm of product management, tools like Roadmunk, equipped with built-in RICE scoring, prove invaluable. However, updating some other platforms like SharePoint can also be harnessed to support a user-centric approach. SharePoint can serve as a collaboration hub, enabling you to share user behavior insights, discuss potential solutions, and track progress toward your goals.
Establishing Feedback Loops and Iterative Improvement
After implementing your solutions, the user-centric journey continues. It's now time to gather feedback, observe how your users interact with the new features and make necessary refinements. This feedback loop keeps your product attuned to your users' evolving needs and fosters a culture of continuous improvement.
This iterative process enhances the product and strengthens your relationship with your users. You foster trust and encourage ongoing collaboration by actively seeking their feedback and demonstrating that their input is valued and acted upon. This continuous engagement ensures your product solves users' current needs and evolves to meet their future challenges.
Creating superior internal products revolves around adopting a user-centric approach. You can generate a pool of potent ideas by understanding users' experiences, identifying their pain points, and uncovering improvement opportunities. Leveraging the RICE framework and tools like Roadmunk or SharePoint can help bring these ideas to fruition.
Remember, being user-centric means that the task isn't over when the product is launched. Continuous feedback and iteration form the heart of a product that not only addresses users' current needs but is also capable of adapting to their future needs.
Have an interesting story about your approach to improving your internal products? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
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