4 Core Questions to Redefine Product Trust
June 11, 2019
Where is the trust? That question might seem cliché since generating revenue and maintaining trust is obvious, the steps to doing so are not always clear. Could technology give us a way to deal with a product life cycle at key points of interaction, track regulatory obligations and address knowledge transfer challenges?
A way proactively manage risks and apply shared knowledge? Should you introduce new technology to build the much desired - hard to achieve - magical element of trust?
Meeting the regulatory requirements as well as addressing non-financial risk throughout a product lifecycle is therefore mandatory in your growth strategy. How do you ensure accountability in your end-to-end product lifecycle, so the left-hand knows what the right hand is doing?
"When it comes to managing non-financial risk in a product life cycle – a new model is emerging. In this model product management is an essential addition to your risk management models – where product managers can provide an end-to-end view of the product life cycle growth opportunities and risks in one place – and track the baseline of meeting regulatory obligations."
- Leica Ison Founder Skyjed.
These words are easier said than done - delivering product growth, and trust can be difficult. However, asking yourself these four questions will help you avoid costly gaps and reputational damage.
Collaboration between your Product and Risk Team
1. How effective is the partnership between your Product & Risk Teams?
Consistent engagement and collaboration between your risk and product teams form a vital part of your operational risk management - Three Lines of Défense Model. Do they currently get caught up in preparing for a governance meeting? Or do they work toward developing a culture of challenging assumptions, sharing knowledge and problem solving, which is what you need to grasp the complexity of a modern product lifecycle?
How do you create this culture? Begin by having your product and risk team consistently monitor, review, and update product strategy at an operational level. What makes a more significant difference is a communication channel that ensures all change to a product strategy is shared in real-time to all non-product teams across the business.
A recent global survey across 59 countries by The Product Management Festival reported that over 50% of respondents indicated that they don't keep stakeholders informed of product strategy or vision updates at a cross-functional or whole of company level. How much uncertainty do you think that creates.
The Power of Tracking
2. Are you tracking design requirements and regulatory obligations at the product level from idea to the end of a lifecycle?
Successful businesses track product progress from the idea stage all the way until the end of the life cycle. How often do you do that? Do you define the regulatory obligation, then it falls out of the core 'Key Result Areas' and objectives? If so, your product may have gaps in your product design and distribution requirements when in the market.
In a recent Skyjed survey, we found an opportunity for improvement in this tracking process. Product teams define regulatory obligation at the ideation stage in an agile team. However, it falls away in the agile process, i.e., scrums/Kaban/sprint and then in the handover to the product life cycle team.
Three things stood out. The best practice is to monitor the progress of a product through to the end of its lifecycle:
i. Performance: Actively monitor product performance using both forward-looking and financial indications
ii. Health: This ensures the longevity of the product as well as efficiency. Use software tools to follow the product lifecycle health in real-time.
iii. Requirement: Monitor product design and distribution obligations in one place and improve in response to feedback and target market changes.
Automation: The strength in your Framework
3. Do you have a disciplined product framework that ensures you do in-depth product health checks every 90 days?
You must be thinking - that takes a lot of time, effort, and resource, which I don't have. Traditionally, it was time-consuming to put together a peer and executive quarterly product review, so the consistency falls away to other immediate priorities. However, technology changes all that and give an accurate timeline of product knowledge:
i. Set the strategy
ii. Automate product plan
iii. Monitor non-financial and operational risk rating
iv. Automate reporting
This also increases the team's efficiency. The time saved can be used to plan, solve a problem, or address innovation and growth opportunities.
What about the strategic action plans: Do you have that covered?
4. Are you setting & tracking strategic action plans at the product level?
If you want to maintain the WHY that formed a foundation upon which your product was built, you need to set and track a strategic action plan. It is one thing to drill down on risk, rate, and report the severity and potential impact. Without setting action plans, assigning and monitoring implementation – actions will get lost in agendas, email trails, and fall out of PowerPoint product updates.
Do you track progress back to the WHY your business started the journey 12 months, two years or a decade ago? Alternatively, does your company spend more time on the business case to get an initiative started instead?
In this era, product teams are using more than dashboards – digital tools are used for continuous assessment and problem-solving:
i. Automate strategy setting,
iii. Monitoring operational and non-financial risks and improvement plans
iv. Reporting across the product lifecycle
It is not enough to have a dashboard of financial indicators to enable your team to challenge assumptions, share insights, and measure and rate product risk trends. Make it seamless for your team to monitor product health. Keep it accurate using Artificial Intelligence to rate the strengths & risks in your product strategy. Be in the know with alerts and watch the changing health rating of your product, so you can detect emerging issues.
Where is the Trust?: Unclear on How to Define Product Trust?
If you experience challenges on how to architect growth & trust, we have you covered. Why not start by aligning your teams on the definition of product trust.
Here's the one we are passionate about at Skyjed to get you started:
"Achieving business growth by promoting trust through products that serve customers and deliver value.
And the baseline for that trust is meeting regulatory obligations."
- Leica Ison, Founder of Skyjed.
The definition can be used across the company. From the revenue focussed – CEOs, CIOs, and product managers - to the brand and reputation protectors in legal and corporate affairs.
About Leica Ison
Leica Ison is the founder of Skyjed, a cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence product management tool. Skyjed delivers improved product performance & enhanced product trust. Skyjed measures and reports on all key metrics - from financial performance to customer needs and compliance – and offers its findings with clarity and accuracy.