It's always about the problem

In our training classes, we emphasize the importance of solving market problems. Describing problems encountered by our target personas. It's the problem that drives product requirements. Yet we've become an industry of feature-speakers. "I want this and this and this and this!" Wait! What is the problem?? CorpFactSheet_01 My friend Luke Hohmann wrote about this in his post "Market problems are still THE problem — even when you’re Agile!" As teams embrace agile methods, some seem to have jumped backwards a decade, getting back to the thinking that opinions drive feature decisions; this is just wrong. Use market facts to uncover problems that customers are willing to pay to solve. Perhaps it's the pace of agile development, needing new items for the backlog every other week. Or perhaps it's a shift in the power of the "team" over the power of market facts. If you're a product manager, you need to be delivering quantified market data to your product team; if you're a developer, you should demand it. Otherwise, the team will use their opinions of what they think people want. After all, in the absence of market facts, he who owns the compiler wins.
Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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