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Article January 30th, 2024

by Nortal PCX Global Team

How to build products that customers want and businesses need

There is an immense amount of pressure to deliver features, products and services to market quickly. A long list of technologies and processes have claimed to reduce time-to-market: from agile software methodologies, design thinking and open source to low and no code tools, composable architecture, and most recently generative AI. Stakeholder expectations are always increasing. 

In the rush, many product and IT leaders are finding that the focus on speed has been at the expense of quality delivery. The false economy is becoming startling. Customers don’t want what has been built. And when businesses need fast commercial traction, they get endless iterations post go-live and vague promises of future value. It’s estimated that 95% of all products fail to deliver the expected value (MIT).

At Nortal, we regularly help clients to fix these issues, often taking over projects from other suppliers. In each project, there are three things we do to ensure a successful delivery.

1. When you focus on end-user needs first, business value follows

Too often, a long list of requirements are generated by business stakeholders, without actually engaging end-users. Whether they be customers, employees or partners, assumptions are made about what it takes to change user behavior and the wrong things are often prioritized. With waterfall product development processes we find out only after large investments have been made.  

Thad Westhusing, our Head of Product and CX in North America, explains how to get it right in his newest article. 

 

2. Diverse and balanced product teams make better decisions 

Ultimately, the success of products comes down to making the right decisions throughout the product lifecycle. If product teams do not diversify skills, knowledge and thinking then they have much higher chances of making poor decisions. Even if diversity is high, if one role carries too much weight, the team is unbalanced and the wrong decisions will made. Almost every product failure can be traced back to a root cause of poor diversity, balance or planning. 

Jon Stephens, our Group Chief Product Officer, discusses how Nortal’s Seamless Teams go beyond paying lip-service to being multifunctional. Learn more about our approach here. 

3. Supercharge the influence of design 

Companies with strong design cultures have been proven to outperform their competitors. Yet, too often in product delivery, design is an afterthought. Some of the blame lies at the foot of designers and the profession is rapidly changing with new technologies and increasing stakeholder expectations.  

Mikko Kaipio, our Global Head of Product Design, explains how curious, adaptive thinking and creativity can unlock business value. Find out more in his newest article.

Purple data

Read on in our Customer Value series

Nortal’s global Product & Customer Experience team have crafted a 3-part series on how to create products customers want and your business needs. To read on to the next part of the series, click below.

Time-to-Value: Ensuring your digital product's success

Get in touch

Let’s discuss how Nortal can help your business generate more value from your product delivery. Connect with one of our senior product experts to schedule a free consultation.  

Jon Stephens

Chief Product Officer at Nortal

Jon is responsible for Product and Customer Experience at Nortal. He has spent the past 20 years shaping and delivering complex product and experience-led transformation and innovation programmes for global clients such as AstraZeneca, Virgin Atlantic, Vodafone, Sky and the UK government.

Thad Westhusing

Head of Product & CX, North America

Thad leads Nortal's Product & Customer Experience team in North America, where he specializes in bringing business and technology stakeholders together to create seamless growth strategies that are customer-focused and outcome-driven. He has over 25 years of product strategy-to-execution experience leading product teams and coaching product leaders at Fortune 100 companies.

Mikko Kaipio

Head of Product Design

Mikko is Nortal's Global Head of Product Design where he helps our clients rethink their design capabilities. With nearly 20 years of experience, Mikko specializes in offering full spectrum design services across all industries to ensure increased business value.

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