Innovation Never Sleeps, nor should your search for Solutions

You always find a lost item in the last place you look!IMG_1518


Simple you stop looking!


So don’t stop looking and be bold!

This can never happen in Product Development! Enterprise software product managers are those who evolve from managing backlogs to managing solutions for a market. Great Product managers have a bias for action, we do things and get things done. The idea that life-cycle management is small features and updates is a self-defeating reality. Take a look at your backlog, there are groups of features that define new solutions, that open opportunity for innovation and new product.

Nor should you sit back and rely on buying a start-up!

M&A is fun work don’t get me wrong, offsite teams are fun groups but today Lean practices are available to the enterprise team. Why would anyone not integrate the best people and skills in the company with everyone and create a great culture? The idea that large companies cannot innovate is garbage myth, or that they need to set up an outpost in Silicon Valley to get their engine going.

In the 1920s Shell bought every successful well from the wildcaters’   this is how they grew their business. It worked for them as 1+1=2 in the market at the time. Today in most markets that is not true and if 1+1 does not equal at least two your value goes down over time.

Remember when your company was young and marketing and product were tied at the hip? 2016 is the year of the enterprise software product manager, my prediction! The Internet of Things is an enterprise endeavor, the larger the data the more business operational insight is a high value. The more points in your data collection the more point to point application solutions can be created and those need robust systems monitoring.

Persona driven portfolio configurations

Product managers that choose, yes choose to manage feature after feature through their dev teams are not being product managers. This is the work of project managers and project managers. Today many Business analysis can even do market valuations against costs that provide sufficient Business case ROI.

Subscription fatigue is very real requires of what some are saying, Go to a local finance meet up and ask! This is a primary driver toward the enterprise solution suite, but not if your solution is lame. Quality of solution is king but less mission critical less full featured applications can be bundled together to a customer if your company shows commitment in product development and support.

Act like a group of Start-Ups!

Design and sales drive an integrated product portfolio. It has always struck me odd that the larger the company the more it depends on other than direct contact between product and customers. Sales is a great information source about their customers advocating for those that help them fulfil the compensation plan goals. Product teams deal with markets and learn from contextual interviews, skill sets that are not elsewhere in the company.

As a Product manager focused on innovation inside a large company you get folks to help you with the back log. Your core value is smashing your conceptual sculptures, constantly deconstructing your own business both inside DevOps and products. If you don’t some new start-up will! This practice will build rapid decision skills in the organization and so much more. Your team will practice thinking about markets and changes.

The strength of the start-up is rapid decision matrices, high risk tolerance and many touches with the customers/market. Conways Law of organization defining your product output is very true in organizations today. If you are structured horizontally you can produce a horizontally balanced portfolio or suite of products with critical resources going not to the squeaky wheel but to the market opportunity. If you maintain a top down executive driven operation you will release product that meets select customers’ needs only. This is the trap that the enterprise needs to escape!




Tim Bates