LOS ANGELES (JUNE 13, 2019) — SONIFI Solutions, introduced SORA, its next generation interactive platform for hospitality. SORA is designed for the ever-evolving hospitality industry – empowering hoteliers with smart features and visually compelling interfaces to deliver memorable and personalized guest experiences.
Excited to present today with Ben Arnold for the Sioux Falls PMISD Community of Practice.
Learning to Live with Disappointing Everyone, at Least a Little…
Project management managers deal with having to manage project delivery across varied and sometimes competing stakeholders. Similarly, product managers are often working to manage against customer needs/desires, the demands of leadership, competing priorities and project delivery realities. This session will provide a high level overview of how the product management discipline typically differs from project management and will present a role-playing exercise that looks at problem solving through the eyes of a product manager.
Here’s one rule of thumb that speaks to its disruptiveness:
If a typical person can do a mental task with less than one second of thought, we can probably automate it using AI either now or in the near future.
A lot of valuable work currently done by humans — examining security video to detect suspicious behaviors, deciding if a car is about to hit a pedestrian, finding and eliminating abusive online posts — can be done in less than one second. These tasks are ripe for automation. However, they often fit into a larger context or business process; figuring out these linkages to the rest of your business is also important.
I don’t actually know a lot about the real life application of AI, but this article was very helpful for me to understand the direction of innovation. Definitely something to keep in mind as part of a long term product strategy.
Be Obi-Wan Kenobi, not Luke Skywalker
As a company or a product, our story doesn’t really matter to our customers. The customer does not care who our founders are or why they created the company.
The customer wants to feel like their story is important. Listen to your customer, make them feel like Luke Skywalker.
At the Sioux Falls Innovation Expo
Bushel.ag is a mobile app designed to help elevators serve their farmers. Earlier competitors had farmers log in every time they wanted to use the app. All the competitors failed.
Bushel’s secret sauce, login once with a phone number, keep the user logged in for one year. I’m sure they are using some sort of long lived token or device ID in the background.
They are able to demonstrate value from the app in under 2 minutes and they keep it valuable so the farmer wants to keep coming back.
At the Sioux Falls Innovation Expo
Even when you find genuinely good things to copy, there’s another pitfall to be avoided. Be careful to copy what makes them good, rather than their flaws. It’s easy to be drawn into imitating flaws, because they’re easier to see, and of course easier to copy too. For example, most painters in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries used brownish colors. They were imitating the great painters of the Renaissance, whose paintings by that time were brown with dirt. Those paintings have since been cleaned, revealing brilliant colors; their imitators are of course still brown.
The lesson here for product managers is to make sure you understand the customer for that feature you are thinking of copying. You never know when a feature that looks so bright and shinny from the outside is another product manager’s nightmare feature on the inside.
The competitor’s customers are probably different, their customer problems are probably different, and their long term strategy is probably different. If you aren’t building something that is truly valuable to your customer, you could end up with a feature that flops…that stays “brown”.
Telling a great user story means building a heart connection between your customer and the team building your products. Heart connection means building empathy. Something that connects you with the emotion that the user is experiencing. Helping the team understand the pain. The team should feel the customer’s frustration or joy just a little bit.
You know you have a good user story when the developers keep talking about it. When they come back the next day with different (usually better) ideas on how to solve the pain.
Bad software or bad products are really easy to make. In fact, you don’t really have to try to make bad software. If you don’t try, it will just happen by itself.
Like making moldy bread.
Nobody likes moldy bread.
This presentation will tell you all there is to know about human user stories:
- Tools you will need – customer feedback, customer interviews, personas.
- Grouping customers into segments
- What humans care about – performance, usability, and accessibility.
- How to write user stories for virtual reality, augmented reality, and machine learning.
I would be excited to give part or all of this presentation to your team or organization. Check out the PowerPoint Presentation and feel free to send any questions or requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
I was fortunate to get to present at the Project Management Institute (PMI) South Dakota’s 2017 Professional Development symposium in the Leadership Track. I got to talk about my favorite topic – how to understand customers.
Topic: How to Write Human User Stories
Jay Fisher, PMP is a Product Manager at MetaBank focused on creating software that builds relationships with cardholders. Jay believes that the key to a successful project is creating user stories that connect the team to the customer. After spending almost a decade working on new product development projects, Jay knows that building the heart connection requires focus and an agile responsiveness to surprises. Jay has launched cardholder websites, mobile apps, and enterprise software in the consumer products and financial services industries. He is a certified Project Management, New Product Development, and Pragmatic Marketing Professional. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics and Economics from the University of North Dakota.
“How to Write Human User Stories” is a practical conversation on how to connect teams to the needs of the end user. We will discuss using customer visits and personas to discover user problems and to make user stories more relatable.
Understanding user’s expertise level and usage frequency vs the types of complaining customers to show how to target user stories for maximum impact. We will show how focusing on a well-defined customer can increase team effectiveness and bring novel solutions to light.