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.
PMI SD: Symposium 2017 Leadership Track
A great article from Collaborative Fund about 5 sustainable sources of competitive advantage. My favorite was number 2 – Eat Your Own Dog Food.
Forty-seven percent of mutual fund mangers do not personally own any of their own fund, according to Morningstar. That’s shocking. But I suspect something similar happens across most businesses.
What percentage of McDonald’s executives frequent their own restaurant as a legitimate customer interested in the chain’s food, rather than a fact-finding mission? Few, I imagine. How many times has the CEO of Delta Airlines been bumped from a flight, or had his bags lost by the airline? Never, I assume.
The inability to understand how your customers experience your product almost guarantees an eventual drift between the problems a business tries to solve and the problems customers need solved. Here again, a person with a lower IQ who can empathize with customers will almost always beat someone with a higher IQ who can’t put themselves in customers’ shoes.
I drive by 1st Financial Bank everyday on my way to work and I was curious about what they do. Turns out they issue student credit cards. I tried to get one for my collection.
1. Application Page
2. Confirmation Page
3. Receipt Page
I never got my personal invitation in the mail. I think they must know I am not a student.
I have been trying to minimize and eventually eliminate my wallet and keys for a couple of years. I recently tried to scan all my membership cards into a mobile app. It made my wallet very thin, but there was a problem. Retail locations can not scan my phone and cashiers have to manual type my number every time, which completely negates any convenience from eliminating my wallet.
As a millennial trying to eliminate my wallet, I want POS systems to be able to scan my digitized membership cards, so the front line staff doesn’t have to manually enter my number.
-Verify the number is correct in the POS system
-Verify that the process can be completed in less than 2 seconds
I would be excited to facilitate a innovation workshop for your team or organization. The material can be customized around your industry and challenges. We will work together to explore multiple innovation techniques and add them to your strategy toolbox:
- The subtraction technique
- Big unsolved problems
- Disruptive innovation
Check out my Innovation Strategy Deck and feel free to send any questions or requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Font Awesome for almost any icon (in font form) you can think up.
MailChimp has a very robust writing guide focused on voice and tone in multiple situations. I particularly like how they handle the customer’s emotion in negative situations:
User: What went wrong? I really need to get this campaign out.
User’s Feelings: Confusion, Stress, Anger
-Offer a solution or next step.
-Be straightforward. Explain what is going on right away.
-Be calm. Don’t use exclamation points or alarming words like “alert” or “immediately.”
-Be serious. Don’t joke around with people who are frustrated.
MailChimp: We’re experiencing a problem at one of our data centers. Our engineers are on the case, and will have things back to normal shortly.
MailChimp’s full voice and tone guide can be found here.