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Be proactive in your destiny
Is the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ mindset hindering product development? It’s time businesses recognised what’s to gain by shaking…
Is the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ mindset hindering product development? It’s time businesses recognised what’s to gain by shaking off the reactive approach to products and services design and becoming more opportunistic.
Evolving products incrementally in response to continuous market movements is a practice we’ve seen more and more organisations recruit in-house resource to deliver in recent years. The thing about progressive process improvements, competitor feature copycatting, or patchwork design fixes is that the drivers are reactive. They respond to internal or external events that have, in effect, broken the service.
All services reach a point where incremental improvements simply aren’t enough anymore and the opportunity for substantial step-change needs to be seized.
Common triggers for redesign
The internal structure changed or the organisation or service’s purpose shifted, sometimes triggered by a merger, a big pivot or a new monetisation model.
Ambitions to become more sustainable
At a certain point it actually became cheaper to start over again than to fix all the items in the service backlog.
Change happens in technology, sometimes very quickly, and before you know it your underlying technology no longer meets customer expectations. Responsive design was a classic example of this, fuelling many redesign projects.
A new entrant entered the market, or an existing competitor launched a redesigned service. There was immediate pressure to respond.
You wanted to bring together and align an array of disparate micro-sites and spin-off products.
It seems a missed opportunity to be so reliant on major organisational shift to reinvent or improve products and services.
From reactive to proactive
Adopting a more proactive approach to the evolution of products demonstrates a desire to be better — for your customers, for your business and for the competitive marketplace.
A redesign programme provides the opportunity to take a step back from the day-to-day running of a service and undertake a more holistic review of its audience (existing and potential) and its ability to fill a gap in the market.
It provides an environment where established assumptions can be challenged and new opportunities identified. We’ve embarked on numerous redesign programmes that have resulted in not only a new generation of the service, but also spin- off initiatives that have created new revenue streams and opened up new audiences.
Interestingly, a trend we’ve noted is that change at the top of an organisation routinely spurs change. Budgets are often freed up, as the new leadership team is licensed to make their mark. It seems a missed opportunity, however, to be so reliant on major organisational shift to reinvent or improve products and services.
To maintain competitive advantage, organisations need to strive to be more proactive in their destinies, initiating step- change before it is forced upon them.
This blog was written by Katie Wishlade, partner at Wilson Fletcher. It was originally published on wilsonfletcher.com/the-human-layer.
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