Newsletter Archive: 2016

Volume 14, #8, December 2016
Arguments for and against using the customer as the unit of measure for defining new products
by Sheila Mello

It doesn’t matter what you call what the customer is doing. It only matters that you capture the emotional struggle surrounding that activity.

Volume 14, #7, November 2016
Understanding the zeitgeist of product development (and the electorate)
by Sheila Mello and Wayne Mackey

Conducting a survey before understanding the requirements—and without an image of what it is like to be the voter—gets the flawed results we saw in this year’s polls. Diving deeply into the populace enables far more accurate predictions.

Volume 14, #6, October 2016
Five essentials to have in place before you launch a co-creation effort
by Sheila Mello

Like most companies, you’ve probably put customers at the center of your design and development efforts with initiatives such as customer-centric product definition, a focus on customer value, and a well-honed voice-of-the-customer program. But have you thought about taking customer-centricity to its next stage: co-creation, or direct customer involvement in the product design process?

Volume 14, #5, August 2016
Emotion as a key to creating change
by Sheila Mello

It’s no longer headline news that emotion plays a role in decision making, even in business. How can you take advantage of this fact to help people in your organization understand customers at a deep, intuitive level?

Volume 14, #4, June 2016
Applying a lesson from the book “Switch” to product definition
by Sheila Mello

A couple of ideas from the Heath brothers' book "Switch" have implications for product definition and development. In particular, if you want to change the way your company gathers voice of the customer (VOC) data, you often encounter resistance—reluctance to change—among peers and managers. Here's how to combat that resistance.

Volume 14, #3, April 2016
Three essential questions to answer before you dive into VOC
by Sheila Mello

Just as your house sale may fall flat if you don’t replace the ratty carpet before showing it to prospective buyers, or you risk pulling a hamstring if you take off at a sprint before warming up, you can sabotage your VOC success if you don’t do at least a little preparation. Once you can answer three fairly straightforward questions about your market, the customer data you collect will become much more useful for product definition.

Volume 14, #2, March 2016
Help your team move beyond “he said/she said”
by Sheila Mello

Assessments analyze past projects through three lenses—context, facts, and perspective—to gather real-world information you can use to initiate constructive change.

Volume 14, #1, January 2016
Identifying customers for VOC work
by Sheila Mello

It’s great to be single-minded in your search for customers to participate in VOC for front-end development work. But first you have to know where to look.