Product Management Makes Some Tough Choices

By | Customer Experience, Industry | No Comments

For everyone who has wondered why our product team is working on one project and not another, I can now sum it up in one word…balance.

Daxko often holds Team Member Development (TMD) sessions to help Daxko team members internally understand what goes on with other teams within the company. Our most recent TMD was titled, Build This, Not That, and it was a great reminder that product management decisions aren’t made randomly or arbitrarily. As a company, we have to look at our options and opportunities through a variety of lenses to see which things will best serve all of our goals. If there were a recipe for this delicate balancing act, the ingredient list would include:

  • Corporate objectives
  • Mission statement
  • Customer requests
  • Immediate needs
  • Market data
  • Strategic goals
  • Financial objectives
  • Capacity

* Mix all of the ingredients and prepare it to serve many needs now and in the future.

We’re all guilty of thinking that the focus should be on something else based on what our team is experiencing in the moment. Take a step back and look across all of the needs, of all teams, in every moment. Now you’ve walked in product management’s shoes.

Building for Success

By | Building a Company, Culture, Professional Development, Talent | No Comments

For everyone who has wondered why our product team is working on one project and not another, I can now sum it up in one word…Balance.

Our most recent Team Member Development (TMD) session, Build This, Not That, was a great reminder that product management decisions aren’t made randomly or arbitrarily. As a company, we have to look at our options and opportunities through a variety of lenses to see which things will best serve all of our goals. If there were a recipe for this delicate balancing act, the ingredient list would include:

  • Corporate objectives
  • Mission statement
  • Customer requests
  • Immediate needs
  • Market data
  • Strategic goals
  • Financial objectives
  • Capacity

* Mix all of the ingredients and prepare it to serve many needs now and in the future.

We’re all guilty of thinking that the focus should be on something else based on what our team is experiencing in the moment. Take a step back and look across all of the needs, of all teams, in every moment. Now you’ve walked in product management’s shoes.

Amy M. is a Sales Coordinator who believes a little organization, 2 cups of coffee and a cupcake can fix just about anything.

First Fridays at DAXKO

By | Building a Company, Culture, Life at Daxko, Technology | No Comments

FirstFridayIt’s the first Friday of the month, and at DAXKO, that means… product round-robins.  It’s a thing our Product Management Team started earlier this year to keep everyone up to date on the progress of DAXKO’s products.  Team members rotate to different rooms to get a 15-minute update on each product, including recent releases, what’s coming next, and the value of each enhancement to the company, our customers and our future customers.  As always, questions and feedback are encouraged!

It’s important for everyone at DAXKO to understand what’s going on with our products for a couple of reasons…

  1. You learn how to talk about our products with teammates, customers and future customers
  2. You get to share your thoughts on what’s good and what could be better with our products

Here’s a quick peek at today’s First Friday… can’t share too much, of course! 

First Fridays at DAXKO – Product Update from DAXKO on Vimeo.

Hang Out with Engineers Much? Expect to Pick Up a New Language

By | Culture, Technology | One Comment

Do you remember those sayings your mother used when you were a kid?  She repeated them so often you probably just ignored them. Things like “Don’t make that face, or it will stay that way” and “You’re going to put your eye out”. It’s amazing how those stick with you…

I recently gave a presentation about DAXKO’s latest and greatest release to our Professional Services Team – implementation project managers, trainers, and support reps (all of which talk to our customers every day). While explaining a particular feature, I found myself using the term “export” in a completely different way than everyone else in the room. This baffled me… I thought everyone used the word “export” in the same context as I.

As it turns out, that’s how everyone on my development team refers to “export.” This minor miscommunication was quickly resolved, but it got me thinking about my mother’s over-used saying… “If you hang around with pigs, you’ll smell like a pig.” Don’t misunderstand… I mean no offense to my engineering friends.  I truly admire their talents and have, on multiple occasions, wished I was one of them. But this situation was clearly a case of… “If you hang around engineers, you’ll start talking like an engineer.”

A product manager should constantly be in tune with the market, your customers and competition to truly understand positioning, product needs, and product strategy. But do product managers also need to be directly involved with the development team? Absolutely! To effectively plan and prioritize a roadmap, you need input from both the market and your internal engineering function.

The key is to balance the inputs and stay focused on what the market is telling you, so you can relay it back to engineering. Be careful, however, not to communicate everything you get from engineering back to the market. Otherwise, you might find yourself telling customers or prospects something like…

  • “That feature would be simple to add.  All we have to do is add a field to the screen, modify the filter, add a method to the controller, and throw in some logic. Oh, and update the DB schema.  That’ll be 2.5 points.”
  • “Unfortunately, we can’t add a total to that list because we don’t have the latest version of EXT.”
  • “The variances can’t display a dash because if you start with amount zero and add to it, the percent variance is actually INFINITY….not zero. Plus we’d have to refactor the entire class hierarchy for that.”

As a product manager, if you can relate the preceding situations, you might want to hop on the phone with a customer or prospect and get back in touch with your market.  Better yet… jump on a plane and pay them a visit.  It was just the wake-up call I needed!