Demystifying the 'Product Mindset': The Agile Way
Product companies often like to outsource work to vendors. This helps reduce the costs of operations and labor, maximize the usage of internal resources, sharpen focus on their own core values, and leverage the knowledge base (among many more benefits).
But the benefits of outsourcing also come with various challenges:
- The vendor may fail to deliver on time, even after close tracking
- The vendor may submit low-quality deliverables
- The vendor can misunderstand requirements, so the delivery is not aligned with the product’s needs
One of the main reasons for these issues is the vendor lacks a good understanding of the product and its end customer. The vendor executes the work with a project mindset that has limited visibility and never really looks at it from the product mindset. They focus on project-specific requirements, milestones and quality numbers, completely ignoring the product goal and vision.
But that problem can initiate from both sides. There may be a lack of trust in sharing the “product vision” with the vendor in an effort to protect yourself from leaks to the competition. Vendors may thus be completely unaware of the product road map and how it’s going to be adapted as per changing market demands. This lack of product understanding impacts both sides.
The whole concept of leveraging the benefits of outsourcing thus
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It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.
- James Thurber