Volunteers…thank you

So, it’s easy to sit here, on the outside looking in and making comments about life. Much harder to remember to say thank you when you see a good job.

I belong to a religious organization. For years there was no “formal” woman’s group as part of this organization. Last year a woman stepped up and took command. She brought together a lovely group of woman who had the same desire. But, not all of us can make the same time commitments in and out.

From the outside looking in, it’s easy to be critical and note what didn’t go well, who should have asked for help, what programs should be considered. From the inside, this small group of women who are making a significant commitment are trying to just put some wheels on a movement to get it going.

Kudos to this group, and the leader specifically.

Have you looked in and remembered to say thank you?

Defining a Lifecycle

There are some really good places out there to get help when working in product management. Pragmatic Marketing, 280Group, and AIPMM are a few of the more popular places.

All really good … IF you are working with products and features.

But, what if you are working with services? Where do you turn.

For nearly nine months, I’ve been working on defining a product management lifecycle for services. Sounds easy enough, use the lifecycles that others have defined:  define it, package it, educate about it, and market it.

But, the services are more than products, they’re people.

In my case, the products I’m trying to create are inherently part of the people who are creating them. What I mean is, when a person leaves the company with their domain knowledge, then my product process falls apart. I have to start all over.

Frustating? yes. Impossible? Jury still out.

In the nine months, there has been some movement, but more stops and stalls. Fire fighting always seems to take place first. And, there is the eternal question: Aren’t we developing products from the inside out? All good product management training says to identify the problem the market has, solve that and you win. But, with people being the product, you need to capitalize on the domains you already own. These people were hired because they have an expertise that was needed/wanted by the market.

But packaging people is no easy feat! A simple lifecycle doesn’t apply, and when it does it changes rapidly before you can truly achieve the end goal. Any ideas from the outside?

Tuned In really is…

So the folks at Pragmatic Marketing are done writing their book, and it’s hitting the market with advanced copies going out as thank you’s.

Kudos to Phil Myers, Craig Stull and David Meerman Scott. They got it right.

Too often we all look at our work – marketing, products, customer service, metrics – and wonder why the intended audience just “doesn’t get it.” For years, there has been a groundswell building that asks why aren’t we asking the audience about their needs? What are the product features that would make you want to buy? What are the ways you respond to marketing? What does our customer service process mean to you the user? What do our metrics tell us about you?

We aren’t selling, developing or servicing ourselves. This isn’t rocket science! Look in from the outside.