7 Digital Transformation Traps: #4 Unclear and Irrelevant Use Cases
Digital transformation might simply sound like a catchphrase — and for many organizations that’s unfortunately the case. McKinsey estimates that 70% of digital transformation efforts fail.
But what does this have to do with product management? More than you might think! Our most recent Product Excellence Report revealed some of the challenges product teams and leaders are facing:
- 57% of respondents are focused on driving innovation and delivering the right products
- 49% are focused on driving efficiencies across the product organization
- 48% of product leaders said identifying bottlenecks, clearing blockers, and helping teams ship faster were their top challenges
It turns out that digital transformation just might be the key to overcoming many product teams’ and leaders’ most pressing challenges.
Here’s how we see it: avoiding digital transformation is simply not an option. Putting it off for too long means you risk losing your competitive edge, falling behind industry disruptors, and missing out on opportunities for growth and innovation. Plus, you’ll also find it much harder to attract top talent. To put it bluntly, your choices are either to adapt or face the consequences of stagnation and irrelevance.
But there’s some good news: You’re not alone. Far from it. Productboard has teamed up with Umbrage to combine our expertise in product management and digital transformation strategy to help you navigate the seven most common pitfalls organizations face on their digital transformation journey.
In this post, we’re looking at Trap #4: Unclear and Irrelevant Use Cases.
Trap #4: Unclear and Irrelevant Use Cases
A lack of clear parameters and alignment of use cases with strategic objectives can make it difficult to achieve your company’s goals. Without a comprehensive understanding of your end users and how solutions leverage specific technologies, you risk investing resources in initiatives that fail to deliver tangible value and impact. Creating a culture of innovation is challenging when you’re faced with a multitude of ideas but lack an ROI-based framework to help you prioritize them effectively.
For example, the product team at VMWare Carbon Black faced this challenge when it came to collecting and acting on feedback from their customer-facing teams. “Customer success was putting stuff in, and it was basically going into a black hole,” says Director of Product Ops Andy McAdams. As a result, “what we delivered for the customer was rarely explicitly what they asked for.”
To address this challenge, adopt an ideation funnel approach that allows you to accelerate idea generation, address backlog items, and effectively manage and track ideas. Collaborate with business leads and conduct outcome-focused workshops to define clear use cases that align with value levers and overall program objectives. Make sure you identify quantifiable metrics, or value drivers, that can be achieved through digital transformation. Tie all use cases back to these value drivers to ensure direct alignment with your strategic goals.
How to Get Started
To get started, establish a clear digital strategy and create a prioritization framework tailored to your business. This includes identifying value drivers, setting measurable goals, and ensuring leadership alignment. Every organization has a different set of outcomes available to them based on their industry, organization size, and market positions. Assess whether an existing blueprint already exists to help you increase visibility and re-education within the team.
Here’s how Arjun Narang, Manager of Product Management describes this transformation at VMWare Carbon Black: “Now, we can tag customer feedback with an associated importance score to every feature and subfeature we would possibly consider doing for Carbon Black. Then, we can see that maybe we thought feature A must be a higher priority than feature B, but based on customer feedback and associated revenue, that priority should be flipped.”
Understanding how the work aligns with your broader company objectives will further strengthen the impact of digital transformation efforts and drive meaningful business innovation.
We’ve just scratched the surface here. If you want to avoid the other traps and set your organization up for success with your digital transformation, download our eBook for even more tips and tricks.