Speaking Frankly - It’s Hard Being a Product Leader in a New-to-Product Organization
A few weeks ago I was speaking with a prospective client who had recently sold his consulting firm to a larger, global firm. He wanted help persuading the parent company to invest in growing a niche SaaS product that his team created. He was frustrated by the parent company’s inability to understand why it would be useful to supplement their consulting services with this SaaS product. At one point in the conversation, I asked him to drop a hyperlink into the chat. He said, “I don’t know how to do that.”
One CEO recently shared with me, “We need to restructure our incentive plan. Our consultants are all incented on short-term revenue, which is making it very hard to get traction with our new products that have lower price points but better margins and more revenue visibility.”
Whom to hire—and when to hire them—to score big product wins.
To play at a high level, these companies have to undergo significant organizational transformation.
Services Firms don’t need to become product-led organizations. They do need to become product friendly.
Productizing services firms can use well-crafted vision statements to galvanize support for profound organizational transformation.
“Our product review board meetings are less about improving the performance of the product portfolio and more about getting people to buy into our productization strategy. They allow people to come with ideas, source ideas, and get involved in the process. They give us a chance to see who is willing to raise their hand, come on board, become true believers, and take that back to their own teams."
The most successful productizing companies have a product organizational structure that is driven by and aligned with a well-articulated vision and goals for the productization strategy. A product org structure that is misaligned with the goals of the productization strategy puts great product ideas at risk of lackluster performance, racking up costs, or never making it to launch in the first place.