Ready to create a digital product? Awesome. Got questions? Of course, you have! But be warned: at icapps, our experience tells us that certain beliefs are clear signs you don’t have a digital product strategy in place. In this series of blog articles, we explore these signs and explain how the right strategy can set you on the path to success. 

In our last blog we talked about the ROI of your digital product strategy. Today we continue with the second sign: You forgot to create a Digital Product Roadmap.

2. You think you just need to build, build, build

When people stumble onto the basic idea behind a digital product, they often have the urge to build, build, build. Great! Well, kind of. Because it’s a problem if you do it without examining the big picture. We see it as the equivalent of jumping in the car and start driving without knowing where you’re going. You end up out of fuel, completely lost, and wondering why you just did that.

Be cautious with your excitement

The main reason people start building straight away? They’re excited. That kind of positivity is brilliant. However, it’s easily lost when there’s nothing to keep it fueled—and it does need to be refueled. Because the excitement drops when there’s a delay. Or when you’re unsure how to move forward. And any time there’s a disagreement.

With a digital product strategy, you find answers to these problems before you start building. So delays are less likely. You always know how to keep moving forward. And everyone agrees on the direction before you set off. The other difference? You have facts and figures to fall back on if disagreements arise. You’ve researched your target group and identified their needs, wants and expectations. You have a clear strategy to guide you. That all helps when it’s time to design your product.

Choose the right path

With a digital product strategy, you look into the costs and time related to different tasks and paths you might follow in creating your product. You gain insight into which path to take. You also know whether to turn right or left before you arrive at an intersection. Without a digital product strategy, you don’t have this information and have nothing to base your decisions on. So, are you just going to flip a coin?

The original excitement that your idea created may dwindle while you’re creating your digital strategy. But it comes back. In fact, you’ll soon be more enthusiastic about the strategy than you would be without it.
Why? Because without a strategy, you have too many doubts and concerns to be positive. Concerns like:

• How much is this going to cost?

•Is this what our target group wants or needs? 

• Would people really pay for our product? 

•Why would they choose our product over the competition? 

•How long until it’s ready?

•Are the unexpected costs a cause for concern? 

•Is this actually a good idea?

When you can hold on to a strategy, there’s much less uncertainty. And in creating the strategy, you end up with a stronger sense of team spirit. You have other people there to support you, who understand what you want to create and why, and who believe in the project.

Be sure to take your time

There are reasons people choose not to create a strategy for their digital products. They might say drawing up a strategy takes too long. And we understand. When you’re excited and want to start building, it must seem like gathering information for your digital strategy takes forever. But in the end, you earn back all the time you spend. And more. How? It comes back to knowing which path to take and working towards a well-defined goal. Each step is clearly set out, and you have a timeline set out for the steps you’re involved in. As does everyone else, so you’re all working to each other’s timing.

With a digital product strategy, your roadmap shows you where you are and where everyone else is. It also lets you know whether there’s anything you need to organize for upcoming tasks. If you start building without a strategy, you don’t necessarily know what needs to be done. Vital tasks might suddenly appear. And everyone not involved with them ends up twiddling their thumbs while they wait for these vital tasks to be completed.

Excitement without the anxiety

There’s another reason people are reluctant to create a digital product strategy. This is the most fascinating one: they’re worried that when the research is done, it will show that no one needs, wants, or is even interested in the product they want to build. Think about it. By not having a digital product strategy, you’re building a product that no one wants. That’s probably not the best business practice ever.

Put simply, your digital product strategy is a powerhouse when it comes to raising efficiency. Of course, by working efficiently, and with a positive outlook, you’ll build team spirit and excitement about your product. Without the worries.

Do you have questions about Digital Product Strategy? Maybe you’re wondering whether it will help you with an idea your organization is uncertain about pursuing. Drop in for a chat, a cup of coffee, and an obligation-free opportunity to look at the options together.