Product experience strategists need to conduct thorough research to ensure that the products being developed and launched align with the goals and needs of the business. Alignment is a bit of a buzzword that you’re likely to see in HBR and other publications, but don’t dismiss it – it isn’t a trivial thing, and it certainly isn’t an abstract thing. One of the pitfalls of product experience strategy – and product management more generally – is that understanding the needs of the business isn’t actually that straightforward. There’s lots of moving parts, lots of stakeholders. And while everyone should be on the same page, even subtle differences can make life difficult.
This is why product experience strategists do detailed internal research. It:
Helps designers to understand the company’s vision and objectives for the product. It allows them to understand what’s at stake. Based on this, they work with stakeholders to align product objectives and reach a shared understanding on the goals of design. Once organizational alignment is achieved, the strategist uses research insights to develop a product experience strategy. The research is simply a way of validating and supporting that strategy. The included research activities are:
Stakeholders are typically senior executives who have a direct responsibility for, or influence on, the product. Stakeholders include product managers, who manage the planning and day-to-day activities associated with their product, and have a direct decision-making authority over its development. In projects that are important to the company, it is not uncommon for the executive leadership from the chief executive and down to be among the stakeholders due to their influence and authority to the direct overall product strategy.