Why Work With A Product Strategy Management Consultant?
You’re probably facing one of these common problems:
- We’re not investing in strategic products – just churning
- It’s not clear that our products are aligned on brand or on strategy
- Our product priorities are constantly changing
- Our product strategy is defined by competitors because we can’t get out in front
- We are not investing enough in innovation
Product Strategy Consulting can be the fastest and most effective solution for this set of problems that plague CEOs, heads of Strategic Planning, and Chief Marketing Officers in particular.
Product development strategy is a subset of corporate strategy. It sets the direction for new products by establishing goals and through funding decisions. The aim of product strategy is to gain competitive advantage by placing product offerings in the best possible position to drive business goals such as sales growth, revenue, or profits.
Product Management Consulting is another way to align product development with corporate strategy to maximize revenues and profits consistent with the organization’s appetite for risk. It is a more bottom-ups approach.
Product Strategy Consulting helps your company create a stream of innovative offerings that disrupt the competition and meet customer needs.
Benefits of Product Strategy Consulting
Our clients have reported measurable improvements in business performance following a Product Strategy Consulting engagement. Typical results include:
- Higher and more predictable revenues from major products
- Increased margin through differentiation
- Better feel for market changes
- Reduced time to market (by up to 50%) because direction is clear
- Maximum synergy between product lines enabling faster scale-up
- Clear tie between programs and business strategy
TCGen – What We Do and How to Engage
Although each engagement is unique, most of them are variations of these types.
“We’re making better decisions, faster”— Apple Executive
- Schedule a no obligation call. Book some time with us and we can find out how we can help you.
- We will write it up. We will describe what we learned and suggest options for working together. These conversations may result in a proposal for your consideration.
- Kick off Project. We will work with you to formulate a tailored Kick Off to initiate the engagement.
What Product Strategy Consulting Services Do
Product Strategy Consulting services help bring a product focus to strategy to realize the maximum value from your product portfolio and tune up your product development strategy. On the other hand, Product Development Consulting firms tend to focus on execution, not strategy. Product Strategy consultants also help you guide budgeting/investment and organizational decision making. Product Strategy Consulting services may also help you:
- Create a clear strategic North Star that guides your investments in NPD
- Manage risks and opportunities in product development programs more effectively
- Have a clear grasp of project priorities & rightsize investments
- Create a process for the front end of development
- Have a clear line of sight between strategy, product roadmaps, and budgets
- Improve the overall effectiveness of your product portfolio
We can help you hone your product strategy to align it with corporate goals
TCGen’s Product Strategy consulting services address a range of business challenges…
- Too many companies do not adequately manage their Product Development Strategy. They are missing systems for managing the fragile front-end of new product development. We demystify the front end with systems that enable decision-makers to converge quickly and reliably on the best opportunities for creating winning products.
- Often we also address product portfolio management as part of our product strategy engagements. Our product portfolio management services emphasize the financial aspects of investment, return, and the corresponding risks.
- Organizations are often trying to innovate in new ways. We have helped clients with Design Thinking to help assure that the new, transformative products will delight customers at launch.
- Nurturing new product ideas, and loading the pipeline with successful new products, needs the right governance, funding, and a proven process for vetting, selecting, and executing product development projects. We’ve thought this through and can help you get it right.
- Managing a strategic product portfolio requires a yearly process tied to R&D spending and budgeting, and an ongoing, day-to-day process, where empowered product teams can push projects ahead until they are fully funded and supported. We have a proven process for both of these systems
Whatever your company’s needs, our customized solutions help you to achieve your goals.
Improve Product Development Investments
Tie Strategy to Budget and Product Roadmaps
Realize the Optimal Value From Your Investments
TCGen’s Approach to Product Strategy Consulting
A viable product development strategy begins with:
- A vision: a broad statement of where you’d like your company to be (3-5-year horizon)
- A strategic plan for product development: steps you intend to take to achieve that vision (2-3-year horizon)
- Product and technology roadmaps, project priority lists, and budgets, connected to specific programs that realize the strategy
A strategic product planning process connects the company’s vision, usually encompassing a three-to-five-year time horizon, with the strategic steps, over a one-to-two-year horizon, required to realize that vision.
It then links the strategy to product and technology roadmaps – representations that allow decision-makers to see the progression of products and technologies, and their changing relationships over time.
We then connect these roadmaps to the yearly budgeting process that prioritizes future products, and provides them with the resources they need in their early stages.
TCGen’s Product Strategy Consulting Case History
As chief engineer at BOSE, John Carter managed the development of products such as the BOSE® Wave® Music System and Noise-Cancelling Headphones, enjoyed by millions of customers worldwide. John also designed Apple’s new product development process (ANPP) used across all of the company’s divisions.
With years of consulting experience setting up and managing PMOs, John has developed an expertise in Product Strategy. He has also led Product Strategy engagements across industries.
We have developed methods for demystifying the front end of product development and implemented them with blue chip companies such as Apple, BOSE, Cisco, Mozilla and Roche. Our expertise in product portfolio management has helped these firms to converge quickly and reliably on the best opportunities for developing winning products.
In a product development consulting engagement with Bio-Rad we worked with the platform team to design the next generation platform of diagnostic testing systems. With market research he helped Bio-Rad identify a unique customer visitation plan and implemented it with not just the product marketing organization but with the entire cross-functional platform team. The results: a platform launch that was Bio-Rad’s most successful ever, an enduring winner for them over many years.
Our approach to Product Strategy helps team members optimize a critical resource: your company’s brightest ideas.
The TCGen Difference
TCGen’s approach to Product Strategy Consulting differs from the others because we listen. We drive deeply into the culture and the challenges of the organization including both the management and the development teams. Our Project History approach captures the voices within your organization and enables you to learn from the past, as you imagine your future.
In a dialog with senior leadership, we then define the key results you would like to achieve. We then craft a customized approach to your Product Strategy Consulting engagement.
We do not believe that “one size fits all.” Our Product Strategy Consulting engagements enable you to select only the approaches that work for you. Too many consultants complicate processes to no end. We’ll help you implement only the approaches that make a difference.
TCGen is also different in that you will work directly with someone with deep, hands-on knowledge of Product Strategy. We won’t hand you off to a recent MBA recipient. You will get the benefit of working with someone who has developed products enjoyed by millions of people.
About John Carter
John Carter has been a widely respected adviser to technology firms over his career. He is the author of Innovate Products Faster: Graphical Tools for Accelerating Product Development. As Founder and Principal of TCGen Inc., he has advised some of the most revered technology firms in the world:
• Abbott, Amazon, Apple
• BOSE, Cisco, Fitbit
• HP, IBM, Roche
John’s work spans digital product developers, to tangible product developers and from startups, to digital transformations of large-scale companies.
“John has that rare combination of brilliance and pragmatism that truly sets him apart. John is world class.”
— Dan Keller, HP Executive
John has years of experience in the value-creating aspects of successful product development – from the product strategy and innovation processes, through product definition, execution and launch. He has helped companies cut time to market, rapidly scale their product programs, and improve innovation with user experience insights, leading to greater profitability, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.
He has developed best practices in product lifecycle management, product management, project management, metrics, and agile methodologies for new product development.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cirrus Logic (CRUS) a leading supplier of mixed signal semiconductors where he is involved with company strategy and sits on the Compensation and Audit Committees.
John was the founder of Cambridge-based Product Development Consulting, Inc. (PDC), a management consulting firm advising Fortune 500 companies in the areas of research, development, and marketing. During his time there, he worked with Apple to create the Apple New Product Process (ANPP). He has been an invited speaker at MIT and Stanford University, and a member of the faculty at Case Western’s Executive program.
Before starting PDC, John was Chief Engineer of BOSE Corporation. John is the inventor of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and shares the original patent with Dr. Amar Bose. He was one of the initial contributors in BOSE’s entry into the automobile OEM business and led the product and business development of BOSE’s patented noise reduction technology for the military market.
He earned his MS in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA.