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Still pondering about the cultural and organisational factors that make it so hard to create products “Built to Love”, I found more food for thought in Sarah Doody’s Why We Need Storytellers at the Heart of Product Development article from last April UxMag. Here are some of the key insights and proposals as quotes:

1.   the WHAT and the HOW of the product prime over the WHY.

Far too often, teams focus on execution before defining the product opportunity and unique value proposition……….. The reason for this is that product management is often placed within the engineering organization. Ultimately, an engineering organization is focused on execution and that culture is not optimized for the process of discovery, curiosity, and play, all of which are fundamental to those who engage in storytelling.

2. the product value story is not one with the marketing value story.

Today, many companies have their product and marketing groups disconnected from each other…… The result is that marketing tells one story, and the product tells a different story. In the end, consumers are left to put together the conflicting messages and try to determine why they should engage with the product.

3. there is no ONE clear product value story the teams creating the product have in common.

This is important because it ensures that the entire team understands the why behind what they are doing. A common understanding of the product story allows a team to incubate a shared vision. This vision turns into passion, and people with both passion and vision are more likely to produce products that others want to use.

4. the need for product storytellers.

Product storytellers should be at the intersection of product, marketing, and technology to help ensure that what’s being created clearly maps back to a product story that identifies the plot, people, and perceived value to the consumer. Before a technologist writes a line of code, or a marketer writes a line of copy, or a designer creates a single wireframe or design, you have to establish the story that your product is going to tell. The product storyteller synthesizes rather than analyzes, sees the big picture rather than becoming stuck in the details, and ensures that all product interactions and touchpoints form a cohesive and value-based consumer experience.

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