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Product optimization practices

The following article is a sample from the full BVOP™ Ultimate Guide and is part of the preparation for the BVOP™'s modern Agile Product Management Certification Program.

Optimization practices are needed in every product development and even in a complete and ready-to-use product.

The meaning of optimization in this context is changing, adding new or removing existing parts of the product. In most cases, this usually means that the entire product development process requires more work and resources.

The product optimization practices in the context of the BVOP are:

  • Pre-release optimization practices
  • Post-release optimization practices

Pre-release optimization practices

During the development process, the entire product or its parts may be tested, validated, and agreed to be done based on the users' and different stakeholders' feedback.

Depending on the general practices and goals of the BVOPDM office, repetitive analysis of the ready end-results may be applied.

The BVOP advocate that the users' feedback is not always correct or entirely valid. Human factors, cognitive biases, and other typical and natural phenomenons may often occur during sessions of validations, testing, and providing feedback.

Repetitive sessions and careful users observations between their feedback and their real actions, interactions, and the natural look is a tool for gathering more realistic data.

Misalignments between users' feedback and their actual behavior should be recorded and may be used for future optimization.

Typical misalignments between users feedback and their behavior may include:

  • Users request important features, but they are not used or barely used.
  • User tasks and needs defined and validated at the early stages do not provide a satisfying outcome.
  • Users provide positive feedback about product usability values, but they experience difficulties.

Before an optimization action is taken, the BVOPDM office communicates back the misalignments with the users who provided the feedback to find intersections between their feedback and the observations.

If the communication is not possible, the optimization actions should be taken with high caution, so wastes and product degradations are avoided.

Post-release optimization practices

After a product is delivered to a real-world environment, quick statistics and feedback gathering are very important, so everything planned during the development stages can be matched against a real-world environment where significant access to real users is available.

If pre-release optimizations actions are taken and the product or some parts of it are improved and defined to be satisfying, the real-world environment provides fast and extensive knowledge about how the users use the product. Misalignments between the prognosis and the real usage may be identified.

The Business Value-Oriented Product Management (BVOPDM) office may plan and execute post-release optimizations if the noted misalignments are evaluated as harmful for the product, users, organization, other third parties, or the profit.

Typical post-release optimizations may be implemented based on the following major reasons:

  • User tasks and needs defined and validated before the product release does not provide a satisfying outcome.
  • Users are experiencing difficulties using the product.
  • Harmful users' actions.
  • The product is consuming too many resources.

Decisions making for optimizations activities

Both pre and post optimizations may be applied if the Business Value-Oriented Product Management (BVOPDM) office decides that they are needed, and this activity will not endamage any dimension of the BVOP.

Every decision for applying optimization should always be based on predefined values.

All BVOPDM office members agree with an acceptable rate of misalignments.

Product Optimization Practices in Product Management
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