Your organisation’s digital strategy will manifest itself in the delivery of new digital offerings, products and services.
Whether you are bringing these to market for your customers or launching them internally to your employees, the process will be similarly complex.
An expert digital strategy consultancy is a vital resource for your organisation’s ability to serve customers and employees with great digital products and services.
Through their product delivery expertise, they can help you drive improvement of your business processes and customer experiences.
They do the work required to go from strategic thinking and planning—to bringing real digital empowerment for your employees and customers.
Digital strategy consulting enables a complete rethink of the products and services you offer to your customers—and the business processes and tools your employees use.
Your consultancy can help you bring out the best from your own product teams—and provide experienced personnel to work collaboratively with your people.
Let’s explore some of the issues and challenges your organisation may face when bringing a new digital offering to market— and how a digital strategy consultant can help you.
Establishing a vision for your digital offering
Your consultant will help you develop a product vision statement— describing what your organisation wants to achieve with the new digital product in terms of delivering customer value. This vision forms the core of your overall product strategy defining how you will make it happen.
You need to define a forward-looking vision that sets out what challenges you will solve for customers, and how they will engage with your product or service. The product vision acts as a top-level guide for your stakeholders, to clarify the direction the product should follow—and sets the shared objectives for the product team.
Example product vision statements of well-known companies include: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online” (Amazon) and “To bring the best user experience to customers through innovative hardware, software, and services” (Apple).
Making a plan that can be implemented
Your consultant can help you plan a go-to-market (GTM) strategy for your digital product. This is a tactical action plan outlining the process needed to create and launch your product to customers—and build success in the market.
This can apply to launching an entirely new product or service, improving and re-launching an existing offering—or adapting your current product for a new market.
The consultant can guide the creation and delivery of an ambitious yet realistic digital product plan. You should construct a pragmatic and achievable implementation plan for your digital product that defines the actions your organisation will perform to realise your goals.
Defining your ‘north star’ metric
Your product’s ‘north star’ metric is a key measure of its success in meeting your product vision—and delivering value for customers. It is the “guiding light” that connects the goal of meeting customer needs—with the generation of business value and revenue essential to your organisation:
Your performance against the north star metric demonstrates your product’s impact and progress to your leadership and stakeholders— and keeps the product team accountable to a specific outcome.
Your north star metric should be based on a deep understanding of how your product delivers value for the customer. A KPI such as “number of users” is not a good north star as it does not show what value your product is delivering.
A good north star reflects your product strategy, measures a key way in which customers find value from your product— ,and acts as a predictive indicator of future business outcomes.
North star metrics commonly relate to transactions (volume or value), attention (time spent or engagement level)—or productivity benefits (for your customer or employee). For example, a digital customer service platform’s north star metric might be “percentage of contacts resolved within 2 hours”—while for an online ordering portal it might be “number of customer orders delivered weekly”.
Managing the risks of digital product development
Your consultancy can help you manage the risks inherent in developing a digital product. It is essential to prepare for and mitigate these risks to ensure successful product delivery and operations.
For example, significant risk can emerge in software development due to poor quality code. This can result from issues such as a shortage of in-house skills and resources, or the pressure of demanding timelines.
This faulty code may only become apparent when the product crashes in production, causing a bad customer experience and loss of revenue.
Your consultancy can help you reduce risks by frequent and thorough testing of code—and early resolution of bugs and logical errors.
They can help you set realistic product development timelines that reduce the likelihood of problems—and provide skilled product engineers and designers to overcome any internal skills gaps or resourcing issues. They can also enable agile ways of working that overcome blockers to productivity in product development.
Further risks in product development come from failing to manage expectations—both of stakeholders and users—or allowing “scope creep” to take the project in the wrong direction.
As discussed above, your consultancy can address this risk with ongoing stakeholder alignment and consensus—plus an in-depth understanding of customer and user needs.
Improving your digital product delivery
Your digital strategy consultancy can help you deliver products and services in a seamless and scalable way, to many customers at the same time. By creating your own digital products, services and tools, your organisation can better meet the needs of customers—and help employees be more productive.
However, many organisations struggle to recruit and apply the right digital design and engineering talent to create these products. Expert digital product professionals with the right combination of skills and experience are in huge demand and are very hard to hire.
Your consultancy can help by providing skilled people, knowledge and resources to power product delivery. A good consultancy will have whole teams of such experts. By working with a consultancy, your organisation gains access to the right talent exactly when needed—without the challenges of finding, managing and retaining this rare resource in-house.
A consultancy can help your organisation increase efficiency and productivity across your product delivery workflows and operations, using agile development and design methodologies.
Boosting productivity is important for improving your product development—with new tooling and processes emerging and evolving to help. Productivity can be a complicated area to navigate, whether defining, measuring, or looking to improve—but it is a necessary area of focus for any company with product delivery operations.
Your consultancy can help you identify and overcome the bottlenecks and blockers in your workflows—conducting user interviews and workshops to identify causes of congestion that may be hindering productivity.