Project and product thinking are two important concepts in the field of product development. While project thinking focuses on delivering a specific result within a set timeline, product thinking emphasizes the creation of a valuable and usable product for the end user. Both are crucial for a product’s success, and combining them can help organizations achieve their goals effectively.
What is Project Thinking?
Project thinking is focused on delivering a specific result within a set timeline and budget. The goal of project thinking is to complete the project efficiently and effectively, meeting the specified requirements and delivering the required deliverables. This approach involves breaking down the project into smaller tasks, setting clear deadlines, and allocating resources to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.
Examples of project thinking can be seen in industries such as construction and engineering, where projects have a defined start and end date and a clear set of deliverables. Construction companies, for example, follow a project thinking approach to deliver buildings and infrastructure projects on time and within budget. Engineering companies also follow a similar approach to deliver large-scale engineering projects, such as power plants and dams.
Statistics have shown that companies that adopt a project thinking approach are more likely to complete projects on time and within budget. According to a survey by the Project Management Institute, organizations that follow a project thinking approach are 75% more likely to complete projects on time and within budget, compared to organizations that do not follow a structured approach.
What is Product Thinking?
Product thinking, on the other hand, is a customer-centered approach to product development that focuses on creating value for the end user. The goal of product thinking is to understand the needs and wants of the target market and develop a product that addresses those needs effectively. This approach involves continuously iterating on the product, incorporating user feedback, and improving the product’s overall usability and value.
Examples of product thinking can be seen in companies such as Apple and Amazon, which have a strong focus on customer needs and user experience. Apple, for example, has a reputation for creating products that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also user-friendly and intuitive. Amazon, on the other hand, is known for its customer-centric approach, constantly gathering feedback and data to improve its products and services.
Statistics have shown that companies that adopt a product thinking approach have higher customer satisfaction and retention rates. According to a survey by the Temkin Group, companies with a strong focus on customer experience have 1.6 times more customers who are likely to recommend their products and services and 2.6 times more customers who are likely to repurchase from them.
Why You Need Both to Excel
Combining both project and product thinking is crucial for the success of a product. Each approach offers unique benefits, and by combining them, organizations can achieve a well-rounded and comprehensive approach to product development. Some of the key benefits of combining both project and product thinking are:
- Meeting Business Objectives and User Needs: Project thinking ensures that the project is delivered on time and within budget, while product thinking ensures that the product meets the needs of the end user. By combining both approaches, organizations can achieve both their business objectives and the needs of their target market.
- Improved User Experience: Adopting a product thinking approach can lead to a better user experience, which is essential for customer satisfaction and retention. A product thinking approach also helps organizations to continuously iterate on the product and improve its usability and value.
- Better Decision-Making: Combining project and product thinking can provide organizations with a more comprehensive view of their product development efforts, allowing them to make informed decisions that balance the needs of the project and the needs of the end user.
- Increased Product Success: By combining both project and product thinking, organizations can increase their chances of product success. Products that are delivered on time, within budget, and meet the needs of the end user are more likely to achieve commercial success.
It’s important to note that the balance between project and product thinking will vary depending on the specific product development project. Some projects may require a heavier focus on project thinking, while others may require a heavier focus on product thinking. The key is to find the right balance between the two approaches to ensure the success of the product.
Making the Best of Project and Product Thinking by Taking the JTBD Approach
Both project and product thinking can be improved by following a Jobs to be Done (JTBD) approach. Jobs to be Done (JTBD) is a customer-centered approach that helps organizations understand the needs and wants of their target market. By understanding the jobs that customers are trying to get done, organizations can develop products that effectively address those needs. JTBD can be used to improve both project and product thinking and make the most of these two approaches.
- Better Understanding of Customer Needs: JTBD provides organizations with a deeper understanding of the jobs that customers are trying to get done. This understanding can be used to inform product development decisions and ensure that the product meets the needs of the target market.
- Improved User Experience: JTBD helps organizations to develop products that solve customer problems and improve the overall user experience. By focusing on customer needs, organizations can create products that are more user-friendly and intuitive, leading to increased customer satisfaction and retention.
- Improved Project Planning: JTBD can be used to inform project planning and ensure that the project is aligned with customer needs. This can lead to a more efficient project, with clear deliverables that address customer needs.
- Increased Product Success: By taking a JTBD approach, organizations can increase their chances of product success. Products that are developed with a deep understanding of customer needs are more likely to achieve commercial success, compared to products that are developed without this understanding.
In essence, combining both project and product thinking with a JTBD approach can lead to a comprehensive and customer-center approach to product development. This approach can help organizations to achieve their business objectives, meet customer needs, and increase the chances of product success.
In conclusion, both project and product thinking are essential for the success of a product. By combining both approaches and following jobs to be done approach, organizations can create products that are delivered on time, within budget, and meet the needs of the end-user. By focusing on both the project deliverables and the value and usability of the product, organizations can increase their chances of success in product development.