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Collaboration between Product & Technology Teams

Scenario

Managing the building and evolution of a product

Common challenges and pitfalls

The Product team identifies the target market and audience for a product and defines the features of the product, via qualitative and quantitative analysis. They work with the Business and Marketing team to compile a business plan and go-to-market strategy.

The Product team then provides a set of detailed requirements to the engineering team so the features of the product can be developed and delivered to the customer. The transition from “Product Requirements” to a detailed “Product Technical Specification” can be froth with misunderstandings that can have a big impact on the final features and customer experience.

DifHub solution

DifHub provides an environment where the Technical and Product teams can define the key components and features (Systems / Applications) of the product. The product manager can work with the technical team to define all the data sets that drive the end capabilities and experience of the product. The technical team can take the data in DifHub and deliver code that is directly managed from DifHub.

DifHub provides a common language where the product team can input and document all the requirements of the product and the technical team can then use this as the technical specification for the code development.

Because the Product and Engineering teams work in the same environment and all product definitions and issues are centralized in DifHub, the evolution of the product is more aligned to the customer requirements.

I was the product lead on an initiative to consolidate multiple pricing/billing & settlement systems across multiple business units (acquired via acquisitions of a 5 year period) into a single consolidated platform. We put a small team together to capture the current capabilities and features across all the business units and the architect created the foundational design of the new consolidated platform, which was captured in DifHub. We then used the DifHub tool to drive collaboration and incrementally improved the model until it supported all business units. Issues were opened and tracked within DifHub so everyone was aligned on the priorities and up to date on the current status.

I personally found the work using “enums” to be the most rewarding way to assess the completeness of the product specification. Fields of “Type” are managed by enums and these enum values truly define the scope of the product

Example: Account Type - Business / Personal / Charity. This defines the types of accounts we wanted to support.

Over time we ended up with a very comprehensive list of "Type" fields (enums) that gave the consolidated platform a very clear set of use-cases we needed to support.

by Martin Coughlan

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