Project management / Product : journey to the heart of the software publisher

Once passed by the phases of specification, development, validation et packaging, like any IT project that respects, our voice software products are ready for our customers and users. Here then came the moment of customer project management. For users without a product finally remains a concept ....

Isabelle Grollier

Director Projects at SIMSOFT INDUSTRY

But what is he hiding so behind this mysterious customer projects management business ? What are the interactions with product management ? At what times Products project cycles and the cycles they meet ?

Simply, the cycle of deployment projects and use of the products is keyed to the tempo and the different objectives of the product. This phase of integration and product deployment to customers must be managed differently from the product development phase.

In turn for a trip to the heart of the reactor of industrial software company !

The last will be first

The first meeting between key new product and project teams is at the end of product development. Once stable perimeter, product team begins transferring its technical content and functional to the project team. So, putting the next customer needs, the project team is able to conduct an analysis of the necessary and sufficient differences. This analysis, the project team has:

  • the application customisations: features to adapt ;
  • voice optimizations: recognition vocabulary customer's specific business;
  • ergonomic work: porting the product on visual devices, tactile and / or customer's voice, study suitable equipment;
  • technical adjustments: interfaces with existing customer to perform in order to automate the exchange;

The project team can prepare the deployment project, while putting all discrepancies visibility of the product team, which assesses their potential contribution to a future version that could well benefit all customers.

This principle is the same for any new product or new version of existing product.

permanent feedback to the client project team product

Throughout the customer deployment phase, the project team regularly defers the product manager the specific challenges and opportunities facing : dysfunction, need to change, need for additional customization. Load the product manager to learn lessons for future product releases.

Ensuite, from the Software User's cruise phase, customer project feeds the product teams with statistics from actual real cases. It is by no data customers own business (often confidential), but human data and statistical techniques : user feedback, notice of production units, Average recognition rate, data processing time, error occurrences ... etc ... These data are a source of wealth for a software company that builds technically from the field, but also for our customers who can derive transformation indicators of their own profession.

Until the end

For the duration of the contractual service, support is provided in part by a product team (features within the scope of the product) and the other part by the project team (Customer specific). This duality is completely transparent to clients, who benefit from a single contact who coordinates the products and project interventions. The information feedback to product managers are naturally in real time. Finally, at least once a year, a retrospective of the past year production is conducted by the project team, now support oriented, to the product teams. This assessment is also an opportunity to share with product managers customer satisfaction and new needs / business trends that are emerging. The team produced deduce part of the roadmap for future product developments.

The communication and synergy between project teams and product teams is permanent, transparent and fair.

Article : Isabelle Grollier