Solutions & Methods
SyncDev has four important use cases:
- New Product and Market Development
Stretch safely and quickly beyond your current customers, channels, products, and technologies.
Starting Trigger – The product and required resources are at least 80% feasible.
- N+1 (next-gen) Product Development*
Don’t botch your user interface, dump favorite features, i.e. – don’t regress. Don’t miss the new features that customers want most.
Starting Trigger – Market, product cycle, or revenue model demand it.
- Campaign Selling
Move already-successful products into new customers and market segments. Fix flagging products. Add new territories.
Starting Trigger – New product intro is disappointing. White space markets abound.
- Merger & Acquisition Due Diligence and Integration Jump Start
Do the companies fit? Is the synergy real? Try each other on for size. Live 30 or 60 days in the lives of each other. It reveals all and jump starts integration.
Starting Trigger – Deal terms are locked down.
For CEOs, GMs, and Teams
SyncDev is a capital allocation tool for CEOs, GMs, and CFOs. It’s an execution tool for cross-functional teams of product managers, designers, engineers, and marketers. If news from the market or development team is bad and comes early, the team ‘fails fast’ and redeploys to higher and better use quickly.
SyncDev, Inc. has been in business for thirty years serving mid-hundreds of companies of all sizes. Despite serving functional managers and teams day to day, no one other than the CEO of a smaller company or a GM of a business in a larger company ever ‘bought’ SyncDev.
That’s because only GMs sponsor and take ownership of developing a new product, have fiduciary responsibility for capital, have a holistic view of return and risk issues, and feel risk and return viscerally. In fewer than five of five hundred cases has anyone bought SyncDev, per se, who was not a GM.
Walking the Talk: Four Keys to Success
Customer acquisition is no easy feat when you don’t know exactly what customers want or have a product to sell them. While books, seminars, videos, and team exercises provide knowledge to people who want to do customer and product development, they don’t implant with users the skills to do it well. But for self starters with limited resources they do accelerate the trial-and-error learning curve.
For those with funding, SyncDev methods, player-coach, and tools will improve it, accelerate it, and make it more efficient.
- Scientific Method: Hypothesize and test exactly what you’ll provide to customers. Pivot until the product and business model result in a solid business case, or alternatively, one so weak that despite any pivot you decide to fold early.
- SyncDev Customer Engagement Model: This defines specific roles for your development and management team and your customers’ Decision Making Team (DMT), the primary source of pivot data, experiences, and discussions.
- SyncDev Player-Coach: Works side-by-side with your team in your office, on the road, and at customers’ sites, in situ, where users of your product work or play to get SyncDev done.
- SyncDev Playbook: Online tools that help define development objectives, schedule, customer engagement protocols, data collection models and data, business model pivots, business case analysis, next steps, and reporting to management.
The figure below represents four SyncDev solutions that are enabled by the four features listed above.
*Note: N+1 Risk and Return
N+1 products may not benefit enough from SyncDev to use it for them. Teams have good market data: lost sales reports, customer complaints and requests, user-group feedback, and ideas rooted in their own customer experience and use of a product. SyncDev caveats apply to N+1 products that:
- Address current customers’ problems and wants
- Have a team with good continuity with earlier product generations and teams
- Are targeted at the same customers as earlier versions
Given that most R&D money goes to N+1 products don’t rule them out carte blanche. If caveats are violated, risk goes up. An N+1 may be an ‘N+2′ or ‘N+3′, the numerical nomenclature being a course indicator of risk and return and a possible need for post-launch remediation as with Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.
New Coke needed remediation big time. It had a sweeter taste and less bite than the original Coke. It was designed to attract Pepsi’s customers. Coca Cola launched it and simultaneously withdrew original Coke from the market. New Coke met a sudden death after a massive market launch and Classic Coke came back.
Software teams frequently remove, replace, move, or obscure access to customers’ ‘favorites’ in next-gen releases. Wordstar, the first PC word processor, changed their user interface and millions of people abandoned it overnight. ‘N+’ teams often have little experience with previous releases and go off half-cocked reversing or eliminating good things their predecessors did.
At Adobe, a Dream Weaver team discovered in a conjoint analysis that eight of ten new features were of little value and changed them out for better ones.