Leading Digital Transformation For Businesses With Design Led Product Engineering
In today's time, digital trans-formation is becoming a natural and relevant need for everyone in some form or other. The pandemic impact is a punctuation forcing everyone to re-imagine and adapt to newer ways of conducting businesses. Considering our natural ability to adapt, everyone is open to embrace changes and this is a great opportunity for Enterprises and Product companies. For Enterprises, this is about seizing the opportunity by tweaking the organization's strategy and structure and for Product firms, there is a need to go beyond what you can decipher from customer needs through Market re-search which are explicit and beneficial in the future.
For organizations to grow, there is a necessity to discover innumerable opportunities and make the best use of them to reap the maximum benefits. As innovations lead to discovering opportunities, it is import-ant to first demystify Innovation. Innovation need not be Path breaking, but a recombination of ideas that challenges the current norms or a new way of accomplishing tasks that is pertinent.
A combination of Design Thinking for capturing user's views on the problem to be addressed and QFD for realizing the need during the Build
Product Engineering is a much-needed core capability that needs to be nurtured to accomplish Digital ambitions in a volatile world. As engineering consulting activity is concerned, product engineering service uses various hardware, embedded, software and IT services solutions for the designing and development of products. In addition to necessary technology capabilities, it is most important to infuse new ideas and keep the rhythm of execution. To make this happen, conscious effort is needed to allow two opposing forces to act upon.
The first can be visualized as Outward orientation allowing increase in quality and quantity of ideas through creative action, while second as Inward orientation integrating these into collective action. Internal orientation comprise Connectedness with own project teams and other functional teams; Temporal pacing to find solutions within timelines; Project leader expertise for motivating team for collective action to arrive at quality solutions, Superordinate goal that project team accepts and identifies with goals of a project through psychological ownership by team. These forces can improve Problem-solving capabilities of the team and help in achieving the goals of product quality, development time and development cost.
The capability to identify opportunity and seize them can be nurtured by Design Led Product engineering as a practice in the Tech ecosystem focusing on the following three areas:
1. Product Management
At the core of Product management is curiosity to understand your Industry nuances deeply along with the understanding of your customers and Competitive landscape. A key measure of this is Product integrity which has an Internal dimension and External dimension. Internal dimension is about how the product works well and achieved through cross-functional coordination within the company. External dimension is about consistency between product's performance and customer expectations. The key to product integrity is product leadership focused on the whole organization towards customer satisfaction and devising formal and informal processes to infuse Product concepts into the details of design and build.
2. Embracing Design
There are numerous possibilities with the myriad of technology choices that need to be dealt with during any Digital transformation journey. It requires understanding the technology and simplifying complex systems. It is also important to ensure technological feasibility and implementing a viable business strategy that can convert into customer value and market opportunity. Reducing the risks of failure and development costs while improving time to market performance has been a big concern for many years. Quality Function Deployment and Design Thinking are two tactics that can help address them.
Design thinking is an essential tool for simplifying and humanizing processes. It takes three constraints into account that are Feasibility (what can be done); Viability (what can be done successfully); Desirability (what people want or will come to want).
A combination of Design Thinking for capturing user's views on the problem to be addressed and QFD for realizing the need during the Build and Deployment phase will enable cross-functional collaboration among Solutioning, Design, Product Management and Engineering to achieve the overall objectives.
3. Talent and Leadership
Talent will be the key factor that will help accelerate an Enterprise's ability to pursue Digital ambitions. Learn-ability and Curiosity would be most desired skills as Technical competence is temporary, but intellectual curiosity must be permanent.
Leadership should exercise "Subtle control" instead of just playing a supportive role. The key idea behind subtle control is that successful teams maintain a balance between allowing ambiguity such that creative problem solving can flourish and exercising sufficient control to meet the overall goals. The best performance is achieved by senior management communicating a clear vision of objectives and allowing the team to be autonomous with-in the discipline of that vision. This is not an easy task to accomplish, unless we build a robust Product Engineering and Management team who can make sense of strategic goals of the company and translate to what makes sense for the team and as individuals.
Design led engineering can orchestrate all of the above to realize Digital transformation ambitions and hence it is imperative to nurture it as a much- needed capability.