Excerpts from an article I was recently quoted in on customer feedback and product validation (https://www.usertesting.com/blog/importance-customer-feedback-product-managers/):
Product managers have a tough job. They’re tasked with market and competitive analysis and laying out a product roadmap that delivers unique value based on their customers’ demands. What makes this challenging is that the needs and demands of those customers can often change, so ensuring that they build the right feature at the opportune time while keeping development risk low and maximizing adoption potential is key to their success in the role. Making decisions based on guesswork is a risky endeavor. Make the wrong decisions and teams face costly rework and lost time to market. Product managers can’t just assume, they must validate their ideas beforehand, directly with their customers.
At UserTesting, our experience shows us that continuous customer feedback throughout the development cycle is a highly effective strategy that product teams should employ to get their products right the first time. To better understand the importance of customer feedback and validation in product development, we reached out to 12 leading product managers and product management experts to get their thoughts on the topic. We asked them,
How important is customer feedback and validation to your line of work?
Jeremy Horn The Product Guy, Head of Product, Tafifi
“Every day a product manager should be validating (or invalidating) a hypothesis and running experiments. Product managers deliver their greatest value when they go beyond what users and other stakeholders think the product needs and get to the core of what would best help their users while furthering the key business objectives of the larger organization. There are many ways to approach experimentation—from within the same team responsible to executing the core roadmap to various dual track approaches, always remembering to find the cheapest way (meaning with few to no engineering resources) to learn the most in the least amount of time. In the end, as product managers, we should always be striving to learn and engage with everyone and everything that touch our products.”