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Written by Kevin Heisey
on August 27, 2021

As an Association, do you want to leverage new digital capabilities to transform how you engage members, execute events and streamline your processes? It can be tempting to pursue new Products or offerings before fully understanding your members and your unique Problem Space. By utilizing a Product approach, you can optimally leverage and implement new technologies that align to your Association’s unique needs and provide member-driven value.

Strategy

Before developing new Products, you should establish a direction and purpose that your Association wants to achieve. How will a new Product add value? Create a Product Vision to unite Stakeholders behind a shared purpose while also establishing a strategic direction to guide your Association’s resources and efforts. Clear, strategic goals will ensure that you are creating Products that deliver the best value to your Association.

Your strategy and Product Vison can then be used to create a Lean Roadmap, which is an outcome-based document stating how you will achieve your desired outcome. The Lean Roadmap should guide you toward the outcome but not prescribe a specific process or timeframe, allowing you agility to adapt to changing needs or market conditions.

Research

Successful digital Products should improve your member experience and engagement. Start with a solid understanding of your Problem Space, which is based on member research including interviews, surveys, market validation and customer journey mapping. A strong understanding of your Problem Space provides the foundation for creating optimized, member-focused products. But to fully deliver successful Products, you need a continuous research and feedback loop that incorporates constantly changing member needs and technologies into Product Development.

Execution

Using a Product approach that incorporates Lean-Agile practices will ensure your Development team has a shorter work cycle while also producing value early and often. Decompose larger Products into smaller chunks and deliver iteratively, starting with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that is both immediately useful to members and provides you with insights into how they are using the Product. Working in iterations will help you mitigate risk by providing opportunities to identify issues and course correct, integrate new technologies and address any changing needs.

Product Approach for Optimal, Efficient Solutions

A Product approach provides strategic direction and structure to effectively understand your Problem Space, and flexibility to use Lean-Agile practices and frameworks to effectively develop solutions. This pragmatic and broad Product approach ensures that optimal products are developed, and also streamlines Product Development, reduces go-to-market time and delivers value quickly.

How Mature Is Your Association’s Product Journey?

To better understand the maturity of your Association’s Product practices from strategy to execution, take xScion’s Problem Space Exploration Survey. The survey gauges your Association’s maturity around Product Management best practices, helps you understand how to develop the right solutions for your Association’s unique context and provides you with tips to optimize your digital Product efforts. To learn more, visit Problem Space Exploration Survey.