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Projects-to-Products: Example of a Product

By Brian Nathanson posted Oct 03, 2019 12:30 PM

Yesterday I posted about the defining characteristics of a product. In conversations with customers, we've often found it useful to discuss an example of a "product" that illustrates how a product might be distinct from other investment types such as applications or systems.

Here's one example of a possible product:

  • Airline Check-In
    • Durable asset/sequence that receives recurring investment and an indeterminate end date
    • Has a manager (or group of managers) responsible for the experience
    • In this case, the airline may use it "internally" to place people on their own planes or contract it for use "externally" with regional carriers (as an example)
  • The check-in process actually ties into several different systems (or potentially other products)
    • Flightline operations (to determine flight status -- on-time, delayed)
    • Seat selection (may be contracted to a 3rd party)
    • Baggage handling (how many bags, overweight or not)
    • Booking (changes or cancellation)
    • Frequent traveler (in case traveler status affects seat availability, baggage charges, etc)
    • Promotions/marketing (if we want to upsell additional flight features)
  • (Major) Goal is to put people on planes as efficiently as possible
  • Could have cross-management/dependency with mobile app, airport operations (for in-person kiosks or desk), etc.
The main point here is that "products" is not necessarily synonymous with "applications." It might be if a system is significant enough or provides obvious business value on its own, but you may find it better to bundle several systems into a product in order to articulate the business value.

Have your own examples? Questions on the definition? Issues with or suggestions for the example? Hit us up in the comments.