5 Great Reasons Why Your Next Project Needs to Be a Product

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The word ‘project’ is a given part of the vernacular of agencies and consultants. However, to shift focus from managing means to achieving outcomes, we need to start talking about product management, not projects.

In the world of agencies and consultancies, projects are sold almost by reflex. Almost everything is considered a project ruled by the eternal “iron triangle” of scope, time and budget. As consultants, we take pride in living within the confines of that trilateral space. We celebrate when deadlines are met and budgets unbroken. Yet we rarely stop and reflect over the change we’re making in the world. It would appear that the idea of the project is holding us back from achieving real outcomes.

This Article at a Glance

  • Generally speaking, agencies and consultants work in projects as a matter of habit, rarely reflecting over why.
  • Projects traditionally emphasize resource usage over outcomes and impact, which limits agencies when it comes to helping clients achieve goals that matter.
  • Product management offers a different perspective and emphasizes customer impact over the constraints of the classical iron triangle of projects.
  • Adopting tools and methods from product management forces consultants to consider the impact of their work:
    • It encourages sharing responsibility for customer success.
    • It recognizes the importance of UX and the entire customer experience as a condition of success.
    • It doesn’t peddle assumptions as truths, instead recognizing the value of testing and prototyping.
    • It fosters cross-functional collaboration leading to higher workplace satisfaction.
    • It promotes a longer, life-cycle perspective of what you’ve built.
  • You can start working product-oriented today by talking about customer success with your client, identify themes of customer value and cross-collaborate using Impact Mapping.

If All You Do Is Projects Then Everything Looks Like a … Project!

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Author: Jakob Persson

Jakob is the founder and CEO of Zingsight, the company behind Bondsai. He's been involved with the web for over twenty years and has previously co-founded and grown a web agency from 4 to 70 people. Jakob holds degrees in media technology and cognitive science. He consults in product design and management, and business development. Jakob is an experienced skier and a learning scuba diver.