Skip to main content

The four dangerous animals of Product Development

 Taken (almost) verbatim from highly informative blog: 


https://ochronus.online/four-dangerous-animals-of-product-development/

_____

This is going to be a short walk in the product development zoo, I hope you’ll enjoy the ride!

The HIPPO – the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion

hippo - Highest Paid Person's Opinion

It can be tempting to give in to the HIPPOs – founders or CEO or VPS who want to make all the decisions – but don’t let them steer you off course.

Bring everything back to your vision and objectives. If the HIPPOs aren’t aligned with those, you could be headed for dangerous waters.

Don’t let your HiPPO kill your ideas – inform them with data and make them a Data-driven HiPPO!

Read more about what happens when a HIPPO runs your company.

The WOLF – Working On the Latest Fire

The WOLF has a short attention span and a temptation to jump from one problem to the next. They tend to only enjoy fighting fires, This will disrupt your team’s focus and effectiveness, making you easy prey for your competitors.

Create a process for collecting feedback about problems, bugs and only consider these along with all other requests. Set up triaging and set clear priorities and a method for prioritization.

There’s a whole book on WOLF prioritization: The Phoenix Project

wolf - Working On the Latest Fire

The RHINO – Really Here In Name Only

rhino - Reall Here In Name Only

The RHINO is just there to collect a paycheck without contributing much to the team. They might not be actively impeding your decision-making, but they are not helping much either.

Having a clearly defined prioritization process can help ensure all your team members understand how decisions are made and give them the confidence to actively participate.

The ZEBRA – Zero Evidence But Really Arrogant

ZEBRAs think they know it all but rely on their instinct rather than any actual evidence. To stave off the ZEBRAs in your midst, make sure that you’ve got data to back up your decisions.

Come up with quick experiments you can run to test ideas and gather evidence. Push for a data-driven culture.

An interesting article for the HIPPO vs. the ZEBRA: In defense of the HIPPO…fear the ZEBRA

zebra - Zero Evindence But Really Aggressive

And one extra…. the RHINO again! This time, Really High value New Opportunity

Usually, it’s a salesperson with an amazing value customer deal for an unplanned feature insisting re-allocating resources to build what’s required to win the deal. The results, sadly, are an ignored strategy and roadmap and resources allocated to serve a single customer.

There are two ways here:

1, Chase the RHINO away: Compare the opportunity cost and value and argue against signing the deal if you have customer insight supporting the roadmap.
2, Tame the RHINO: Adjust the roadmap if the opportunity includes features you already had planned for later in the year.

Read more here: Taming the Rhino

Comments

  1. Not cool, 100% copying my article 1 day after me posting... https://ochronus.online/four-dangerous-animals-of-product-development/

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Capture and compare stdout in python unit tests

A recent fan of TDD, I set out to write tests for whatever comes my way. And there was one feature where the code would print messages to the console. Now - I had tests written for the API but I could not get my head around ways to capture these messages in my unittests. After some searching and some stroke of genius, here's how I accomplished capturing stdout.

On working remote

The last company I worked for, did have an office space, but the code was all on Github, infra on AWS, we tracked issues over Asana and more or less each person had at least one project they could call "their own" (I had a bunch of them ;-)). This worked pretty well. And it gave me a feeling that working remote would not be very different from this. So when we started working on our own startup, we started with working from our homes. It looked great at first. I could now spend more time with Mom and could work at leisure. However, it is not as good as it looks like. At times it just feels you are busy without business, that you had been working, yet didn't achieve much. If you are evaluating working from home and are not sure of how to start, or you already do (then please review and add your views in comments) and feel like you were better off in the office, do read on. Remote work is great. But a physical office is better. So if you can, find yourself a co-working s

The economics of crypto investing

If you believe in the greater fool theory, there is no other market as speculative and volatile as the crypto market today. We are perhaps living in the biggest bubble of our times. I am not bullish on this market in particular. I am bullish on the mania. 90% of the cryptos we see today will crash. They are just tokens with no tangible value generation capability. However, I believe that the mania and euphoria will stay. Having said that, should one consider investing in this market? Certainly! The risk/reward is lovely, potential upsides and margins are huge and with 3-5% of your net worth, the bet on the mania is worth it. How does one choose where to invest? If you follow the stock markets, you are expected to do thorough Fundamental Analysis before investing. Expect the same for the crypto market. I invest in large caps. I invest in index funds. And I invest over and over again. Markets rise, always. Extrapolating the same strategy - invest in indices - the top 10 tokens by