Remote Product Development... Five important things to remember.
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
People tend to have more time for innovation, product development and digitalisation these days... which is great!
However, innovating remotely, especially Remote Product Development, is quite different from the face-to-face process many of us are used to. Based on the past ten weeks of experience in developing products remotely, we have put together some key tips for you and your teams:
One: Use the right tools
There are more digital tools out there than we can count. The one thing we can say for certain, is that it’s not helpful using as many as possible at the same time (trust us, we have tired). We had to experiment a bit to find what works for our team and you probably need to do the same! For us it turned out to be miro (for visualizing ideas) and Trello (for dividing and conquering) combined with Whatsapp and Hangout (for efficient communication). Monday and Slack are awesome but we always pop back to the super simple ones. Never heard of miro before? – Take a look at the perfect board... this is how work should look like :-)
Two: Turn on your camera, seriously.
Product Development is a very emotional process. People can be happy, sad, angry, invested or bored throughout the process, often switching in the blink of an eye. As a facilitator and participant you want to see what is going on. With turned off cameras this is not possible, hence product development also becomes close to impossible.
Three: Plan your meetings and plan them differently
Even if things are going great and everyone is killing it, after two hours max. every virtual session fizzles out. Working remotely for hours in big groups just doesn't work for extended periods of time. Our learning: Assign all your to-dos of the day to small groups and let them work run with it. Each group pitches their results back to the team, aiming for the most condensed possible version to avoid boredom.
Four: Keep the pace high Netflix, sourdough and banana bread keep you super busy these days. Who knew it was so easy to get distracted?! We always try to keep the pace high to actually achieve something as a team, by setting ambitious goals and challenging ourselves. Btw, the best way to put some positive pressure in a system is by pitching... (see point three)
Five: Feedback has never been easier If you have your first deck, prototype or clickable design contact people you know and let them give you feedback on your brainchild. These are the things you will get in return: - Experience in telling your products story - Experience in selling your product - Feedback on your prototype - Feedback on your market - Usually a tap on the shoulder (depends on your friends, I guess) - And maybe even a potential customer We hope these tips resonate with you and will help you to better develop products remotely with your team!
While we dive back into our next Remote Product Development workshop, we are curious to hear from you: what has been your experience with Remote Product Development? What is missing from our list?