Sometimes an idea will defy articulation until all the dots connects. And sometimes dots just connect when many more articulate people share their ideas. A few enterprise SaaS concepts I’ve been playing around with in my posts over the past few months recently came together:
Thank you for another insightful post.
Additional thought about, 'an enterprise software solution (i.e. your product) needs to enable a horizontal pod with a job to be done vs a vertical persona that’s a step in the flow'.
This is also true for many incumbents that are undergoing 'digital transformation' (yeah, I don't like this term either). TL;DR, for many of us who are building productivity products, it is easy to forget it is never just about the software; for every software-enabled workflow, there is human operator behind it (unless is full automation). So start with the people and workflow.
I previously joined a fortune 50 company to help them digitize/automate internal sales workflow.
The project was a hand-me-down and had been conceptualized since 5 yr ago but never fully built out.
I took it over and it became fairly early on that the problem was not about building out just the piece of software itself; that was prob the easiest part. It was the workflow or lack thereof: whoever the owner of the project was hadn't taken the time to create/communicate 'what the new workflow would be once there would be an order management portal' and 'what training would be needed for the sales and operation team'. Hence it failed to collaborate/rally support from Sales/Operation senior management to push the project forward.
So my approach was to first map out existing workflow, identify where the friction/pain point was; mostly done by interviews with every team involved in the existing workflow. Then worked with design and eng to sketch out what the ideal workflow and UX/UI components were; how the backend data flew and what different systems and APIs need to connect/create.
We then would show 3 different version of the UI along with workflow description presented to users (internal/external clients); gained feedback and redesign before we started any coding.
The launch was not without hiccup but in every step we were very confident we had the support from users as well as heading the right direction.