“If your product is not useful for the very person it is meant for; it’s destined to fail” – these are the words of business coach and SaaS expert Patrick Parker who has, throughout his career, manifested the difference adopting a human-centric approach can create in the success of a business. He has proven it numerous times, and the businesses he is leading currently are testament to that. One quick glance at the products developed by the software companies Patrick leads will help you understand what puts the wind in their sails.
The problem with most software companies around the world is that their products are developed based on the perspectives of the developers and not the end-users. The process often starts with identifying a business problem that leads to partnering with a development company to build a product and deliver a solution. It requires the company to explain the aforementioned problem to a software architect who does their best to capture the business requirements as they understand them and then converts them into a set of technical requirements and high-level design. They then turn around and hand both sets of requirements to a team of developers to begin working on the codebase. Coincidentally, this is where the problems start.
Have you ever sat in a circle and played a game of “telephone” where you relay the message that was whispered in your ear to the person on the other side of you? They then in turn repeat the process until it goes all the way back around to the person who started with the message. If you haven’t, here’s a spoiler alert: The final message is never the same as the initial message.
There are two primary factors that cause the degradation of the message. The first lies in the abilities of the communicator. The second lies in the abilities of the interpreter.
This is why Patrick emphasizes the importance of creating products using a human-centric approach. It solves the problem outlined above and helps to create a framework for success.
Patrick shares the four primary benefits of adopting this approach.
The entire team is aligned
Include everyone that will be involved in the project as early on as possible. Having a foundational understanding of the business problem that they are trying to solve will enable them to think about the “why” and not just the “how”. Being able to conceptualize the bigger picture helps developers understand how their contribution fits into the puzzle and ensures alignment in the delivery of successful products.
The goal is clear and concise
By including all of the key stakeholders, the end goal becomes clear and concise in the mind of every member of your team. The result is that it assists in maintaining a tight schedule while preventing any misdirected iterations.
It keeps customers and end-users involved
As mentioned earlier, the products that are developed without considering the actual end-users who will be using them will almost always fail. The human-centric approach provides clients with a roadmap in which their customers’ feedback can be easily captured and worked back into the design and development sprints. It also helps to ensure that the expectations of your end users are being met and that the product being delivered will provide the intended solution.
It helps you spot mistakes and missed opportunities
Last but not least, pursuing a human-centric approach helps you to spot process gaps and the missed opportunities for feature sets that end-users need and would pay money to have. Keeping an open feedback loop between end-users and the development team during the build phase is critical. Identifying mistakes and/or missed opportunities can save time and money in the long run.
If you are looking to build a successful custom software product while minimizing the risk, Patrick and his team at SaaS Partners are among the best in the world.