Speed or accuracy? Which is more important to a government agency during digital transformation? Focus on speed, and something could be missed. Focus on accuracy only, and the solution you need might be outdated by the time it’s completed.
When you have limited time and resources, it is difficult to understand which road leads to success. Understanding the difference between the product and project management mindset will provide clarity on the advantages of leveraging the benefits of each approach.
The Project Mindset vs. Product Mindset
At its core, the project mindset focuses on time and budget. For a project manager, the goal is straightforward: Follow a beginning-to-end framework accurately and hit all mile markers. If all outputs reach the finish line within expected fiscal and clock-related parameters, the project is deemed a success. But what happens when you deliver but the solution does not meet the business needs? Is the project really successful?
The product mindset centers around delivering value for the end user, and time takes a backseat. Delivering useful functionality is the priority for the team. When issues arise, the product team solves barriers to achieving function, no matter the amount of time it takes. But what happens when the barriers to success take so long to resolve that your solution no longer serves the intended purpose?
A Hybrid Mindset for Government Digital
Project management ensures that measurable processes are followed. It keeps money from being wasted and avoids delivery hiccups. Product management promises outcomes that are valued and used by stakeholders. And though they might sound like opposite sides of a coin, these processes can serve up exceptional results when they coexist together.
The Project-Product Mindset in Action: One Client’s Experience
Hybrid project-product-driven solutions within government agencies have been utilized before with success. One of our clients was tasked with the responsibility of serving as a financial hub for its customers, allowing users to find and manage investment and funding opportunities within varying sets of rules and requirements.
Because of the substantial amounts of information the agency collects, houses, and disseminates, the client wanted to streamline its receivables process and make it easier for users to source investment and funding opportunities. The client chose to develop a more centralized, user-friendly solution on the adaptable Salesforce cloud platform.
Why Low Code Is Key
Unlike time-intensive custom coding, low-code development allows for the fast creation of minimally viable products (known as MVPs) with basic features and functionalities. MVPs enable users to interact with products and give instant feedback. Project teams can use the feedback to make essential changes early in the configuration phase without losing traction. By the end of the process, the client gets a valuable, usable outcome delivered as (and when) intended.
We helped our client incorporate project and product mindsets to achieve its goals. As such, rapidly executed and tested sprints and iterations kept the project outputs moving forward against an ambitious schedule. At the same time, all products and outcomes were evaluated at specific milestones to guarantee they met expectations and hid no flaws, ensuring sound risk management.
The client ultimately achieved its objective of a user-centric, accurate, robust portal. And it did so on time, within budget, and efficiently, making low-code development the solution to the combined approach of project-product mindset.
Realize the Benefits of the Right Mindset
As the above case study illustrates, it’s possible to quickly implement impactful solutions, especially with upfront preparations and the right tools in place.
Producing High-End User Satisfaction for Government Digital Solutions
By merging the strongest elements of project and product mindsets, you can ensure that the end product will support the business and produce high-end user satisfaction.
Reporting on the work being executed will provide visibility into progress and allow you to mitigate project risks and issues and avoid delays. Your stakeholders will be armed with project information, thus driving engagement and, ultimately, adoption of the new system.
When the project-product mindset is engaged, your agency will be able to provide timely solutions that meet the needs of the communities it serves.
Co-authored: by Jasmine Greene. Greene is the Principal Consultant–Digital Transformation at Kyra Solutions, a trusted government partner specializing in the art and science of digital transformation and modernization.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Pixabay; Pexels; Thank you!