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Thought Industries: Align Your Product Team with Your Customers

What blew me away was within 3 weeks we were thinking differently about how we were doing things at the company. To see immediate benefit just opened everyone’s mind.

Thought Industries is a SaaS learning management platform that helps B2B companies educate their customers and generate revenue from training at scale. They work closely with their customers, which led to an enormous amount of feedback and feature requests. Prioritizing their product roadmap based on the squeakiest wheels in their customer base was no longer enough to achieve their goals. 

As CEO Barry Kelly says, "We needed some research and science behind what we decided to build."

In this interview, you'll hear how thrv introduced the Jobs-to-be-Done framework to Thought Industries and executed the research they needed to make better roadmap decisions. According to Barry, the result was not only insights from a project deliverable:

It is not just a research project, it’s a process of change management.

For those of you interested in introducing Jobs-to-be-Done change management to your company, Barry offers a couple pieces of advice:

1. Get executive sponsorship because not only do you need your execs to buy in to this way of understanding customer value and presenting your roadmap, but also the positive effects of Jobs-to-be-Done reverberate beyond the product roadmap into how you understand your customers and their needs, which impacts product marketing and sales.

2. In spite of the company-wide implications, start with a small team working on the same customer and the same job, so that you can get results quickly and show the impact of JTBD.

If you're a PM, how do you get that executive sponsorship?

Paraphrasing Barry:

If a PM said to me, 'Instead of showing you a Gantt chart with release dates for the next roadmap review, I'm going to show you one slide on which we'll communicate why we’re developing what we’re developing and why we’re competitive based on the customer's job, the job steps, and the research data to back it up,' I'd take that to the bank and get on board right away. 

Jared Ranere

Posted by Jared Ranere

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