Are We Market Ready Yet?

An interesting analogy struck me yesterday as I was watching the movie “Are we there yet?”

Product Stakeholders during a software product life cycle can become more like the kids in the movie who sit in the back seat and keep asking the question  “Are we there yet?”

A product development group is much like a car into which all the responsible roles put in with the developer driving, the project manger sitting on the passenger seat acting as a trip manager giving directions and the stakeholders sitting in the back seat impatiently

The destination is the Product Release into the market

Before the trip starts all parties get chance to see the trip plan and pretty much know (or that’s the understanding) about the stops they need to make and the number of times they will need to fuel up, change drivers etc. etc. Much about everything that can be possibly imagined is documented

The clock starts and everything kicks off smoothly and quite relaxed they set off

The front seat action starts with figuring out that the planning was not that perfect after all

An unusable spare tire, a few road blocks en-route that did not come with detour information and above all the driver having a headache from his late partying last night

While all the much action happens in the front seat with the trip manager trying to fix problems by making more stops than planned and sometimes even taking the wheel to help out the driver’s aching head; they all miss on one important thing and that is

“The time of arrival has been slowly but steadily slipping beyond catch-up in any humanly possible way.”

The back seat buddies seem to have dozed off a bit and now wake up to a cold breeze from the slight opening on the front window. The trip manager had apparently opened the window slightly to divert the odor of perspiration from making its way to the backseats.

The backseat buddies as character demands; check the watch as the first thing they do when they wake up.

They then look out of the window to get a glimpse of the highway sign that might tell them where they are. They sit back and probably make some mental calculation and then lean to the front and ask

“Are we there yet?” or  “Are we Market Ready yet?”

Now rest of the story you may well know.

Leaving the driver to take care of the wheel, push the gas as much as possible and follow the last known direction, the rest of the crew re-group, re-assess and re-create a new trip plan.

They will not reach in time that’s evident and clear, but now the decision for the stakeholders is to reach somehow as fast as possible or else they will have no choice than driving to the nearest airport, let go the trip manager and driver, sell the car for peanuts or abandon it and take the first plane back home.

With all this looming in the air the new plan is put into action.

The commotion that had adorned the front seat now spreads through out the vehicle. Due to the lack of time now we have a driver who has not been given a complete primer on the course but is being advised on demand and from time to time.

The driver’s role pretty much becomes taking care of the wheel and pushing the gas

The Trip Manager takes the totally unenviable position between explaining to the driver who looks at him and asks “Why are we in here?” and stakeholder’s annoying and the only relevant question which has also increased in frequency by ten fold…

Are we there yet?” or “Are we Market Ready yet?”

The stake holders when they don’t stab the trip manager with the question they look out to see if there is a nearby airport or a second hand car dealer and continue the ride depending much more on luck than they did when they started

The only questions that ever matters in the whole trip are

The starting question of “When will we be there?”

And then every 5 minutes a repetition of the same question over and over again
Are we there yet?… Are we there yet?…..

Are we Market Ready yet?….   Are we Market Ready yet?…..

Finally that’s the only question that is worth asking. For all involved the answer to this will bring result to their actions, rest is all always just fiction

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Categories: Management, Marketing, Tech & Marketing, Technology

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