Compuware zAdviser | Product discovery
June 26, 2018 DevOps

Improving Customer Value with zAdviser for Product Discovery

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Most people tend to only view products in their final forms, when they can use them. But they’re really the culmination of several processes. An important one is product discovery.

Product discovery is the process of both creating great products and ensuring usability for customers. It’s at the center of the product management organization. With this process, Product Management hopes to address these critical questions:

  1. Will the customer buy/use it?
  2. Is it easy to use?
  3. Can we build it?
  4. Does it work for our business?

Opinions from management, stakeholders and customers are not enough to answer these questions. Most of us do not know what we want until we see it or see that it solves a problem. In some cases, customers don’t know the products they seek are even a possibility.

That’s why an organization needs to gather empirical evidence to prove the truth of each answer to the questions. This has been difficult to do with traditional product discovery methods.

Product Discovery: Old Versus New

In the past, product discovery was done by conducting customer surveys and market research years in advance of an actual delivery, followed by elongated development cycles and possible scope creep. In some cases, by the time the product has been delivered, the customer doesn’t even use it or want to buy it.

Today at Compuware, we use Lean, Agile and DevOps in our product discovery, which is done in parallel with our quarterly delivery. We iterate and prototype constantly with input from architects, designers, stakeholders and customers. This is product discovery at velocity. Addressing the risks and iterating often ensures we are meeting customer expectations and delivering products that amaze.

Still, one of the challenges of product discovery remains understanding your customers’ greatest pain points. Customers give great feedback on what works and on improvements we make to existing products, but that doesn’t always give you a clear direction on what to deliver next.

As we’ve learned, it’s not enough to implement a customer’s suggestions. You have to dig deep and ask probing questions to get to the root of the customer’s problem, then craft a solution that answers the four critical questions above. Compuware zAdviser is helping us and our customers do this.

Learn About zAdviser

Data-driven Product Discovery with zAdviser

With zAdviser Compuware hopes to make this challenge easier. zAdviser is a great, free service to help our maintenance-current customers understand their developers’ behavior through analytics on what’s causing bottlenecks and inefficiencies in their workloads that prevent them from continuously improving quality, efficiency and velocity.

This should give clarity to our customers’ DevOps processes and help them form best practices. Compuware can use this analysis to not only help our customers but also help our product discovery processes. Using the same data with machine learning across various industries will help us gain insights and trends on customer pain points, helping us develop the solutions our customers never knew were possible.

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Matt Rowe

Matt Rowe is an associate software developer on Compuware's File-AID team and an aspiring product manager. His experience includes maintenance, squashing bugs and helping create new and currency features like Multiple Row Insert and 8-character logon ID support. He has also contributed to various Compuware initiatives, including simplifying product installation documentation and migrating automated testing to Compuware's Deploy LPAR.