Organizations have quickly understood the importance of maintaining a strong and continuous social presence online. As a result, a new concept and strategy has emerged:’The Social Command Center’. This idea has spread like wildfire and found its way into many large organizations like Dell, Starbucks, and Gatorade. The idea is to build a social command center; a centralized space inside the organization where it becomes possible to visually display social data from a multitude of different sources, channels and forums, in real-time. (Think The Bridge from Star Trek.)
Product command centers: The future of product development?
Michael Brito has spoken extensively about the business benefits associated with The Social Command Center: “Information is power, and when that information is at your fingertips, it empowers the individuals in your organization to make the right decisions and act on them.” Let’s explore this thought further: What if we built a product command center? A unified product environment that enabled us to react to changes in the stages of development in real time. A center with dedicated captains, er- managers at the center of all the action. In a recent article, Brito discussed why having a social command center is important for business today. Here are some of these key elements that can also be applied to product development:
Listening and Engagement: Organizations are quick to assume what customers want from their products and services, but we have seen many examples out there that justify the need to adopt a customer-centric approach to product development. Listen to feedback, engage customers in conversations, and take direct action.
Community: Successful product development requires the collaborative input of all stakeholders: Customers, Employees and even business partners both inside and outside the organization.
Content: Today, customer preferences and needs change by the minute. Having access to up-to-date, real-time feedback and other product related insight allows you to develop products that accurately align with current market landscape.
Product Innovation: New ideas for products can sprout up from anywhere. Make sure you know exactly where “anywhere” is, and use this information to fuel and support new innovative directions across the organization.
Customer Support: Capture customer issues and pipe them directly into the product development process.
I would like to add two more items, that relate directly to product development:
Decision-making: Having the right information that is both easily accessible and relevant enables individuals to confidently make better short-term and long-term decisions.
Visibility and Transparency: When an organizations encourages an open product development process, where information is shared and available, it helps to build trust, strengthens motivation and cooperation. Above all, it makes stakeholders feel like they are an important component of the product’s success.
Based on these elements, I think Product Command Centers are an innovative new concept, and a promising one at that. I would love to get your thoughts on this: Is this concept viable?
(Hey, it worked for Star Trek right?)