Think out of the box

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I love innovation, and that's what new features, in a way, are.
But how can I make these new features lead me to the next best THING ?
It seems it is all in the state of mind of the PM.

My field of interest is mainly technology but we can cast almost every example on different fields, so let's take the following case just to simplify things and not get into technical corners:

Market need   : Reducing car accidents which involve company cars.
The product    : A vehicle sensor which monitors the driving habits of drivers of the car and report to the transport officer in the company.
Requirements  : Monitor speed, acceleration, sudden breaks , etc.
Brain storming : a straight forward thinking would suggest attaching this device to the car wheels axis with attachment to break system and other car-intrusive connections.
A more creative way might be to design an independent unit with an acceleratot meter calculating speed and also detects sudden breaks.
Ohh WAIT! don't all the drivers in the company have 3G cell phones with them in the car ? don't they all have a Gyroscope ? Well... let's use that!

Wikipedia on Gyroscope : "Currently Gyroscopes are also being used in Apples' ipad & iphone. In sync with accelerometer it provides 6-axis motion sensing. It allows the iPad to measure in which direction device is being moved/rotated in space (roll, pitch and yaw), how much and how fast."

This is a creative thinking idea, which is easy to implement, provides the solution for the requirements and is user friendly.

It's the product managers' job to think like the user and in the same time think different to improve the experience and functionality and get new ideas and new breakthroughs.
I believe a good PM will take educated thought of every new feature and MUST try to take one step back and think creatively and out of the box.