Customer centricity is a core value common among most organizations today. With the rate of disruption at an all-time high, business leaders understand the critical importance of prioritizing customer experience. Unfortunately, too many organizations neglect to incorporate key internal teams in the process of understanding customer expectations and needs.
For example, while product owners and user experience designers are immersed in solving customer-centric problems, the engineering teams tasked with building the solutions are too often left in the dark with a lifeless set of requirements. The efficiency gains from compartmentalizing product development may point to why it is so common, but it is rarely the most effective method. Instead, Tim Mitrovich, chief executive officer at Artisan, recently shared with Forbes why he recommends investing in your engineering teams and allowing time to ensure they have a clear understanding of customer needs.
First, invested product engineering teams create better solutions. Engineers bring a unique set of skills and viewpoints to a project. Their ability to link technological capability with real customer needs increases when they have the opportunity to grasp the complete picture. When leaders provide their engineers insight into the customer's reality by allowing them to spend time in the customer's shoes, it helps them make better recommendations. When a development team understands the true "why" behind a product, they are better equipped to detect issues, predict customer behavior, and prioritize that right next enhancement.
Just as important, giving engineers opportunities to step into the customer's shoes can increase morale and foster more effective teams. Without a clear understanding of how their work is creating value, even the most talented developers will become frustrated. Few people enjoy busy work. Ensuring the engineering team has a clear grasp of how they meet customer need scan make all the difference in how a team performs and ultimately how the product turns out. In the end, allowing your engineering team to take a walk in your customer's shoes will result in better products, happier teams, and more satisfied customers.
Read more about Tim's recommendations for exposing product engineers to the customer’s experience at Forbes.com. You can also read more about Artisan’s approach to product development here.