The rate of technological change can make product management quite challenging. I am currently in charge of a strategic project where the technology to address the business need is evolving very fast. The new product to be developed will fit nicely within our overall portfolio. However, the product is complex for us as it requires technical expertise in a new area which means we must involve consultants and experts in the domain and choose the correct underlying platform.
We recently made a decision on how to move forward and signed a contract with a firm with the technical know-how and supporting infrastructure to enable our project. I developed a project charter, received approval and budget. All was ready to go however, at the last minute, we uncovered what looks like a better platform than the one we planned to go with. We stopped the project and we are now evaluating the new platform to decide what to do.
Based on this experience, I am asking myself:
-Were we too quick to decide on a platform?
-Will there always be a better platform therefore we should choose now and move forward?
-Is it better to move forward with an inexpensive platform as a “Pilot”, test the market and based on results, choose a long-term platform (version 2.0)? This may give enough time for the technology to settle and for us to get to know the market better?
-Is it better to just wait. In other words, is it better to be patient and go out of the gate with what we believe is the best platform rather than do a Pilot?
I was a firm believer in going with a Pilot so we can build our internal knowledge and expertise while testing the market and doing so required a relatively small budget. However, now that we have found a better potential solution, I am getting excited and thinking that it may be worth waiting to offer customers a better experience out of the gate.
What would you do in this situation?