Post-Covid Playbook, Part 1: Product Development

Read how organizations should adapt to the new market dynamics and how market intelligence exercises can support the rebooting process >>>


The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world during 2020, and 2021 would most likely be no different. As companies consider how to reset and rethink their operations this year and beyond, we see a decrease in some processes and focus on others. The challenge of bringing teams back to the workplace made senior managements understand that this will be just one example of future trends transformation. Product management, sales, pricing, and many other processes will have to change to preserve and improve performance.

To do so, they must understand the market inside out and develop real business intelligence about competitors and clients to refine strategy, tactics, and actions.


These articles are aimed to point out a few examples of how you should adapt to the new market dynamics and how using market intelligence exercises can support your rebooting planning processes in different departments in the organization.

We'll start with the important process of delivering a new product or improving an existing one for customers: Product Development.


The global IT spending was reduced by more than 8% last year (source: Gartner), slowing development by internal teams, and hampered the procurement of services from third-party development agencies. VC funding was also cut by 44% because of Covid (Source: Crunchbase), causing tech teams to work more closely with budgets or postpone product growth. Therefore, the direct impact in which Covid has delayed product development is reducing budgets for both third-party development and internal teams work, with the reduced labor power due to layoffs.

When re-engaging with paused product development agencies, think twice before spending. Is the relevant technology can help your business survive the stress of the pandemic? Is the outsourced software company well-equipped to work remotely without losing the workforce? What safety measures do they take?

When restarting development internally, evaluate the technical team's preparation by providing a comprehensive schedule using metrics such as sprint burndown, time velocity metrics, etc. Also, as the recession has led to either decrease or increased demand for your solution, you will need to adjust the roadmap to fit the significant operational changes, and more importantly, to the market shifts in those situations.


As the recession has led to either decrease or increased demand for your solution, you will need to adjust the roadmap to fit the significant operational changes, and more importantly, to the market shifts in those situations.

These major market changes among clients' organizations and competitors' technology are crucial when re-prioritizing product initiatives. For example, as a product management executive, you know that the actual functionality of your competitor’s offering post-Covid can be very different from their marketing messages, and this may be hurting your company’s competitive positioning.

Here are additional samples of the questions you need answers to about your competitors post-Covid:

  • What is the discount policy post-Covid for new deals and maintenance renewal?

  • What validation techniques do your competitors use in 2021 with customers (such as demos, proof of concepts, usability tests)?

  • What specific functionalities are included in their product roadmaps, and how these changed post-Covid?

  • How are key events such as product launches delayed or re-prioritized?

  • How is each competitor re-positioning itself with products and services post-Covid?

  • Do your competitors' platforms provide a sufficiently modular solution to enable the required flexibility post-Covid?

  • Is your competing vendors' solution still based directly on their legacy product, or is it a new/acquired platform altogether?

  • Regarding implementation, has your competitor changed its approach from best-of-breed to best-of-suite approach?

  • Have they revised the SLA that is contractually committed due to Covid?

  • What services are they offering at additional costs now?

  • Have they changed the support duration and end-of-life period of each version of their modules?

The demand side has changed too. As we mentioned, clients of your competitors have differents needs post-Covid. Here are some sample questions that you need to explore about your potential clients post-Covid:

  • What is your impression of working with Vendor X during Covid?

  • Which module implemented by Vendor X has been affected because of Covid?

  • How their approach to managing project challenges changed post-Covid? For example, key technical or business issues and related deficiencies.

  • How did the pricing structure and license agreements were altered post-Covid?

  • In the case of projects based engagements, were the goals for this project met post-Covid?

  • How was Vendor X able to demonstrate superiority over their other competitors that were being evaluated before Covid?

  • What is your plan regarding the continuation of work with Vendor X post-Covid?


All of these detailed questions, for both supply and demand sides, about your competitors’ products and services will not be found via internet research, tradeshow research, nor by even speaking to analyst firms. You will have to develop these insights from executives who hold the relevant experience and knowledge about their solutions.



IN THE NEXT ARTICLE: GUIDE TO RE-BOOSTING SALES POST COVID-19.

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