A developer wants to learn new technologies and solve a technically challenging problem. A product manager wants to build something unique. A founder doesn’t want to miss a business opportunity. An investor wants to grow a company.
If you ask them the question, “what’s the problem we are solving?” You will get different answers. The answers will be different because none of them (in most cases) is the user, the person who has the problem, needs to get a job done and needs software to do the job more effectively.
It is easy to write down the user’s problem in a PRD and forget about it. What’s hard is to bring it back, again, and again, during each daily stand up, during each product review meeting, during each strategic planning meeting.
Why is it important to align everyone around the same user problem? Because focus: each team member will go in a different direction by nature.
One easy solution is to bring a user -beta tester- to the product meetings. Another solution is to realize that not everyone cares about the business problem, and those few who care need to lead the effort: a user champion.
The user champion’s mission is to align the team with the business problem (to the job to get done.)
There is always a job to get done, and technology will always help to get it done more efficiently (with fewer resources.) The feedback loop between the user and the product should help the user’s champion align each team member’s efforts while respecting that each person is heading towards a different direction.