Empathy in Product Management

Swiss Army Knife with too muchI’ve discussed the need for us to use more empathy in our projects. One easy step in is to stop talking about users and remember that people use the solutions we create. There are fellow human beings trying to get things done with what we deploy.

This consideration needs to be taken back another layer. We are people as well. The products we are forced to use, from the standard Content Management System (CMS) to the most complicated Information Governance suite, needs to be easier to use. It shouldn’t take a week of training to just start using a system, much less being productive. Mistakes made in the beginning shouldn’t doom us to years of pain.

Enterprise software User Experience matters.

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Using Empathy as a Framework for Success

My dog, MarcoOver in the web world, the fun comprised of Information Architecture, User Experience, Content Strategy, and a few other titles, there has been an increasing focus on empathy. There is even the Dare conference dedicated to the people skills, aka feelings, that is needed by all of us techies.

There have been discussions about empathy being the missing ingredient for successful projects. Others have pointed out that while empathy is important, more education and leadership needs to be added to the mix as well. I even talked about it when I encouraged Content Professionals to Be the Business and spend more time understanding what people actually do during the day.

Of course, like everything in the world, proper balance is the key to success. Empathy is the framework in which we need to deliver our advice, solutions, and products. It isn’t the deliverable, but it adds depth to how we present the deliverable.

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