The importance of the persona
We can’t create a product without thinking about a persona. A product can be successful only if the persona is willing. But who is this persona?
By definition, a persona is a stereotyped fictional character. But why a character in the product development? Anyone has to play a character as part of his job. This character is modulated by corporate objectives which are global, departmental and social.
Let’s go back. In the approach proposed by Disciplined Entrepreuneurship, it is recommended to set the beachhead market which we want to start our approach. By beachhead, we mean the market in which we will begin the invasion (as did the coalition in the Second World War).
Once this market is defined, we determine the persona i.e. who is or are the characters who will be involved in the use, purchase and technical support of a software solution in the business. Some call these people the juror, but I will talk about this topic in a future blog.
We have defined three types of personas: the user, the manager and the decision maker. The aim is to define the characteristics we perceive in these personas. Once completed this process, we tried to put names, photos, criteria such as gender, age, education for each of our personas.
So we made a chart with our great finds. Then what do we do with this? The persona is the step 5 of 24 process steps of Disciplined Enterpreurship which must lead us to design a computer product, in our case, a software.
To illustrate what I am saying in concrete terms, this software will address the corporate meeting market. Our chosen beachhead market is finance and insurance (F & I). Then, we have identified some persons who did fit the chosen persone profile and were asked for a meeting. Nine responded positively to our initiative. Their functions were consultant, VP and Special Advisor, all in the IT project management field.
From these meetings, which were very interesting, emerged some very eloquent observations that confirm the current process, including the voice recording of the entire meeting is an usual practice of our other product, Voxlog, and that could be a stopper for the adoption of this new product. Instead, they offered us to have an approach where decisions and summary may be recorded instead of the whole meeting.
During this meeting, we discovered the variety of corporate meetings other than projects meeting in their organizations and the value we can bring to them. Without thse interviews, which, I thank the participants for, we should have taken a path that surely cost us time, energy and clients. Once completed, we were in a much better position to ensure that development efforts are properly oriented.
It is not because we have an idea that becomes a technology that customers will run after us. We must ensure that we can meet and positively solve a problem that customers have, as defined in our meetings with personas, but above all, correctly executing the steps to get there.