Product Strategy Consulting & Product Management Services | Strategy Execution Solutions | NorthStar Solutions Group | Your Premier Strategy Execution Solution | Executing Strategies & Accomplishing Missions | NorthStar Solutions Group, LLC
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Set Strategy. Build Roadmaps. Report On Progress. Communicate. We help you get this done.

Product management is fundamentally changing as digital business transformations and disruptions take place. 

Is your organization in this category? 

NorthStar is an experience and knowledgeable partner to help you with your product-related decision-making processes. 

Our approach is focused on your success. 100%. Every Time.

We start with Product Planning. 

We start the process with:

  • Identifying the target customer market.

  • Addressing the market size and anticipated saturation point.

  • Developing actionable competitive intelligence.

  • Establishing a product strategy or vision.

  • Building a customer-focused execution strategy with roadmaps.

 

We support you during Product Development and Testing.

 

 

We partner with you to support:

  • Developing and promoting design thinking, while capturing change orders.

  • Product evolution and differentiation. 

  • Ensuring Agile methodologies are integrated into your operations and planning.

  • Facilitating coordination up and down the line from development to engineering to prototyping to final product development. 

  • Developing the customer experience template and adjusting as necessary. 

We help bring the team together to commercialize the product.

We help by:

  • Preparing for flawless product launches and releases.

  • Communicating the product value. 

  • Maintaining and eye on the product's commercial feasibility as the market changes.

  • Developing and integrating the pricing and packaging into the holistic customer experience.

Now, let's manage this product and its lifecycle - maximizing the benefit to your business.

 

We partner with you to support:

Don't underestimate the importance of Product Leadership. 

We will help you:

Our Endstate: You are consistently providing your customer with better designed and higher performing products. 

Now let's get a date on the calendar. 

It will not cost you anything, other than your time, to spend 30-minutes with us. 

 

Return to Strategy Realization

Results of our work

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    • Agile Solutions
    • Execution & Delivery
    • Organizational Change Management
    • Product Management

    Fortune 50 Telecommunications Company

    Advising and leading our client’s IoT platform team planning session

    The client's challenge

    Our client wanted to spin up a new platform to support all of the upstream and downstream teams involved in the home automation and monitoring solutions for their cable customers, forming a new platform team that would be the new backend platform to power the home automation teams. These teams had been working in silos, but with the introduction of the new back-end platform team we needed alignment and coordination more than ever.

    An advisory and leadership approach

    NorthStar led the effort in determining the right agile process and ceremonies in place to help identify the teams involved, including the teams that were impacted by dependencies and how we were going to mitigate the risks while increasing alignment across teams and locations. By proposing the Scaled Agile Framework Program Increment Planning, or PI Planning, we were able to deliver a solution that would work for all teams involved, called a ‘release train’. 

    Change management that works

    As a result of creating a release train (a team of teams), we were able to pull together 7 teams from 5 different cities, to sit together, plan together and deliver a 6 sprint (quarterly plan) that identified the why, what, how and who for all 7 teams. We identified risks, mapped dependencies from one team to another, identified integration milestones to show progress, and gained alignment in a single day. 

    Thanks in part to the PI Planning NorthStar helped facilitate, our client delivered their first end-to-end integration with the new back end platform enabling us to move faster with releasing home automation for our consumers in the first quarter.

    • Execution & Delivery
    • Product Management

    Fortune 50 Telecommunications Company

    Leading the delivery of 2nd generation mobile self-service

    A client asks us to help them deliver a mobile self-service portal

    A Fortune 50 client chose NorthStar Solutions Group to lead the delivery of their 2nd generation mobile self-service portal.  The successful delivery of the portal would enhance the client’s mobile posture, increase their self-service conversion rate, and realize their vision to have an industry leading customer experience.

    At project inception, there were ambiguous, soft requirements that included both required and aspirational features.  A heavy emphasis on wireframes as the sole requirement artifact uncovered gaps, and a shift in resources required a review of the user experience to ensure it met organizational branding guidelines

    NorthStar was tasked with separating the requirements into categories, establishing priority, decomposing the requirements into user stories, ensuring the prioritized features were the focus of the initial sprints, and the release timelines would be met.  Dependent teams still operating under the waterfall methodology created difficulty with respect to cross-team integration and release planning.  There was also difficulty in coordinating backlogs across dependent agile teams all sprinting at different tempos.

    Results of our exceptional work

    With NorthStar the company found a partner expertly skilled in performing the dual role of business analysis and product ownership. Since the NorthStar partnership commencement on this project in Q1 2013:

    • The company realized month over month improvements and by the end of Q4 2013 logins increased by 35%, and a healthy conversion rate grew with each release. 
    • Delivery timing improved through sprint-over-sprint velocity improvements, which was achieved through performance analysis along with transparency and trust established in the team’s sprint retrospectives.  
    • The team developed a methodology to consistently add features, capabilities, and content and as of Q4 2014 logins are at 1.4m per month.
    • Agile Solutions
    • Execution & Delivery
    • Product Management

    Fortune 50 Telecommunications Company

    Directing service-oriented agile product management through business analysis & product ownership

    What was the business challenge?

    A global media and technology company turned to NorthStar Solutions Group to improve the volume and quality output of their agile development group that was responsible for maintaining and enhancing key foundational content management software and infrastructure throughout the organization. This group was struggling to translate the needs of the business and deliver on its objectives. NorthStar focused on changing the culture of the relationship between the business and technology teams by introducing product leadership to promote change through improved communication, collaboration, transparency and integrity.  

    The organization struggled with a growing negative culture of Business vs. Technology that was impeding progress and lowering morale. The ever-evolving and fast-moving business lacked the time and resources to properly educate and articulate their competitive challenges. The technology team lacked the “big picture” thinking and interpersonal skills needed to gain a deeper understanding of what was being asked of them. These behaviors and skill gaps put the two groups at odds and created a crisis of confidence. With the technology team veering off course and becoming less solution oriented, the amount of usable product being delivered slowed to a crawl. The two groups were at a proverbial stalemate and sought NorthStar’s expertise in Product Management to move the team forward.  

    What solution did NorthStar provide?

    NorthStar embedded a proven structure within the organization where a Product Owner sat squarely between the Business and Technology teams and served as a liaison and change agent to help build a stronger working relationship between the two groups. NorthStar used a service-oriented approach to provide value to the organization and implemented the following to deliver results:  

    • Strategic Alignment. Manage an evolving strategy and roadmap development together with socializing the vision and goals across all teams to ensure transparency, buy-in, and alignment.  
    • Actionable Problem Solving. Field all requests and engage with the business to fully flesh out problems that need solving in terms that can be executed on.  
    • Collaboration. Identify solutions to the challenges that provide value to the business.  
    • Accountability. Ensure both teams are setting proper expectations with each other.  
    • Communication. Facilitate routine prioritization, planning, execution, guidance, feedback and approvals. Continuous Improvement. Provide and seek out routine feedback on delivered products.  

    What are the quantitative results?

    NorthStar took a potentially toxic situation that could have cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity and turned it around to be a productive and highly collaborative relationship. In the timespan of just a few months the overall output of the technology team increased by 50%. In addition to the increased velocity and throughput, there were also fewer defects and a higher level of stakeholder satisfaction.