Seven Peaks Insights

Embracing a Product Mindset for Digital Success

5 key principles

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, it is crucial to approach the development and management of software with a product-centric mindset. While many organizations still treat digital initiatives as short-term projects, this approach often fails to address the unique challenges and requirements of digital products.

To achieve long-term success, it is essential to shift our thinking and treat digital products as products rather than projects.

In this article, we will explore why the project-centric approach falls short and discuss the key differences between project-centric and product-centric mindsets. We will also provide actionable advice on how to make this mindset shift and build better software products.

Why the Project-Centric Approach Falls Short

The project-centric approach to digital initiatives often focuses on predefined requirements, fixed timelines, and rigid deliverables. While this approach might work for traditional projects, it fails to address the dynamic nature of digital products. Digital products require continuous iteration, adaptation, and improvement to remain competitive and meet evolving user needs.

The project-centric mindset restricts the ability to gather and integrate user feedback, respond to market changes, and make data-informed decisions. This limited perspective hinders the long-term viability and success of digital products.

The Product-Centric Mindset

Embracing a product-centric mindset means shifting our focus towards the creation and refinement of a specific digital product aligned with business goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).

It involves measuring progress, making data-informed decisions, and prioritizing user satisfaction over predefined requirements. Unlike a project-centric approach, a product-centric mindset emphasizes the following key principles:

1. Continuous Iteration

Digital products thrive on continuous iteration and improvement. Adopting an iterative approach allows for ongoing enhancements, integration of user feedback, and iteration based on real-time data insights. This iterative mindset enables digital products to adapt to user expectations, market dynamics, and technological advancements.

2. User-Centricity

Digital products are designed to solve specific user needs and deliver exceptional experiences. A product-centric mindset prioritizes understanding user behaviors, needs, and pain points through user research, usability testing, and feedback analysis. By placing the user at the center of product development, organizations can create more successful and impactful digital products.

3. Cross-Functional Collaboration

Cross-functional collaboration is essential for building successful digital products. A product-centric approach fosters collaboration between product managers, designers, developers, marketers, and other stakeholders from the outset. This collaborative environment promotes open communication, shared goals, and collective ownership, enabling the development of holistic and innovative digital products.

4. Outcome-Oriented Metrics

Traditional project management focuses on meeting predetermined project milestones and deliverables. In contrast, a product-centric approach emphasizes outcome-oriented metrics that measure the real impact on business goals and user satisfaction. Defining KPIs aligned with desired outcomes, such as user engagement, revenue, conversion rates, or customer retention, helps evaluate the product’s performance and drive data-informed decision making.

5. Agile Mindset and Processes

Agility is a core principle in the successful development and management of digital products. Embracing an agile mindset values flexibility, continuous learning, and adaptability. Agile processes, such as Scrum or Kanban, promote adaptive planning, iterative development, and frequent collaboration. This agile approach enables organizations to respond quickly to market changes and evolving user needs.


Treating digital products as projects with fixed timelines and rigid deliverables undermines their potential for success and long-term viability.

By embracing a product-centric mindset and adopting continuous iteration, user-centricity, cross-functional collaboration, outcome-oriented metrics, and an agile approach, organizations can unlock the true potential of their digital products.

Shifting from a project-centric to a product-centric approach allows for the creation of exceptional experiences that meet evolving user needs and drive sustainable business growth.

Tormod Baustad Benonisen, Head of Product at Seven Peaks

Strategic innovator and digital product development leader with 8+ years of experience working in the intersection between business, technology and design. Developed 20+ products and services with 15M+ USD in documentable benefits.


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