Conceptualization Through Implementation

Developing new product offerings can be challenging for a variety of reasons.

For different organizations, these challenges will be related to their circumstance – lack of the right skill sets, lack of sufficient external perspectives, and organizational biases around how to build and deploy products.

Oculus consultants have experienced and overcome these challenges during their careers and have successfully helped our clients to develop and deploy new product offerings.

Target constructs

When we have been brought in at the conceptualization stage it is often due to an inability for the organization to agree to the path forward due to dissention.

When we are asked to solve for this dynamic, we look to understand how and to what degree the new offering is supposed to advance the goals of the business and develop a set of guiding principles that defines success if a product construct satisfied each of these principles.

From there, gathering the various ideas within the organization and bringing Oculus’ external perspective allows each idea to be measured by the guiding principles and eliminated from consideration or kept and prioritized.

Definitions and designs

Once a product construct target has been identified it must now be defined and designed.

Definition is about the features it requires and designing is about how the product will be constructed.

Guiding principles for this stage are also a useful tool and these often will speak to what must be in place for appropriate product adoption which can talk to both the features of the product and how the design will impact the likelihood of consumption.

Using small, agile teams where Oculus is in a co-creation mode works best for more mature organizations and when broader product sets need to be designed this approach can be scaled.

Development

Oculus is not a technology development organization, but we often play a role in the product development process.

When we do, it is about introducing alternative approaches to the build which utilize capabilities from outside the firm that can significantly reduce development timelines and costs without sacrificing competitive differentiation.

Implementation

Finally, implementation can be a challenge for firms when organizational and market readiness are underestimated.

In this stage, Oculus is often engaged to assist in the go-to-market strategy, focused on messaging and training.

That said, the deployment strategy by channel or customer type is an area that we focus on with our clients product teams as well as establishing the metrics program that measures the effectiveness of the product in meeting the business’ objectives.

From conceptualization to implementation, Oculus has worked to help our clients successfully bring products to market that are impactful to their customers and their bottom lines.

See our case study

To further understand our Product Development services, please review our case study: “Cultural challenge: How to create consensus to drive strategy forward.”

For your future reference and convenience, you can also download it as a PDF.

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As an asset manager and retirement plan provider, we have been discussing how to address the retirement income challenge for a few years without cross-organizational alignment.  We engaged Oculus Partners to help assess the competitive landscape, available products, market opportunity, and ultimately a product design, implementation process, and ongoing maintenance.  Oculus was knowledgeable and very effective navigating the organization’s different priorities and perspectives to bring alignment with how to move forward to get in market in the short-term, while positioning us to expand our offer longer term.
Senior Product Leader
Asset Manager and DC Plan Provider
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As a small firm with limited resources, we engaged Oculus to help with our product definition and documentation while we recruited and onboarded a new chief product officer. Oculus was able to quicky assess the needs, engage an industry expert, and help to integrate them into the organization seamlessly. Both the process and engagement style aligned with our organization and internal needs which helped advance our work at a critical juncture in our firm’s development.
Chief Sales and Revenue Officer
Fintech Firm
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About Jamie McInnes

Jamie McInnes

President

Jamie is a recognized leader with over thirty years of experience working in several firms across asset management, banking and insurance. Her leadership roles have focused on a variety of business models and markets covering retirement, wealth management and protection. In 2018, she joined Oculus Partners as a Senior Consultant and, in January 2021, Jamie acquired the firm.

Prior to joining Oculus, Jamie spent 10 years at Prudential Financial. Initially, she worked within Prudential Retirement ultimately leading its full-service business which delivered defined contribution, defined benefit, deferred compensation, IRA and advisory services to 4,000 institutional clients and 2.5 million individual participants. Her final three years at Prudential were spent in Prudential International Insurance developing and leading its market entry to Indonesia’s life insurance market. As the CEO she developed the local senior leadership team while expanding distribution inclusive of bank assurance, tele-marketing and a direct-to-consumer digital channel.

Jamie joined Prudential from Merrill Lynch where she led its Retirement Group’s institutional offerings covering DC, DB, NQDC and trust and custody. This followed her return from Japan where Jamie had initially been leading the platform development for CIGNA’S joint venture pension business as their CIO and subsequently as the firm’s Executive Director advising multi-national firms around pension risk issues and the benefits of transferring benefit programs to a DC framework.

Jamie began her career in management consulting focused on banking and insurance company back-office operations and entered the retirement business initially with Putnam Investments and then joining a VC backed on-line 401(k) company prior to relocating to Japan.

Jamie earned her undergraduate degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College, has a MPhil degree in International Relations from the University of St Andrews, an MSc in Finance from the Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Passion/Area of Focus

Helping leaders align and enable their teams to accomplish goals they felt were unachievable.