How to Empower Teams to Build Out a Product Portfolio During Company Growth
Global Product Director at OTA Insight
Creating Alignment for Proper Translation of Company Goals
"you cannot be the only person translating company goals to an entire team."
As our company began to grow, I realized one thing was for certain: you cannot be the only person translating company goals to an entire team. This is true for teams within those teams as well.
There was a noticeable need for creating alignment for teams to work on maintaining and growing existing products, and another need for innovation, like creating new ones to increase our customer share of wallet or ARPU. However, it was unlikely that our current structure could work for this need. And as the team was growing, the focus became unclear.
Building New Products while Growing & Maintaining Existing Products
Once I had identified what needed to happen within the company, divisions and re-delegation occurred. We had two new teams that were formed. One maintained and grew our existing products called Product Excellence, and the other became the Product Innovation team that only focused on building new products.
The product excellence team was composed of different product managers and contributors who focused on existing product revenue growth, filling competitive gaps and keeping churn at a low. While the Innovation team was setting up an-inhouse innovation incubator for prototyping new products with the goal of establishing product-market fit as soon as possible. Once product-market fit was reached, the product would move over to the product excellence team. The result is growing our average revenue per customer by being able to sell more products, as well growing market share by ensuring existing products stay the best in the market.
This was ultimately the only route because those 2 tracks require different skills & process, so everyone could not be responsible for working on these two aspects in a mass effort; strategy needed to be fine-tuned, and it needed to be focused on and specialized.
It took approximately six months to cluster goals to teams, delegate new responsibilities, and define new team initiatives. Once this ideation phase was complete, implementation was able to take place.
Providing Ownership to Teams
After the refinement of structure and division of teams, the advantage was that it allowed for better communication and aligning a vision. As we set up different teams with their leaders, the goals became clearer for people, and thus they could better understand and reflect on company goals.
This transpired to more ownership within the teams to reach those goals. When given the team opportunities to grow, they could align better with what needed to get done.
These new teams were set clearer expectations. Instead of one massive group of people working on various projects, there were set teams to work on clearly defined goals, which helped while the company was growing. Everyone could feel more enabled, empowered, and more like they were producing specialized and meaningful outcomes.
Leaders were created. New leaders for the new teams allowed leaders to help cultivate and translate the company’s visions and goals more intimately, whereas it was previously sometimes misconstrued. Before the division, there was not enough time to be able to give attention to many different variables adequately. Better alignment and management could now occur.
More efficient collaboration was now pulsing throughout the company because people had their set of skills to place on specific projects. This helped the teams feel happier, more enabled, and a part of the strategy for company success.
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