Transitioning from a traditional company structure to progressive and customer-centric

Matt Zarem

Head of Product & Platforms, Digital Transformation at UST Global



I worked with a large company (20,000+ employees) that had been around for 18+ years. They had set processes, however, they recognized that in order to stay current they needed to adopt customer centric processes.

Actions taken

  • I helped them revisit their strategies. We transitioned from their large-documentation approach and simplified all this information by using the Harvard Business Review "5 Questions to Building Strategy" model.
  • "What are our broad aspirations for our organization & the concrete goals against which we can measure our progress?"
  • "Across the potential field available to us, where will we choose to play and not play?"
  • "In our chosen place to play, how will we choose to win against the competitors there?"
  • "What capabilities are necessary to build and maintain to win in our chosen manner?"
  • "What management systems are necessary to operate to build and maintain the key capabilities?"
  • We implemented the lean business model canvas format to capture the big picture direction for their product. This included identifying their value proposition, differentiator, problem statement, market, growth strategy, etc.
  • I ran lean start up workshops to introduce teams to hypothesis based customer discovery. We determined desired business outcomes, created hypothesis around identified problems, and created experiments to validate these hypothesis.

Lessons learned

These actions led to a cohesive, and comprehensive strategy that impressed executives and enabled them to get more funding. By implementing these processes, teams were able to transition from traditional, feature-focused roadmaps to outcome based roadmaps. That is, express roadmaps through the value you are going to deliver over time. Now when the teams report progress they are celebrating when they have validated or invalidated assumptions rather than when they release features.

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Matt Zarem

Head of Product & Platforms, Digital Transformation at UST Global

Organizational Strategy

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