It’s no secret that organizations are operating in an environment that features constant and rapid change. Whether it’s ever-changing competition, high customer expectations or the flood of new technology and tools that continuously redefine what you can do and how you do it, organizations face a world of both abundant opportunities and threats.
Many of the prominent players in crucial industries, from banking and finance to healthcare, insurance and education, are large and complex organizations who have been around since at least the post-World War II period or earlier. Pockets and silos within these legacy organizations can have a variety of culture and mindset characteristics with different segments embracing transformation at different levels. Some are trailblazers already seeing benefits, while others have yet to begin the journey.
The Need for a Product Approach
New technology and tools offer great potential for enterprises to deliver value faster while saving money in the process, but getting the most from these opportunities is heavily reliant on pulling disparate groups together to form an organizational coherence. Within a Product Management approach, the Product Manager is well positioned to lead the creation of an organization-wide culture of change and collaboration through their role that includes working with cross-functional teams that span the strategic and tactical levels of an enterprise.
A cross-functional, collaborative culture that removes barriers between functional teams helps identify redundancies and efficiencies resulting from siloed business practices. In a collaborative culture people and technologies need to talk to each other. A product budget can set priorities to align teams with a collective Product Vision and Roadmap, including integrating those using legacy tools into the overall digital transformation.
There are several practices Product Managers can use to leverage existing digital transformation champions to create a culture of change and collaboration across the entire organization.
Leadership at every level of the business is necessary to drive the cultural shift that empowers transformation. Engage with executive leadership to help set the goals, establish guardrails and provide support. When leadership sets the tone and supports the transformation, it is much smoother and more likely to succeed.
Cultural transformation is most effective when it is driven by teams. Build a Guiding Coalition that brings together people from both the strategic and tactical levels to lead and drive change. Members from executive leadership can help set the vision while frontline business teams can implement change and provide feedback.
An example of a formal Guiding Coalition includes chartering a Lean Center of Excellence with members from across functions dedicated to driving and implementing change. It can serve as a conduit for bringing teams together to identify and share successes and challenges.
Focus on Pocket Adoption vs. Full Transformation
Leveraging the successes of existing trailblazing units in an enterprise can lay the groundwork for a smoother, more complete cultural transformation. Small victories can be showcased as beacons for sharing success stories that can be used as positive examples across the enterprise. Champions can be identified to engage with others to cross-pollinate new ways of thinking about products, customers and processes.
Product Management Driving Digital Transformation
The foundation on which Product Management is built is a culture of change and collaboration. The Product Manager’s role involves working as a liaison between functional groups within an enterprise which positions them well to be a leader in creating the necessary culture of change.
For larger, complex organizations that are mature and include a wide range of perspectives toward digital transformation, the recommendations above can help lay the cultural foundation on which to build a comprehensive Product Management approach to drive Digital Transformation. Draw from your organization’s trailblazers to create a guiding coalition and identify champions and change agents to position the entire organization for change.
To learn more tips on best ways to implement or optimize Product Management, download our eBook How to Use Product Management to Drive Digital Transformation. xScion’s Product Management expert, Anant Dhavale, identifies the major challenges that can impede digital transformation and core characteristics of the Product Management approach that can help overcome them, including ways to promote cultural change.