Digital effectiveness, pt 3: Do it together

August 10, 2018

The team works


Business practices can often get caught up in the theoretical; with the creativity of the idea sometimes seeming to take priority over the practical and tangible benefits to business.  But Product Thinking comes at everything from completely the opposite angle. In fact, it should be thought of as a culture rather than a process. It's a state of mind. Not a set of rules.    

The third pillar of Product Thinking 'Do it together' illustrates this perfectly. It couldn't be further from dry text-book theory‚ being totally people-focussed and with an emphasis on building a collective sense of purpose.

'Do it together' means:

  • Removing actual silos, or a silo-mentality in an organisation, to improve speed and effectiveness
  • Aligning towards shared goals and metrics, AND autonomy in teams to find the best way forward
  • Multidisciplinary teams working together as closely as possible
  • Agencies and partners working as extension of a client's business always working in their best interests. It promotes a new way of working‚ where new structures and organisational relationships operate across multiple channels and where collaboration is crucial. And, it demands more agile ways of thinking about everything from product design to supply chain management; where the customer experience drives every decision.  

In this article, we use the recent research carried out by Code Computerlove, in collaboration with EConsultancy, to find out if companies are using the principles of Product Thinking and 'Do it together' to improve the effectiveness of their digital product and platform builds. Or if there are still companies where the extremes of passing the buck and empire-building can be found?  

Giving teams the time & space to get the job done

What our research told us

We had well over 400 responses to our online research audit‚ with a broad range of companies from high-flying top performers to more modestly mainstream businesses represented.  But, we found almost total agreement on a number of statements across the board relating to 'Do it together'.  

  • 99% agreed a cross-disciplinary team working together delivers the best results.
  • 97% agreed that effective cross-team collaboration is critical to a digital project's success.  

This focus on the team supporting each other and actively improving performance together was also shown when 96% of respondents agreed that team learning and reflection is a necessity for digital transformation. This was in theory. In practice, it become obvious that more top performing companies were actually working in this way, with 81% agreeing that they are collaborating across teams in their work compared to just 66% in mainstream companies.  Other significant divergences saw 69% of top performers say their teams were empowered to make the right decisions, compared to 46%. And 60% agree their teams take time out to learn and reflect on what they are doing, compared to just 35%.  

'Do it together' in practice: what we've learned from the way we work

There's power in a clear, relevant case study. And we'd like to think that there is no greater advert for 'Doing it together' than Code Computerlove ourselves.  

We have embraced Product Thinking. Which is why we split ourselves into small autonomous teams with everyone working towards the same purpose which is aligned to business outcomes. Autonomy is crucial. So the team is multidisciplinary and has everything it needs to achieve its purpose together.

This includes:

  • Product Owners & Managers (total ownership of the project is paramount too)
  • Performance Consultants
  • Data Analysts
  • Agile Testers
  • Dev Ops  (You'll notice that we don't jump straight into coding or technology.

That's because we don't believe we're getting the best from our engineers, developers and testers‚ often the sparkiest, most intelligent members of the team‚ if they are task-fed with just code this.)  

Every day, every step of the way, the team also has visibility of its performance and uses metrics to assess it efficiency and:

  • Prioritise value adding work
  • Surfaces underlying issues
  • Forces honest conversations
  • Identify and actively reduce waste.

And every week, we hold team retrospectives and knowledge sharing sessions to improve collaboration and effectiveness. It's a way of working which works for us. No silos. No empires. No problem.  

Has all this got you thinking about Product Thinking?

'Do it together' is the third pillar which supports the complete Product Thinking approach to developing digital products and platforms.

Or, you can take a more in-depth look at the other two pillars to get the whole story.

If you'd like your own copy of the full Driving digital effectiveness with Product Thinking' research report we've been quoting from, we're happy to send you a copy.

Continue reading