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TACTICS: The 7 Ts Of Product-Led Transformation

By Adrienne Tan

Tactics is the 2nd T of the 7Ts of Product-Led Transformation. All Transformation journeys begin with a desired “Target-State”. How do organisations that are already Product-Led operate? What can we learn from then?

How can we imagine success and participate in the design of the Transformation plan with a strategic focus on being Product-Led?

Every Product-Led Transformation Program requires a tactical plan outlining discrete steps and actions that will enable the team to achieve a ‘Target State’. In the case of a Product-Led Transformation, the ‘Target State’ must be aligned to the Portfolio or Product Vision; specifically how the organisation will change the way it orchestrates Product discovery, delivery and growth. When Transformation has been delivered, here’s what Product-Led looks like.

A Product-Led Company:

a) Portfolio or Product Vision

There is a Portfolio or Portfolio Vision that is conveyed as a narrative. The story is about the market, and the way in which the Product solves the customer’s problem, and how it contributes to the betterment of the customer’s life. The Vision needs is repeatedly communicated by the CEO, CPO and CTO. The story is embedded from the top and weave its way down because it isn’t the sole responsibility of operational teams (Product Managers included) to continue to sell the dream of ‘what could be’. The dynamic trio – the CEO, CPO and CTO – continues to rally the troops, with the Board acting as a cohesive unit. Without unity, it is difficult to maintain behaviours and mindsets. The trio always needs “to make the status quo seem more dangerous, than launching into the unknown.”

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c) Resource and Staff

The Product team is structured to deliver the Portfolio or Product vision and has all the required capabilities to do so. The team structure enables teams to work together effectively, but also to operate independently, and to design, deliver and grow products that customers love. The organisation confidently describes the type of leaders and the style of leadership that it requires. There is a People Plan that outlines the type and timing of the required resources. A detailed onboarding process and program is available to set the team up for success.

d) Enable and Empower

The Product team understands the types of systems, practices, rituals and norms that enable teams to efficiently carry out specific tasks and activities independently. The business operates without having to rely on instructions from managers. More importantly, systems, practices and norms are not static and there is an ongoing effort to manage and nurture them for the benefit of all. A continuous learning program with varied and multiple sessions, that nurtures and educates existing and new business functions and teams, including the Executive Group are available.

e) Make and Deliver

Making and delivering is a key component of Product Management. There is a continuous process of making and delivering and a new approach to funding. The funding of teams and work should not be done on a case-by-case basis. Instead, funding for teams and work should be committed annually, with a view to regularly reviewing the investment returns delivered by the team. Stakeholders see the benefits of continuous funding, making and delivering.

f) Sense and Respond

There are internal and external checkpoints to gauge if the Product is delivering the results and desired outcomes. An internal checkpoint may be to gauge the Product team’s ability to deliver the right product to the right target market. While external checkpoints relate to the product’s market performance. Immediate action needs are taken if the team and or the Product is not performing as anticipated. There is an unending cycle of action, results and course correction.

g) Embed and Evangelise

There is an ongoing state embedding and evangelizing Product Management. There are activities such as forums within the organisation to encourage teams to share practices and insights and to encourage teams to continue to learn from each other. The CEO evangelises the organisation’s Product way of operating at external events. Mistakes and mishaps are treated as learning opportunities and as a normal part of any business.

Want to improve your company’s chances of Transformation success by learning how others transformed their companies and teams using Product-Led techniques? The evidence shows that Product-Led organisations yield better financial results.


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