Over the last decade(s), many companies have started the different types of transformations, most of them going in the same direction: how to become more agile and make digital-product development a first-class discipline they had to master and focus on to drive growth.
To achieve such a transformation, many things are required, starting at the top with monetary resources, leadership commitment, and patience.
But imagine you are a leader undergoing that chaotic phase: how does it influence or change your strategy formulation. How in turn does that strategy support and help the transformation?
In this episode, Sam McAfee helps us explore the differences and considerations for strategy in such situations. Having been through such transformations myself, it was super interesting to see Sam’s approach and discuss the impact of strategy in helping orgs empower their teams.
- Sam brought to the table the concept of developing your “technology strategy”. I have seen some of these in past experiences, but the evaluation of what had to be included as “tech strategy” was, most of the time, independent of the product (for example moving to a cloud base architecture). Sam stressed the need for both product and tech strategy to work together, so the technology strategy becomes the enabler of the product strategy, and how selecting your resources has to answer both needs.
- With vast experience in transformations, Sam highlighted and exemplified how many times we minimize the amount of effort and time required “just” to have people do different jobs from the ones they were previously doing.
- While it doesn’t seem a major role, Strategy plays an important part in making visible the huge investment a transformation is, and how we cannot plan to “add it on top of everything else we are already doing”. Again, strategy is about saying NO to many other things to prioritize the transformation.
- Similarly, when discussing advice for product leaders in this scenario, Sam gave great examples of how difficult it is for people undergoing the transformation, and how the things that they have been mastering and being prized for are now gone. So expecting them to pick up new tricks would take time, both due to learning needs and also emotional needs.
This content is related to my book Product Direction. In it, I describe in length, with tools and examples, all the steps to create a successful product strategy, strategic roadmap, and how to connect it with OKRs for execution.