Assess, showcase and shift mindsets
When you see how things could be better, but you're not sure how to get there
In the rapidly evolving business landscape, companies often find themselves hamstrung by legacy processes and hard-to-shift mindsets. This can build a resistance to change, and that significantly impedes the ability to make quick, effective product decisions, ultimately affecting market competitiveness. Whether you’re coming into an org fresh faced and ready to take on new challenges, or tired of slow decision-making we usually spot these operational bumps in the road with far more clarity and ease than our in-the-trenches colleagues (though they definitely feel them). Time and exposure usually lead to some level of acceptance of the as-is, we still all have to-do lists after all.
Whether you’re 2 weeks in or 2 years, there’s some strategies you can consider to help shift stakeholder mindsets to more product led, agile, customer centric and innovative directions.
Understanding the Current State
You won’t know where to go if you can’t articulate where you’re starting from. Taking time to understand how things currently operate, why and which mindsets led to this landscape will help you figure out where your time and effort is best spent.
Consider an assessment of Existing Processes and Mindsets: A comprehensive evaluation of existing decision-making frameworks is crucial. This involves analyzing how legacy processes impact product development, gauging stakeholder attitudes, and understanding the ramifications on market performance.
Identifying Key Pain Points: Pinpointing specific instances where current methodologies have led to setbacks or failures helps in building a case for change. This data-driven approach aids in highlighting the necessity for a paradigm shift.
Educating and Advocating for Change
It’s easier said than done, but taking your teams on the journey is really important. With change like this always comes an educational piece - what opportunities do these changes open up for us? Steamrolling with process changes before you show your colleagues how it could work will likely result in push back.
Workshops and Seminars: Education is key. Be mindful of appetite for this, but workshops that showcase the benefits of a product-led approach, stakeholders can visualize the potential for improved agility and customer satisfaction.
Success Stories: Presenting case studies from within the industry or the company itself where a shift in approach has yielded positive results can be a powerful tool for persuasion.
Implementing Strategic Changes
Start small, grow your influence, then tackle the bigger beasts. When you understand the current state, you understand your opportunity gaps. Some will be small and confined to individual teams, others will take time, buy in and negotiation.
Quick Wins: Identifying and implementing small but impactful changes can help in building momentum for larger shifts. It builds trust in your ability to execute changes, whilst also adding value quickly. Quick wins are always a good place to start. Are your dev teams working in an agile way? Can you up how you gather your insights to make more data driven decisions?
Policy and Procedure: The bigger beasts. These will take time and buy in, use your case studies and research to show how shifts in this space could impact your competitiveness. Think about some experiments you could try to prove value. Updating existing guidelines to foster a more agile and customer-focused development cycle is pivotal.
Empowering Teams: Creating an environment where teams are encouraged to make data-driven decisions enhances overall agility.
Make sure you’re following up. Track the performance of the changes you’re making, whether quantitative or qualitative (ideally both), it’s not only going to help garner wider support, but also help speed up how change is made in the future.
Setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Establishing clear metrics like time-to-market, customer satisfaction, and product performance is essential for evaluating the success of the new approach.
Regular Reviews and Adjustments: Continuously monitoring these KPIs ensures that the business remains aligned with its strategic objectives and is able to adapt as needed.
Transitioning to a product-led mindset requires a concerted effort across all levels of an organisation. That’s not an easy feat, and it can seem like a mountain to climb. Don’t rush, if you notice areas for improvement think about how they impact the overall strategy you’re all trying to achieve. Spend time building the right foundations with your wider teams to enable faster action in the future.
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