The most common pitfall for the product team was shipping solutions that weren’t delivering real value to the customer. We once thought shipping more was the antidote. It turned out we’ve only become a feature factory with higher efficiency/capability. The problem remains unsolved. We realized things have to change if we want to solve the customer’s problems. Although we knew we have to be more “outcome” driven, we also had to tackle a list of predefined deadlines or features. How did we de-risk such transition, getting the team to be more “outcome-oriented” without missing business critical deadlines? This session will cover an honest walkthrough of our transformation to an outcome-driven team: How did we realize the old way wasn’t working? How did we gradually transcend the team to be more outcome-driven? What were the challenges we had in the transition? How did we cope with these setbacks? What were some costly mistakes we had which you could avoid?
1. Problem with Output-Based Roadmap
Years ago, projects were missing deadlines and solutions were not delivering value. We thought better project management was the silver bullet. A year later, we’ve successful revamped the driver app and added new features. The team delivered and we celebrated. Still, it didn’t seem to achieve the business goal as expected. We came to the realization: Output was never the goal.
2. Why is Outcome-based “Better”?
Focusing on output does not guarantee a successful outcome. People tend to fall in love with solutions and thought the story ends when the feature is shipped. Being outcome-based ties the solution back to the outcome, and prevent us from ignoring challenges like adoption and validation. Defined outcomes inspired the team to come up with creative solutions instead of fixating in a specific solution. Teams shared the same “outcome” and this fostered internal alignment and collaboration.
3. What are some of the challenges we’ve encountered?
Implementing the widely credited “outcome-based” is not as easy as we had imagined. We have markets at a different stage of maturity, and it was hard to define an outcome that balances all countries’ needs. Internal teams had their priorities in different defined outcomes. Within the team, we had to create an environment to build the muscle of being outcome-driven. How having quarterly strategy meetings, shared OKR and “Now-Next-Future” roadmap might help in such context?