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Making a product function think and act more strategically

  • Offering: Capability Development
  • Main Headline: Accelerating value by moving from tactical to strategic product management.
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The challenge

The Digital Product team for Fleet Management at a prominent global car rental company sought assistance to enhance their strategic approach. The team encountered significant obstacles in effectively communicating the strategic significance of their work, both vertically (to leadership) and horizontally (across various workstreams).

Within the broader organisation, there is a tendency toward tactical prioritisation, leading to inconsistent progress amongst project teams, in achieving their respective goals. Teams with long-term objectives often face resource constraints and encounter delays due to frequent short-term reprioritisations.

The approach

Through engagement with the client, it became evident that they did not need assistance with the strategic goals and objectives, rather, they needed help in comprehending and establishing the process of strategy, as well as effectively communicating it.

During the discovery phase research, the aim was to uncover:

  1. Strategic overview: Current state analysis of strategic goals, to move towards developing a north star for the team.
  2. Challenges and opportunities analysis: Gain a deep understanding of stakeholder perceptions around the existing approach to product strategy.
  3. Initiatives mapping: Current state analysis of initiatives and goals.

The results

Strategic overview
A new strategic reframing of the client’s existing initiatives was developed, consisting of a top-level vision for the team and a list of goals spanning business value and team effectiveness. Our discovery output focused on the three basic building blocks of a strategy, i.e. understanding the Why, the What, and the How? These three blocks became the Vision (Why), the Focus (What), and Clarity (How).

Challenges & opportunities
Stakeholder interviews with Project Owners and Project Managers across the team surfaced multiple common topics and themes. From these insights, the major challenges and opportunities for improvement were identified and categorised according to our three building blocks of Vision, Focus, and Clarity.

Initiatives mapping
Tools and a framework for communicating their workstream’s strategic value across the organisation were developed:

  • Initiatives map giving a simplified “top-down” view of the Digital Product Fleet Management ecosystem, showing how projects relate to each other and surface potential or existing dependencies between teams. This framework successfully enhanced communication between siloed teams, providing a basis for future prioritisation and resource management.
  • Goals hierarchy that was implemented now provides a clear picture of individual initiatives' value within the context of the broader organisation, by showing how all individual project goals tie into the company’s overarching business goals.

Customer Research, Product Design, Product Management

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