1. Understanding Digital Transformation

  • How is the value chain of the core business changing and what are the implications for one’s business model?
  • What distinguishes modern hyper-global scalable tech platform models in the respective areas from the rest of the companies? (Business, Organization, Approach)
  • Technology is not just a necessary cost factor; simply investing more in technology is not enough for a successful transformation
  • The competence to build technological products and platforms must become central to a company Good example Pixar: Technology is utilized far better than all traditional film productions, technology teams are valued just as much as the creative teams.

2. The Role of Digital Technology in the Company

  • Do not treat digital technology products like traditional IT systems (Outsourcing, etc.)
  • Isolated satellites like accelerators, incubators, labs often fail to transform the core of a company
  • CDOs are often doomed to fail, individuals who have never written a line of code themselves and then operate outside the core business
  • Cross-functional digital product teams: Product, Engineering, Design / User Experience, and Digital Marketing are closely linked and should be viewed as an autonomous unit
  • Choosing the right transformation strategy, dual transformation is often the more appropriate and faster approach, but unfortunately, it is often not implemented consistently enough
  • Adjust organization

3. Digital Product Development Competence

“Agility doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m capable of building the best digital product.”

  • Prioritization / Focus on a few important problems is crucial, Active Investment Portfolio Management, the Won’t-do list is often more important, otherwise too “thinly spreaded”, enforce radically. Focusing on a few topics is essential for complex digital tech product projects
  • Inspiring product vision (3-5 years)
  • Decision on central platform components for reusable modules (TV Apps on one basis, 2nd Screen Participation products, etc.)
  • Clear product strategy based on insights: Market, customer usage data, new business and monetization models (Advertising vs. Subscription)
  • The right composition of product teams is more important than the size, software is complex and with the number of team members, performance often decreases disproportionately. Acceleration and performance improvement can rather be achieved with a smaller number of the right employees.
  • Apply the right iterative product development processes at the right time: Design Thinking vs. Product Discovery vs. Delivery Teams, general Lean approaches with early MVP launch

4. Digital Leadership and Management Culture

The traditional leadership/management culture often doesn’t fit technology product organizations.

  • Understand motivational factors (“Purpose, Autonomy, Mastery”)
  • Give Empowered Teams / Units the necessary space to solve problems. The purpose should by no means be to serve the business or to satisfy stakeholders as with traditional IT
  • OKRs: Set objectives and measure results - the team should figure out how to achieve them - make teams responsible for the results - no micro-management, no rigid processes, no roadmaps in the traditional sense. OKRs are also very suitable for establishing a direct link to the business.
  • Master technology: Testing, speed through cloud technology and modern stacks, the right tool for the right job, no technical debts, establish tech principles (Values & Beliefs) like Product Speed, Excellence in User Experience, etc.