4 traits of best in class internal platform teams by John Wood "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs November 11 2021 False Internal Users, Product teams, ProductTank, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 507 Product Management 2.028

4 traits of best in class internal platform teams by John Wood

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A product is only as good as its foundation. In this ProductTank London talk, John Wood, Group Product Manager at GoCardless, explains how internal platforms can make or break business success. He explains how you can get more buy-in for internal platform teams by building internal platforms and shares four important mindsets for internal product teams to achieve that.

Watch the video to see John’s talk in full, or read on for an overview of his key points:

  • Treat internal customers as paying SaaS customers
  • Design data first platforms
  • Design for unimagined future use cases
  • Platform teams – lead long-term strategy

Treat internal customers as paying SaaS customers

Internal product management is odd because product managers often know their customers and are both producers and consumers of the product themselves. Leadership can also force adoption of the product even if they don’t want to in the name of efficiency.

To counteract this, John suggests making adoption a choice. Doing this raises the bar as internal product teams are competing with external products and asking customers to hold them to those standards. Listen to this podcast on managing internal tools with Emily Patterson. 

Design data first platforms

Due to the current technology revolution, data is more important than ever. To be successful as a company, you need a data-first mindset and internal platforms are the guardians of data quality to support high-quality predictions and insights.

By design, a platform should govern data collection to minimize transformations and cleaning of data and democratize the creation of new data so teams can get the answers they need fast.

Design for unimagined future use cases

Focus on providing accessible tools with a universal application rather than a product-specific application. This way, you can avoid having to re-platform in the future. Therefore, a good internal team should consider data storage, the delivery pipeline (e.g., CI/CD), performance, and code reuse. Focusing on these foundational capabilities enables you to avoid technical debt and wasted resources.

Platform teams – lead long-term strategy

Internal platform teams are often placed in reactive mode and are under-resourced. However, they can enter into a proactive state that benefits the company by leading from the front. How can platform teams do this? By providing strategic thought leadership at the organizational level, interviewing prospective users to test and create demand for platform capabilities before they are needed, and making platform capabilities easy to adopt.

The key takeaways from this talk are that having platform teams lead may be a bold strategy, but the entire organization will benefit by doing this and following the other traits of best-in-class teams.

Enjoy more from ProductTank

ProductTanks are informal meetups, created by Mind the Product, to bring local product people together and to enable speakers to share amazing product insights. Today we have

ProductTanks in more than 200 cities across the globe and there’s probably one near you.

Learn more about ProductTank – find your local meetup, explore more ProductTank content, see the latest ProductTank news, and discover ways to get involved!

A product is only as good as its foundation. In this ProductTank London talk, John Wood, Group Product Manager at GoCardless, explains how internal platforms can make or break business success. He explains how you can get more buy-in for internal platform teams by building internal platforms and shares four important mindsets for internal product teams to achieve that. Watch the video to see John’s talk in full, or read on for an overview of his key points:
  • Treat internal customers as paying SaaS customers
  • Design data first platforms
  • Design for unimagined future use cases
  • Platform teams - lead long-term strategy

Treat internal customers as paying SaaS customers

Internal product management is odd because product managers often know their customers and are both producers and consumers of the product themselves. Leadership can also force adoption of the product even if they don’t want to in the name of efficiency. To counteract this, John suggests making adoption a choice. Doing this raises the bar as internal product teams are competing with external products and asking customers to hold them to those standards. Listen to this podcast on managing internal tools with Emily Patterson. 

Design data first platforms

Due to the current technology revolution, data is more important than ever. To be successful as a company, you need a data-first mindset and internal platforms are the guardians of data quality to support high-quality predictions and insights. By design, a platform should govern data collection to minimize transformations and cleaning of data and democratize the creation of new data so teams can get the answers they need fast.

Design for unimagined future use cases

Focus on providing accessible tools with a universal application rather than a product-specific application. This way, you can avoid having to re-platform in the future. Therefore, a good internal team should consider data storage, the delivery pipeline (e.g., CI/CD), performance, and code reuse. Focusing on these foundational capabilities enables you to avoid technical debt and wasted resources.

Platform teams - lead long-term strategy

Internal platform teams are often placed in reactive mode and are under-resourced. However, they can enter into a proactive state that benefits the company by leading from the front. How can platform teams do this? By providing strategic thought leadership at the organizational level, interviewing prospective users to test and create demand for platform capabilities before they are needed, and making platform capabilities easy to adopt. The key takeaways from this talk are that having platform teams lead may be a bold strategy, but the entire organization will benefit by doing this and following the other traits of best-in-class teams.

Enjoy more from ProductTank

ProductTanks are informal meetups, created by Mind the Product, to bring local product people together and to enable speakers to share amazing product insights. Today we have ProductTanks in more than 200 cities across the globe and there’s probably one near you. Learn more about ProductTank – find your local meetup, explore more ProductTank content, see the latest ProductTank news, and discover ways to get involved!