In this #mtpcon Digital Americas, sponsored by Fullstory, Agata Bugaj, Fullstory’s VP product, explores the power of Digital Experience Intelligence in creating — and strengthening — the connective tissue between different parts of your organization. Agata provides some sanity-saving ways data can help keep cross-functional teams focused and aligned.
- Product managers are tight on time so meetings should be held when they’re essential — as far as it’s possible, promote asynchronous collaboration
- To drive toward the same mission, try organizing teams into ‘Programs’ — cross-functional groups of humans with the same vision
- Provide easy access to a one-pager roadmap and keep this accurate and up to date at all times
- Everyone needs to have access to one source of truth — both qualitative and quantitative data. This enables people to stay informed and take action with the information they have
Watch the session in full or read on for the highlights from her talk.
Time is an asset
Time is our most precious asset, yet product managers are more visible than ever, with cross-functional stakeholders across the business and product managers at the center. Consequently, different people want to have meetings and ask questions about the product. While these questions are good, they can cause a product manager’s calendar to fill up and become unsustainable as they try to juggle work and meetings.
Meetings are critical, but the goal should be only to have them when necessary. Agata shares best practices that work at Fullstory and a framework that enables “you to structure and organize your teams to promote asynchronous mind-melding and collaboration.” She focuses on the people, processes, and attributes or tools that help move the team forward.
At Fullstory, various teams are working towards the same mission, and these teams are organized into programs. Teams may have separate roles but share a commitment to perfecting the digital experience. Programs are cross-functional groups of humans with the same vision. Each program includes a product manager, designer, and a group of engineers. However, more people are being included in these teams’ structure across UX, CX, marketing, sales, product management, and development.
These additional team members serve as the bridge between product and their teams, and they have access to all meetings notes, removing the need for other departments to continue meeting with product managers to find out what’s going on.
Ensuring that this structure continues to function requires them to focus on two key attributes, transparency and clarity. The lines of communication need to be clear to enable visibility and collaboration. Also, role clarity is essential to ensure proper alignment with who is doing what.
The process for making this work ensures that everyone gets and stays on the same page. A roadmap indicates how a product will evolve over the next quarters. This roadmap provides a reference point for all people involved so that they will know how they’ll be affected.
Providing a one-pager roadmap to all users enables end-users to go as deep as they want in uncovering information. Features briefs that provide greater detail about the problem to solve as well as product release notes all act as assets to help ensure that everyone can find answers to their questions.
The key attributes to making this work are accuracy and access. Product managers need to keep roadmap data up to date as “trust in the documentation is lost if content is stale”. Updates are made weekly, and then a new roadmap is released on a monthly and quarterly basis as OKRs are updated. Also, everyone at Fullstory can access the document from the same link each time.
Tools and Technologies
When working cross-functionally, teams must have access to the same source of truth. All activities and communications are powered by the same, accessible information, including quantitative and qualitative detail. Quantitative data shows what is happening. It provides answers to questions and helps you influence outcomes. Qualitative data helps illustrate why something is happening, validating your hypothesis and giving direction on the next steps.
The key attributes to making this work are accuracy and actionability. Everyone needs access to one source of truth, and people need to be informed and able to take action with the information they have.
As Agata concluded, tactics like these make it possible for cross-functional teams to work synchronously and effectively.
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