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Product Management Across Cultures by Claire Parker "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs 2 December 2019 True Culture, Financial Times, Product Vision, ProductTank, ProductTank London, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 387 Claire Parker speaks at Product Tank London Product Management 1.548
· 1 minute read

Product Management Across Cultures by Claire Parker

In this ProductTank London talk, Claire Parker, Group Product Manager at the Financial Times tells us how the strategy for a global publication partnership can be executed. She takes us through:

  • Problems and pitfalls
  • Learnings and overcomings

Watch the video to see Claire’s talk in full. Or read on for an overview of her key points.

Problems and pitfalls

Many publications have undergone the switch from print to digital. Furthermore, revenue is now more commonly generated via subscriptions instead of advertising in order to keep pace with the changing news process. After the purchase of the Financial Times (FT) by Japanese business publication Nikkei, the FT entered into a partnership with the Nikkei Asian Review (NAR), an English language Asian business publication, to shift the NAR organization to a digital product.

The first problem they encountered was the lack of a clear direction. There was a goal to deliver a number of things but no strategy behind it or customer in mind. They were simply ticking things off on a checklist. The second problem they encountered was the feeling of distance between the team in London and stakeholders in Japan. This included various cultural hurdles which needed to be overcome that caused unnecessary delays in shipping the product. The third pitfall was that they simply fell into a way of working on things which didn’t foster the culture which was required in a partnership.

Learnings and overcomings

In order to overcome these challenges, a shared understanding of purpose was established. They outlined the product vision and made sure it was focused on the customer, defined the brand values and tone of voice, and put customer personas into play so that they could collaborate and meet the vision. Secondly, they recognized that acquisition and engagement were the key driving factors for the NAR.

They focused on the usability of the product and found a middle ground in their shipping process by shipping when ready to avoid the cultural pitfalls of both partners. Finally, they established a group consensus. This involved the creation of a multi-disciplined leadership group and the creation of a more involved process for the product and technology.

The final takeaway is that product management across cultures is possible if you tailor your approach, learn, measure, build and continue learning as you go along.

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