How do we take a product or team to the next stage? In her ProductTank London talk, Beata Kovacs, Product Director at GSK, takes us through her framework for scaling a startup and the strategic areas that need to be addressed, including:
- Goals and priorities
- Skills and people
- Culture and process
Watch the video to see Beata’s talk in full. Or read on for an overview of her key points.
A Product Discovery Process
Beata begins by explaining that scaling should be thought of as a product discovery process in order to find the right problem to solve. There is no one way to do it. Product people are the best people to help with scaling problems because of their understanding of how tech, UX, and business intersect. They also have excellent communication and problem-solving skills, access to stakeholders, and understand the tools and methodologies required.
The typical master plan for scaling a team or startup involves taking an idea and convincing investors and venture capitalists that you need more money to do something. However, it’s important to note that you must come up with a plan for scaling.
How do you know if you’ve come up with the right plan? Well, it depends… on the context. You first need to define what exactly you’re trying to scale.
You’re Scaling Problems too
The key takeaway from Beata’s talk is to remember not to scale the problem but instead, find the most adequate solution.
Scaling is a strategic decision, so it needs to be aligned with the overall business goals. Once that alignment is achieved, then you can start to discover other options. When it comes to scaling it is important to assess the current inventory of personnel and the skill sets already at your disposal and see if new elements will fit into the existing company culture.
Scaling a product doesn’t necessarily mean scaling the team and scaling the team doesn’t necessarily mean scaling the product. You don’t just scale a team or product, you’re also scaling the problems that existed before.