In this #mtpcon Digital APAC session, Priscilla Anais, Associate Vice President of Product (AVP) at Tokopedia, provides tips that can help product teams improve collaboration, enabling them to maximize their impact and make work more delightful.
Watch the session in full or read on for the highlights.
We’ve all been there before
Priscilla begins by inviting the audience to play a game about how many times they’d experienced a particular scenario. For those in product roles, the scenarios included:
- Receiving last minute requirements that were impossible to deliver
- Wishing had a better grasp of business goals and priority
- Feeling disconnected from their business counterpart
And for those in business roles, their scenarios included:
- Receiving pushback from product on a critical ask
- Wishing your team could respond faster to market changes
- Feeling disconnected from their product counterpart
These are some of the common challenges faced by those in product and business, and as Priscilla points out, “it makes the case even clearer for us to strengthen business and product collaboration.”
Why strengthen business and product collaboration
There are several compelling reasons to strengthen collaboration between business and product people. First of all, business context and market dynamics evolve quickly, so even though it might seem ideal to stick to quarterly planning and roadmaps, this isn’t always possible.
Second, product and business need to be in lockstep and be more agile if they are both to maximize their impact. Having the ability to integrate business and product together is crucial to execute correctly; otherwise, we risk becoming too theoretical. And finally, collaboration can lead to more product-centric business people and more business-centric product people.
Root causes for challenging collaboration
“It’s always insufficient information sharing, which prevents that shared vision and understanding between one another,” she says. This is one of the primary causes of collaboration friction. Still, others include competing priorities across teams, a lack of processes or too rigid processes, and the lack of a shared language.
Six tools for better collaboration
Priscilla provides six tools that can help improve collaboration between business and product. The first three are perspective tools that allow us to see things better. This includes having a shared vision, a shared currency, and North Star metrics and wearing the CEO hat. “Ask everyone in the room, if you’re the CEO of the company, which initiative do you believe to be most important,” she says.
The process tools that help us coordinate and communicate better include:
- Having a shared Slack channel or email thread.
- Creating templates for co-creation and shared languages.
- Outlining communication and decision-making protocols.
We’re all on the same team
Priscilla provides some final tips and takeaways from her personal experience about how product people can improve collaboration. Don’t have a fixed perspective but instead be open to new ideas. Bring data to your arguments but not just ones that tell your team’s story. Make documentation simple, centralized, and accessible, and invest time to educate your counterpart so that they can empathize better.