Our part time COO was brought in to help in enhancing product development through integrated team development in a market intelligence business

Company Profile

Part of a FTSE 100 listed company operating in 43 countries with approximately 11,000 employees, this business specialises in market intelligence within the Built Environment sector.

The CEO’s Mission

Data and digital platforms form the core of the company’s business, with their continuous evolution identified as crucial for success and growth. A combination of internal and external teams develops and supports these products. However, this arrangement has resulted in siloed operations and a misalignment between product development and business needs. The company faces challenges such as a lack of confidence in the quality of work, slow delivery of features, and a perception from the business side that it is not meeting requirements functionally or in a timely manner. The CEO then needed overcome these obstacles by building an integrated team consisting of business and product personnel, operating with transparent governance to foster trust and confidence.

COO’s Objectives

  • Validate the problem statement and assess current operating practices.
  • Evaluate existing practices and suggest changes to fulfil the mission.
  • Mentor and educate internal stakeholders on software development and governance.
  • Facilitate the smooth adoption of new working practices.

What the COO Did

Recognising that there are always multiple perspectives to a problem, the COO embarked on understanding all views through individual and group discussions.

The issue of siloed work and misaligned objectives was evident. A contributing factor was unclear, often changing requirements, and insufficient expertise in the development process.

To address these challenges, the Director:

  • Designed a new organisational model to integrate the product development team with the business, assigning clear roles and responsibilities.
  • Implemented a new governance and operating model for product development. The focus was on minimising meeting time, aligning expectations, ensuring first-time understanding of requirements, managing change effectively, and enhancing transparency.
  • Gained acceptance for the new model by highlighting its benefits to all stakeholders.
  • Educated and mentored business stakeholders on the development process. This enabled them to make more informed decisions by understanding the challenges faced by the technology team.
  • Trained all stakeholders in the new process and provided hands-on support during the phased implementation, addressing any issues arising from the change and ensuring adherence to the new practices.

This initiative of integrated team development successfully addressed the initial challenges. This helped in bringing together business and product teams under a cohesive and efficient operational model.

The Results

Over 6 months, we managed to get all the changes seamlessly implemented across all internal and external stakeholders. At the inception of the engagement, there was no agreed definition of success, i.e. senior stakeholders decided not to define one and it was agreed that they would “just know” or “have a feeling that this is now working”. Great to hear the customer now has that feeling and reports that the mission has been achieved