In today's fast-paced business environment, organizations need to be agile and responsive to stay ahead of the competition. One way to achieve this is by transitioning to a product-centric organization. According to a Gartner article, a product-centric approach can make it easier to rapidly innovate and iterate because it focuses on customer experience, evolving requirements, and the strategic differentiation for a product or service. In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of transitioning to a product-centric organization and how to make it happen.
Benefits of a Product-Centric Organization
The benefits of a product-centric organization are numerous. By focusing on products rather than projects, organizations can better align their efforts with business outcomes and customer needs. This approach can also help organizations to be more responsive to changing market conditions and emerging technologies. For example, Orient Overseas Shipping and Container Line's digital transformation started with the realization that data and analytics for internal IT services, such as APIs, could be leveraged for external products and services. The company created CargoSmart, a software as a service platform that provides information and analytics on shipping routes, container locations, and cargo tracking to external and internal customers.
The Three-Step Model for Making the Shift
To make the shift to a product-centric organization, CIOs need to follow a three-step model developed by Gartner.
Step 1: Look at Successful Software Technology Organizations
The first step is to look at companies that have built successful software technology organizations for rapid learning and addressing quickly evolving requirements. Bosch, Caterpillar, Haier, Tesla, and Volvo are examples of companies that have recognized the importance of delivering digital business initiatives at scale. These companies have developed capabilities such as continuous product/service development and enhancement, security and privacy management, and data and event collection and real-time analytics.
Step 2: Transform Part of the IT Organization into a Digital Group
The second step is to transform part of the IT organization into a digital group that operates product-centric and accelerates the delivery of digital products and services. This requires new skill sets, roles, investment models, and the right culture. The development and deployment of digital products and services is usually considered an investment, and it is accepted that the team will operate at a deficit until an offering with market traction is established.
Step 3: Position Product Management as the Core
The third step is to position product management as the core for everything digital. Set the tone for the importance of digital product management as a driver of successful growth and scale. When new offerings fail, it is mostly due to poor requirements. A capable product management discipline is the most efficient way to improve product success odds and drive sustainable growth.
In conclusion, transitioning to a product-centric organization is crucial for organizations that want to stay competitive and responsive to changing market conditions. By following a three-step model, CIOs can make the shift from project to product and create a product-centric technology organization that can drive innovation, agility, and growth.