In both times of peace and times of turmoil, the context in which we operate evolves. It’s not a matter of whether these contexts exist, but rather how well-prepared you and your team are to navigate them.
As astutely stated by Becky Flint in her Peacetime CPO vs Wartime CPO article, the synergy between product and business success is undeniable, with people at the forefront. Your team’s ability to thrive amidst ever-changing circumstances hinges on their context and how you enable them. Beyond the tangible skills needed to weather change, there lies an intangible, unspoken element: the knowledge each individual possesses about the product, the team, the company, and the broader environment.
The Essence of Knowledge
Defining knowledge is a task that could extend beyond the scope of a single blog post. However, within our context, we can at least acknowledge that it encompasses more than just product expertise. It includes the ability to interpret company strategies, the acquisition of traits and behaviours necessary to be part of the team, and more. The sheer breadth of this knowledge is staggering.
Why Does It Matter?
Knowledge, as well as our unique interpretation of it, forms the core of our individuality. It’s what, coupled with our personalities, sets apart the contributions we make within our teams and, by extension, our business landscape. It’s akin to our mental model of the real world.
Considering that most endeavours involve a team, and each team member harbours their own mental models and experiences, the collective strength of a team rests on the expertise and contributions of its individual members.
The Challenge During Turbulence
In times of upheaval, pausing or dedicating time to share expertise with others can be an arduous undertaking. A study that Dragonboat conducted revealed that over half of Product Ops professionals identify “aligning cross-functional teams” as a significant challenge during quarterly planning, a hurdle that impedes business progress.
Suggestion: Watch on demand our CPO Series webinar “Aligning Around the Right Success Metrics”.
Navigating the Terrain
Among the myriad qualities of a wartime Chief Product Officer (CPO), one stands out: information mastery. Yet, there’s one aspect even more critical: speed. In an era where we demand rapid syncs, swift response mechanisms, and instant actions, decelerating seems implausible. But it’s crucial to remember that crashing at 120MPH is far harder (and potentially more disastrous) than slowing down.
If knowledge empowers us and defines our uniqueness, then having the right information at the right time equips us to be agile and efficient. When it comes to knowledge, here’s your immediate action plan:
1. Streamline Your Approach
Invest in well-documented, targeted rituals that can be anticipated. An agenda and the right audience are excellent starting points. Already documenting? Even better. When your documentation replaces a meeting, you’re a true efficiency champion.
2. Centralize Information
Strive to create a centralised repository where team members can easily access new knowledge. This includes ongoing tasks, holiday schedules, best practices, and past lessons learned. Imagine this repository as an extension of your brain — an autonomous resource that empowers your team while liberating you.
3. Construct for the Future
Invest time in crafting a robust information architecture that becomes your digital brain’s foundation. While the content within it evolves, the structure should remain steadfast. Think of it like the pods in a beehive: unchanging in size, yet accommodating the dynamic production of knowledge. Examples of these pods could be “Our Workflow,” “Strategic Direction,” “Collaboration Guidelines,” and more.
4. Promote the Culture
In the midst of challenges, evangelism becomes a vital skill. Convincing others that sharing knowledge is pivotal won’t happen overnight. But it won’t happen at all without investment. Understand that it takes time, and lead by example. Kickstart the movement by documenting your knowledge and showcasing its value to others. Remember, this is a divide-and-conquer strategy — win people over, one by one.
A Platform for Progress
Certainly, you’ll need a platform to facilitate this seamless exchange of knowledge. While jotting down every morsel of insight on paper sheets might sound tempting, there are better options. Enter Dragonboat — a tool designed to structure your team’s portfolio and foster real-time collaboration.
With Dragonboat, you can:
- Enhance roadmap visibility
- Optimize resource management
- Monitor portfolio delivery
- Align business goals with roadmaps
To discover how Dragonboat empowers product leaders and product operations teams across the globe to thrive amidst challenges, schedule a call with our experts.