In this ProductTank Oslo talk, Marty Cagan, founder and companion at Silicon Valley Solution Group shares his ideas on typical transformation pitfalls.

It is no solution that most transformations fail, says Marty. When corporations undertake large-scale transformations, 70% are unsuccessful considerably, he adds. Although the odds are stacked from firms embarking on transformation drives, you can very easily flip them by preventing typical pitfalls.

Why do businesses need to have transformation?

There can be various factors why organizations need to completely transform, this sort of as declining gains, technological shifts, economical underperforming, and strategic, preemptive, or structural change. However, Marty claims providers need to renovate to leverage the available chances – ones they generally fail to make use of to their gain.

What defines empowered product groups?

So, what can make an great empowered solution crew? Marty explains the 3 critical traits you require to build empowered item teams:


When it arrives to cross-practical teams, many people today believe of back-conclusion and front-end guidance but Marty states there’s much more to it. It is about guaranteeing you have the appropriate, skilled men and women in put, masking a vast range of expertise demanded to make a thriving products.


Marty believes that empowered teams are those people not only offered the task to clear up difficulties but to ascertain the very best class of motion to obtain solutions. Most importantly, providers have to offer teams with ample guidance and instruments to address all those pain details. Constantly removing these assets will suppress their creativeness, limiting long run innovation.


Marty suggests every single workforce should be held accountable for their respective duties and options, which includes empowered teams. This accountability should really go the two techniques towards the challenge and the company. Finally, if groups are empowered to invent alternatives, they have to just take obligation for their failure or accomplishment.

Widespread transformation pitfalls

Marty divides the pitfalls into two categories:

  1. Exterior to merchandise and tech pitfalls
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  3. Inside to products and tech pitfalls
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Exterior to product and tech transformation pitfalls

He lists 10 exterior-to-product or service-and-tech causes why providers fail to transform:

  • Habit to command and regulate management style
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  • CEO delegates transformation to yet another chief
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  • CEO hires a administration consultancy
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  • Gross sales-driven solution
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  • Current market-pushed products
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  • Venture-dependent funding and staffing
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  • Predictability driven
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  • Technological know-how as a value center
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  • Outsourced engineering
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  • Too much to handle technological debt
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Inner to products and tech transformation pitfalls

Marty mentions many other components within the business that impacts transformation – despite the fact that they are straightforward to deal with:

  • Inadequate product or service professionals  (process culture dominates)
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  • Engineers only want the code (make absolutely sure to have at minimum a person engineer who enjoys and cares about what to establish in addition to implementation)
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  • The motivation for a procedure (tools you decide dictate strategies, so select sensibly)
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  • Way too significantly hold-the-lights-on work, such as applying GDPR, and so on.
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  • Abnormal initiatives are underway
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  • Increasing tech financial debt (most groups deficiency understanding about how to regulate tech debt)
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  • Superior force (empowered item teams have far more anxiety than function groups cause, contrary to function groups, they have serious complications to solve, not to get the job done on features only)
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  • Far too considerably operate
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  • Not plenty of handle to be accountable for outcomes (products teams normally say they indication for results for the products and solutions they can manage and not the income or internet marketing crew)
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  • Outcomes are tricky
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Transformation is significantly hard and demanding. While corporations working experience a lot of odds versus them, Marty states you can seamlessly flip all those odds by stopping these prevalent transformation pitfalls.

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