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Solving the conundrum of tracking product regulatory obligations

A major focus area for product leaders in 2019 will be delivering revenue growth while addressing regulatory obligations throughout the product lifecycle. 

A key pain point is often product handovers to the next team, particularly in the lifecycle stages of shaping to scale & optimisation. Mistakes and inefficiencies arise when information and knowledge is inaccessible or hard to find. 

The product scaling & optimisation teams are one of the most critical functions in business success – yet all too often, they fall from focus, ironically due to an obsession with rapid new product development - most of which are destined to fail. 

This also means that the product handover process can always be improved and that even small improvements can make a big difference. 

As the Hayne Royal Commission demonstrated starkly - failing to meet regulatory obligations comes at a great cost, both financially and reputationally. 

How do you prevent the drop-off? Inefficiencies in handing over between the teams especially relating to regulatory obligations usually comes down to collaboration, documenting the right information, problem-solving culture and adoption of digital tools to do all this for you, seamlessly.

Although, the agile product owner and the regulatory team put a significant administrative effort into defining the product regulatory obligations at concept stage they often get lost as the handover process is flawed. Listed below are the common reasons why.

We’ve analysed the problem to isolate why business teams lose sight of regulatory obligations,  and created an efficient and easy to use solution. 

So what goes wrong? 

1. The regulatory obligations are defined at ideation & shaping stage, but then get lost.

The ideation and shaping teams often use tools like Jira and Trello for collaboration and workflow in new product development, however at the launch gate the teams are not using agile-like product lifecycle tools, and revert to sharing via email and using shared drives for document storage. This is highly frustrating and becomes a version control nightmare.

2. The regulatory & product teams don't meet with a consistent cadence

One of the most significant problems is that the rhythm of meetings between the regulatory team and product teams often only occurs in monthly governance meeting, or annually for product risk reviews. This means the collaboration doesn't foster problem solving or shared testing of assumptions around growth, risk or compliance.

3. Documents are shared on email or shared drives and reviewed in governance meetings

Here we have the version control nightmare, and action tracking is common. The governance forum doesn't foster connection and problem-solving or open and constructive discussions on the assumptions around operational & non-financial product risk.

4. The scaling & optimisation teams aren’t given enough insight

All too often, the handover from agile teams into scaling or product optimisation is in the form of a Lean Canvas. While the Lean Canvas is an essential tool for forming product concepts, it just provides the bare minimum and doesn't give enough insight to handover effectively.

5. Teams use old-fashioned collaboration tools

A massive divide exists between the adoption of useful tools in the new product development world (agile) and the handover to lifecycle or shaping & optimisation teams. 

So what’s the best fix? 

We’d like to share some tips for helping to improve the handover and connection between shaping, scaling & optimisation - and for keeping regulatory obligations top of mind from product concept through to sunsetting.

1. Create a product back-story

The best way to remain connected is to adopt a digital tool that begins in an agile team and is used continuously throughout the product life cycle. The collaboration and problem solving that begin in innovation teams can then be captured and built upon. The back-story is captured in the digital tool and then becomes the place that houses the entire history of the product & its lifecycle covering market, competitor, product value, success metrics, regulatory obligations and product innovation plans. By sharing this in-depth knowledge and insight, the teams set themselves up for success. Along the way, it is essential not to neglect the regulatory and risk groups from the multi-disciplinary teams.

2. Complete an in-depth dive review quarterly - if not monthly.

A common pitfall among product teams is to review financials monthly and then only deep dive into operational & non-financial success metrics and risk annually. This type of cadence may give some sense of comfort on the health of a product, but it will not help with continuous improvement & optimisation of any launched product.

It's beneficial to ensure that the scaling & optimisation team create a new cadence to review products in a connected way, and continually deep diving into both playing & laggard drivers of product success. Ideally, take 90 minutes every 90 days to conduct a product audit to de-risk the handover from shaping to scale & optimisation. Doing this with a digital tool like Skyjed will save hours of reporting time and get product reviews done without manual effort, increase team activity and with less time on administration.

3. Keep an eye on all the product drivers 

When a team is moving quickly through sprints, there is a risk that they will build one lot of features and move on to the next without documenting the deep insights that have emerged out of the agile culture and product analysis. As these teams are often formed around features, it can be difficult to capture the complete product commercial, operational, regulatory and non-financial drivers. It also means no-one owns the complete product insight and creates gaps in the handover which increases risk. At Skyjed we have designed the 40 drivers for you that cover the handover and what you need to monitor and the action plans at each stage. We recommend four drivers for shaping, 14 for scaling and all 40 for optimisation teams.


I'm ready to move my product or team onto the product optimisation & risk tool. What’s the next step?

While it’s tempting to focus on the new product development, don’t forget that scaling and optimising are critical areas to be re-shaped by digital tools. So, your searching for a digital tool to improve how you manage products and regulatory obligations post-launch?

Skyjed was designed ready with all tools to help your handover from shaping to scaling & product optimisation teams at your company with full confidence that you are monitoring regulatory obligations, please request our personalized demo.