I’m coming to the end of my mid-length vacation in Italy. This year, on the beach, I’ve been re-reading ’The Phoenix Project’. It’s a novel about tech jargon, delays and re-prioritisation that limit technology value creation.
Here’s a short synopsis.
‘Bill is an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. It’s Tuesday morning, and on his drive into the office, Bill gets a call from the CEO.
The company’s new IT initiative, code named Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Parts Unlimited, but the project is massively over budget and very late. The CEO wants Bill to report directly to him and fix the mess in ninety days, or else Bill’s entire department will be outsourced.’
This should be a familiar story.
Part of the solution they find is introducing a structured way for tech and non-tech teams to work together. One in particular that should resonate is the ‘Product review meeting’.
What is a product review meeting, and why should Private Equity be involved?
Technology teams can seem random, unorganised, and slow to make change. As a private equity operator, you’ve probably found yourself frustrated by tech teams. The product review meeting is your chance to work with your tech leaders. Your chance to influence the technology roadmap. Your chance to align this to the value creation strategy.
There are 5 key elements to agree at a great product review meeting.
- What we will build and why we will build it.
- How long we think it will take.
- How much we think it will cost.
- The value will we create as a result.
- How confident we are with those estimates.
Great PE firms run product review meetings with their tech leaders twice per year.
The best PE firms are running product review meetings quarterly. Including leaders and doers from tech, sales, marketing, operations and support. Bringing together small teams of 5-8 people at most.
Product review meetings, not board meetings, are where the success of businesses is decided in 2021.
Until next time.
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If you are interested in the book, the ‘Phoenix Project’ you can find it here.
You can sign up to more ‘unconsidered needs’ below!