Convoy CPO on Product Development (Part 3)
Over the course of your product development process, you will accumulate technical debt from the decisions you make. Furthermore, these decisions don’t come solely from product, engineering or data science teams. Instead, all three business units need to come together and figure out the right answer. It’s common for these teams to operate in silos. However, the best product decisions are made when everyone is on the same page.
To mitigate our technical debt at Convoy, we make sure that every team invests in the process from the very beginning of product development. For example, all three groups will measure the expected impact and minimizing risk to avoid poor results. In addition, each team looks at the experiments we conduct to figure out how much risk we can take on. Finally, we look at future costs and reject certain decisions if they’re going to cost a lot down the road.
You can see why it’s so important to have the whole team involved in every step of the process. Normally, the engineering team is solely responsible for managing technical debt – or they just skip it entirely. As a result, it’s common for companies to underinvest in this exercise because it’s difficult to quantify. Furthermore, investments in technical debt management are often misdirected and don’t address the decisions that are driving revenue.
Ultimately, access to data is going to make this framework more effective in your product development process. This data will highlight where you can gain more value and where your product can be improved. In the end, it also focuses your team’s efforts more efficiently by maximizing impact and reducing the time required to do so.
About the speaker
Ziad Ismail is the Chief Product Officer of Convoy, responsible for data science, design, growth and product teams. Before joining Convoy, Ziad was the Chief Product Officer of Marchex, Chief Executive Officer of CitiKey, and served in other product leadership roles at Microsoft. Prior to that, he spent two winters at the Arctic Circle in the Swedish military. Ziad earned an MSc in Computer Science from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and an MBA from Harvard Business School.