Mind the gap: Lessons in leadership that will help you close the knowledge gap when scaling your product

What happens when you go from leading one product team to leading multiple? It’s likely that the transfer of information will take most of the toll. Without proper measures in place to streamline communication, the teams you’re building to help scale your product could end up being its downfall.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen to your company, we sat down with a few heads of product to discuss how they successfully manage communication between a growing number of teams on this week’s episode of the ScaleUp Valley podcast.

Max Eskell, Head of Product at Monese, moderates a conversation with Vineet Das, Head of Product at GO-JEK and Mike Walters, Chief Product Officer at Form3. They are joined by the ScaleUp Valley Podcast host Ryan Foland of Influence Tree to discuss safety measures for closing the knowledge gap as we build and grow our product teams.

Getting back what you put in

Over at Form3, their one product team has since grown to four. With this change in dynamic, Walters has begun implementing a new model of productivity that accommodates optimum growth.

His teams are now in a space where the product teams give precise deliverables in the short-term meaning that the direction they head is to be determined by the team. Then, they can be focused on giving back what the team puts in: if the company gives X amount of development resources in a team, then they can clearly define what they should expect in terms of deliverables.

This sort of model is built to allow the potential output of the team to be determined by the team itself, giving them a range to grow on their own accord — while still remaining focused on getting that back in team productivity.

That isn’t to say that the teams are completely free to run too far from the pack. If this were the case, the knowledge gap may widen and make it difficult for the teams to work cohesively. Instead, the company is very clear on what they don’t do. In this way, the product teams know their boundaries and can play within them.

Of course, there’s always that fear that members of your product team don’t have all of the information they need to fulfil the vision of the company. What else can you do to alleviate the knowledge gap?

Bridging the knowledge gap

Das often feels like his team doesn’t have the context that he does and has developed measures to provide this vital information. Before the development of new products, GO-JEK creates product inception in a shared document where everyone on the team can contribute with the information that they have.

From there, it’s shared across to all shareholders, who include their feedback and relevant context. The final step is a meeting where everyone is brought together to discuss all part of the new development. With a team that’s spread across various locations, Das finds this is the most effective way to ensure that their deliverables will fulfil the product vision.

Of course, these aren’t all of the helpful tips from this week’s episode. So give it a listen to hear more! Then, keep listening and keep scaling. And if you want to know more about ScaleUp Valley initiatives, calendar and purpose, join our community by subscribing to the ScaleUp Valley newsletter.