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Empowering federated teams

Managing a technical platform with a product mindset

Bottlenecks, frustration and a strong inclination to opt for ‘shadow IT’ delivery is a common symptom of centralised platform mindsets impacting delivery management. Adopting a product-centric, enablement approach to managing technical platforms can significantly enhance operational efficiency and user satisfaction across an entire enterprise. This method extends beyond serving a single product or customer group, focusing on enabling multiple federated teams within the organisation.

Key features of the product-centric technical team

  • Enterprise-wide mindset: teams adopt a holistic view, ensuring the platform serves diverse internal groups and not just isolated segments. 
  • Scalable solutions: developing scalable solutions that can be adapted for different parts of the organisation, maximising resource utilisation and coherence. 
  • Continuous engagement: regular interaction with a broad array of internal stakeholders to align platform capabilities with varied business needs. 
  • Cross-functional collaboration: unlike traditional models that may operate in silos, this approach demands a blend of skills from software development, operations, marketing, and business strategy. 
  • User-centric focus: decisions are driven by user feedback and usage data, ensuring that the platform evolves according to actual user needs and preferences.  
  • Continuous improvement: teams are looking for optimal and innovative ways to leverage platform capability such as GenAI and automation to accelerate delivery and ensure resilient, secure services.  

Operational shifts

  • From project to product: transitioning from a project-oriented to a product-oriented mindset involves viewing the platform as a living entity that requires ongoing care, innovation, and investment. 
  • Agile methodologies: implementing agile practices to allow for rapid iteration based on user feedback and market changes.  
  • Strategic alignment: ensuring that every enhancement and feature supports the broader business objectives and adds value to the end-users.  

Common pitfalls

  • Isolated development cycles: avoiding the pitfall of developing for specific teams without considering the broader impact can prevent silos and enhance product value across the organisation. 
  • Inconsistent standards: uniform standards are essential for integration and usability across different teams, and neglecting this can lead to fragmented experiences. 
  • Underestimating cultural shift: the shift to a product-centric approach can be culturally challenging as it requires changes in mindset from both the development teams and the broader organisation. 
  • Neglecting user feedback: failing to continuously integrate or truly understand user feedback into the development process can lead to a misalignment between the platform’s offerings and the users’ needs. 
  • Overlooking technical debt: rapid development can accumulate technical debt if not managed properly, potentially leading to scalability and maintenance issues down the line.  

Keys to success 

  • Empowering users: research across potential user groups, prioritise roll out of platform capability to ensure the platform is genuinely meeting the diverse needs of the enterprise and empowers users through self-service. 
  • Cross-functional enablement: strengthening capabilities across the board by providing tools, training, and resources that empower all teams to effectively use the platform. 
  • Strong leadership: effective leadership is crucial in steering the team’s focus towards long-term product success rather than short-term project goals.  
  • Governance of consistent approach: limit unintended impacts, and duplication across federated teams. Focus on all groups making available reusable assets that are visible and accelerate development of future users.  
  • Robust metrics: establishing clear metrics for success that align with business goals and user satisfaction can guide development and measure progress effectively. 
  • Investment approach: ensure that teams have the financial structure to enable them for success. It is important to recognise and take a tiered approach to funding, covering the base, consumption, and new delivery platform costs to align with organisation intent.  


Treating a technical platform as a product with an enterprise-wide focus involves understanding and addressing the needs of multiple federated teams. This approach not only enhances scalability and flexibility but also fosters a cohesive technological environment that can drive innovation and efficiency across the entire organisation.

The key to federated team success lies in a focus on user enablement, maintaining high standards of usability, and ensuring continuous adaptation to meet the evolving needs of the enterprise.