The pandemic, and its wake, have increased the demand for more effective, inclusive, and responsive digital services that meet a new threshold for acceptable customer experience (CX).

It’s a wakeup call as much as it is an opportunity, and only the most proactive of organisations will lever the competitive advantages on offer; and the rest, well, history will be their judge. We believe we can help drive that proactivity with our evolved approach to digital partnerships. 

Traditionally, marketers will strategise, identify areas of their estate to be enhanced, propose, and secure budget, and deliver changes. Rinse and repeat. There are moments of ad hoc auditing, to gain optimisations in varying dimensions, such as performance, security, or accessibility, but ultimately the traditional paradigm of project start/stop is how digital delivery is resourced, managed, and delivered.  

Increasingly, organisations are shifting towards a new paradigm. An approach which moves away from a focus on outputs to one which focuses on outcomes. The idea of value prioritization as a means to drive product decisions isn’t a new concept. Indeed, product management you may be surprised to hear dates back to the 1930s.  

The digital world has a vastly different shape to the products of the 1930s of course. Speed, scale, real-time multi-channel data, immediacy and global competition are challenges organisations simply didn’t face even 20 years ago, to the extent they do today. Factor in more intelligent, empowered and enabled consumers, who have no problem switching your brand out when you block their outcomes; and the motivation to maintain, and crucially evolve, your CX offer is entirely self-evident. 

Recognising the zeitgeist, we are transitioning the default engagement paradigm for design and build services to one of product over project. A paradigm that already operates as standard in the majority of big tech, but frequently in more progressive brands outside of the tech arena.

The idea is simple. A property in your digital estate is a product. If you have a product, you can define a roadmap. If you can define a roadmap, you can build a backlog. Your product has a lifecycle, and the backlog represents all of the continuous development of features and optimisations that can be done to ensure the product continues to be a vehicle of value. And that’s all products are vehicles of value. You invest in the evolution of that vehicle through its lifecycle, and it will continue to return value to its stakeholders. The better the product is managed, the better the outcomes, and the more value derived.  

Rather than considering what project comes next, how long it might take, how it might be budgeted and resourced, how and when it might be delivered, the concept of product just allows work to continue, with a dedicated product team, with a chosen resource profile, with an established cadence of delivery, against a backlog we work with you to shape and prioritise. 

Andy Pimlett, Product Director at Mando, describes the move from projects to product as: “A delivery, commercial and philosophical shift, which removes traditional constraints of time, milestones, fixed scope, and fixed resources; and instead, focuses on value delivery through the entire product lifecycle. That’s the brochure copy, but we’re talking about permanently working on the thing that delivers customer and stakeholder value, against a list of things we have agreed represents the greatest potential for brand equity, enterprise value, customer satisfaction, revenue.” 

Benefits of a product mindset with your digital partner: 

Retained Teams 

Product engagements have a retained team. That means you get the same core set of individuals working on your product for the term of the engagement. There is an old neuroscience trope which states neurons which fire together wire together. This idea is evidenced in decades of research into team dynamics and more or less concludes what you’d expect – teams that work together a lot outperform teams that don’t. So you get maximum benefit, from a team of subject matter experts who over time develop significant familiarity with you, and your product. 

Product Owners 

The product owner is a deeply experienced digital consultant who represents the voice of the client within the retained team. Working with you to develop your backlog, challenge, provoke, disrupt, inform, suggest, ideate, and support you, and then correspondingly the same with the retained team – all with the unified goal of prioritizing decisions which maximise values that are pragmatic, robust, aligned to your needs and designed to delight your customers.  

Insight Driven 

Effective product decisions live and die with data. Hypotheses are the hallmark of experimentation and a key enabler to effective product development. Hypotheses must of course also be cradled from data and insight. Our maturing intelligence offer seeks to support our product engagements with rich analytics, based on advanced best in class consultancy and implementation of GA4.  

Additional to this, is the capabilities of our partner platforms in Optimizely and Sitecore DXPs, we leverage data to drive personalization and experimentation with the aim of optimizing conversions that drive KPI (Key Performance Indicators) performance even further.  

On Demand Consultation 

A retained team with a flexible resource profile gives you easy access to an array of subject matter experts across strategy, data and insights, analytics, user experience, security, performance and many more. What’s more, as an established profile that is always commercially covered, there is no need to estimate, approve, contract and purchase order for that quick piece of consultation that can get you an outcome better, faster, and cheaper. Our consultants and practitioners are here to support you as and when you need them; which means you can think of our team, as your team. 

Types of product engagement:

Product is not one size fits all; everyone is on a journey and the structure of our product services provides entry points for all levels. 

1. Optimisation Services  

This type of engagement focuses on the delivery of proactive improvements within our Optimisation Services Framework of Performance, Intelligence, Experience, Security.  

From an initial workshop to build an Optimisation Services Plan, to onboarding your retained team, to initial sprint planning, startup, we will deliver a defined cadence of optimization services that seek to backlog an array of opportunities to drive your KPI performance. 

Optimisation Services represent a great opportunity for products towards the end of their lifecycle that need to perform at their best, but for which further feature development is unlikely. As you might expect in the project world, it’s the products in the twilight of their lifecycle that are most vulnerable and most likely to perform badly. Optimisation Services engagements provide a mechanism to maximise the remaining value of a product nearing end of life. 

2. Optimisation Services Plus Basic Roadmaps 

As the name implies, this approach provides the same Optimisation Services as above, but also includes budget for managing minor enhancement features from a basic roadmap. This is ideal for organisations on platforms at the start or middle of the lifecycle for which active feature investment remains a priority, but the scale and complexity of those features is relatively low. 

3. Optimisation Services and Enterprise Roadmaps 

Enterprise roadmap delivery is for organisations who have a digital roadmap of ambitious features that are complex and enterprise class. Typically newer, large properties with a strong desire for investment and growth against clear and well-defined KPIs, at a high or aggressive cadence.  

Final thoughts


The product approach isn’t a panacea, perfect for all scenarios. It’s an approach that works well in contexts where the scope isn’t fixed, or is still emerging, where priorities will shift, where experimentation and user testing is used as a means to shape decisions through insight, where there is a desire to invest in the total product lifecycle and maximise value throughout. 

Sometimes, a project is all you need. You know the scope, you know the timeframe and you’re clear on the desired outputs. Great, we’re not ruthlessly dogmatic, our primary focus is serving the needs of our customers. 

But we nonetheless invite you to challenge your perspective and consider a future in which one of our expert product teams, is an elegant extension to your internal team, and we work together to maximise your product’s value, unhindered by the traditional commercial and delivery implications of project spin-up and wind-down.  

If this sounds exciting, arrange a call with us today. 

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