The Financial Times (FT) is an English-language international daily newspaper with a special emphasis on business and economic news.
New approach to digital product problem solving
FT.com had begun to lose focus on who their online service is built for and, without this common understanding, what features and content were required. They invited Agilty in Mind to facilitate a digital product kick-off workshop to help them get back on track.
Agility in Mind brought key stakeholders together to draw focus back to users and assess the benefits they seek in using FT.com.
We started by aligning attendees to a set of clear business outcomes and then ran a number of creative product-ideation exercises to help explore how they could be met. This led to the development of a common vision, with clearly defined outcomes for the business and its users that was agreed on by all.
Whilst this session brought back a sense of who the service was for, why it is valued and how FT.com would continue its commercial innovation, its effect was much broader than gaining consensus. It was the basis of a new approach to solving problems for the digital leadership teams.
We were able to use our expertise to help the attendees consider how to realise the new vision, thinking through the approaches they would need to take with their teams to get started on bringing it to life.
The results achieved from the session had a direct impact on how the product was built, how teams worked and also led to increased confidence in product success.
Product guided aligned to clear outcomes
Increased confidence in product success
Today, FT.com has a new sense of direction: business priorities are translated into product features which support iterative product development and have contributed to new thinking around content creation. The clear outcomes from the new vision provided the basis of traceability through to the product and engineering teams and led to greater alignment and collaboration with users and business stakeholders.
When the FT decided to build a new website, one of the first steps we did was to articulate our Product Vision. We asked Agility In Mind to help us and moderate a workshop, with the key Product people and the main stakeholders. Although the group members came from different parts of the business, after 8 hours we managed, with Agility in Minds help, to come up with a concise Vision. A year later the site was fully available to all users and drove 20% uplift in engagement that contributed millions to the bottom line. The Vision helped us to stay focused and achieve our goals. Two years on and not only are we still using the Vision, but we have also agreed that it shouldn’t change yet. It is still serving us as a beacon.
Gadi Weiszlovits Lahav, Head of Product, FT.com at Financial Times