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Short Recap of my Working Products 2024 Talk "Organisation as a Product"

In a recent presentation at Working Products 2024, I enjoyed discussing a new approach to organisational development by treating an organisation as a product. The concept is rooted in the idea that just as a product must deliver an exceptional customer experience, an organisation must deliver an exceptional employee experience. This perspective opens up a plethora of tools and methodologies from product management that can be effectively applied to organisational development. Here’s a recap of the key points from the presentation:

Conways Law as the Foundation

The presentation began with Conways Law, which states, “Any organisation that designs a system will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organisation’s communication structure.” This insight highlights the inherent connection between organisational structures and the systems they create. By viewing the organisation itself as a product, we can apply systematic thinking and product management tools to enhance its development.

The Organisation-Product Analogy

We explored the strong parallels between organisations and products. Both are composed of interdependent parts and sub-systems that must work together seamlessly. While a product aims to deliver an exceptional customer experience, an organisation strives to deliver an exceptional employee experience. Key components of this analogy include journey mapping, feedback mechanisms, and the need for continuous improvement.

Product Management Tools for Organisational Development

A significant part of the presentation focused on the specific tools and methods from product management that can be adapted for organisational development:

  1. User and Employee Personas: Creating detailed personas helps us understand the diverse needs and motivations of users and employees alike.

  2. Journey Mapping: Mapping the employee journey from recruitment to offboarding helps identify pain points and areas for improvement.

  3. Agile Development: Applying Agile principles fosters flexibility, continuous improvement, and responsiveness.

  4. Feedback Loops: Establishing regular feedback mechanisms ensures ongoing enhancement and alignment with employee needs.

Systemic Thinking in Organisations and Product Platforms

Systemic thinking plays a crucial role in both organisational development and product platforms. This approach helps us understand the complex interdependencies and dynamics within systems. Key similarities include the need for holistic perspectives, feedback loops, dynamic adaptation, value creation, and ecosystem integration.

Future Trends in Organisational Development

The presentation also delved into future trends in product management that can be applied to organisational development:

  1. AI and Machine Learning: Leveraging AI for better collaboration and personalized employee development programs.

  2. Remote Work Technologies: Implementing robust remote work policies and technologies for distributed teams.

  3. Data-Driven Decision Making: Using data analytics for informed HR policies and engagement strategies.

  4. Continuous Integration: Continuously integrating feedback and delivering improvements in organisational processes.

Overcoming Challenges

Finally, we discussed potential challenges such as resistance to change, goal misalignment, resource constraints, and strategies to mitigate these issues. Key strategies include clear communication, engaging leadership, involving employees in the process, and celebrating successes.


By treating an organisation as a product, we can leverage the well-established tools and methodologies of product management to enhance organisational development. This approach not only improves the employee experience but also drives better business outcomes.


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