Building A Unified Product Community at DeliveryHero

Knowledge / Inspiration

Building A Unified Product Community at DeliveryHero

Enabling the Team
UXDX Community Eastern Europe 2020
Slides

With product teams scattered across 40+ countries globally, creating a unified product culture offers an opportunity to consolidate processes, improve collaboration and allow knowledge sharing between teams.
In this talk, Emmi will talk through her experience in building an internal platform within Delivery Hero that unites the culturally diverse teams globally.

Hi, my name is Emmi, and today I will take you on a journey on how we are building products community at Delivery Hero. At the end of this talk, I want you to walk away with some hands on tools to build great relationship and strong community, whether it's in your small team or in the whole corporation. But before we jump in to the toolset and the initiatives that we've been launching during these years at Delivery Hero, I first want you to understand a little bit more of what kind of company Delivery Hero is. So it's initially a Food Delivery company that have in the recent year expanding in delivering in more fields like groceries and flowers and pharma. And as you can see, a lot has happened that Delivery Hero. But today I want you to focus on the merger and acquisitions we have done at successful delivery platforms across the globe. So it all starts with lieferheld in Germany and Delivery Hero joining in 2010 and 11, and then we started this acquisition journey of Hungry House in the UK, followed by OnlinePizza in the Nordics, Austria and Poland. PedidosYa in Latin America. Pizza de also in Germany. The list goes on, Korea with yo-yo and Baedaltong. We acquire Talabat in the middle region. The big yemeksepeti in Turkey. And then lastly, Foodora and Foodpanda. And that we're also based in Germany. So before we go deeper into product cultures and different companies and community.

And let me also first introduce myself and mainly my journey at Delivery Hero in product so that you can understand my connection to product community building. And I'm Swedish, so I studied at Lund University, and after graduating in political science and business, I moved to Berlin. I had a quick gig in some start-ups and then I start as a product manager at Delivery Hero, where my first job was on these old printers that communicated with our back end to print the orders to restaurants. Today, that's a tablet and a smartphone. Then follow some good years in product management, building different things across the company payment. Check out admin panels, you name it. In parallel, I also founded my own company again to build healthy habits, and then family happened. So my first child comes along and I took a little longer break for both working on my baby and my baby being the company. And then I'm actually coming back to deliver a hero, and the company has changed a great deal. So I took the role as an interim CPO for the Nordics, and the main mission here was to migrate the Nordic platforms to one of our main platforms based in Berlin. And with that, when that job was done. Also, the CPO role was no longer needed and I move on to a Europe role. And this meant connecting the product leads of the European platforms. Then child number two comes along and I went on a break not so long.

And when I came back from that, I'm now responsible for connecting all the global product leads across our globe in the different platforms to build and enable a strong product community. So Delivery Hero, this House of brands with many different company and product cultures, we in product, we had everything from waterfall to agile to no structure at all. We had product teams that were completely led by engineers and there was no product manager or designer in sight. And then we had other companies where product managers were sitting with marketing and developers on a totally different floor. We also highly value the local companies, their experience and knowledge and their deep understanding of their local market. But of course, there is no real point in acquiring a bunch of companies if you don't plan to align and consolidate to some extent in order to scale. But it looked a little bit like this silos, so I'm sure many of you are familiar with what this means. We didn't know each other. There was zero interaction and knowledge sharing among the different product teams in our world, and so we decided to have a first product summit or a world meeting, as we call them, where we invited all the product leaders from all our platforms across the globe. And unfortunately, there was this one incident that was going to make it worse before we could turn things around and make it better again.

So let me share it very shortly. And this was in the beginning of the Delivery Hero history. And there was this idea that we would build a global platform at Delivery Hero headquarters, where every other platform would migrate onto and we would scale amazingly. Of course, this idea was never deeply researched. I would say not at all, and there was also never any communications with the other leadership teams about this. So when this was kind of announced at this first ever product world meeting, it kind of backfired. It backfired to an extent that half of the crowd didn't come back the next day. So we now not only work in silos, but the relationships are also very, very bad. The problem had to be fixed. So long story short, some drastic changes were done, and then we started to build a better relationship. First of all, a new team emerged called the global product team, and we started to travel around to the local offices to meet in real life. It was product people from the Berlin headquarters going to the different local markets to see how are they working? Who are the people? We, of course, went out to eat and drink to create this better relationship. But we also gained an understanding of the markets and the customers and the way they are organized as product teams. We try to maintain these relationships, but by introducing regular virtual meetings where we met weekly or monthly to talk about product updates and initiatives and problems that we all shared.

And we started also to share a lot of the product work that was going on in the different platforms across the globe. We shared it in a central space for everyone to look at Delivery Hero. We use workplace, which is basically Facebook for offices. We also continued with the product world meetings, and they got better and better every year. And I've summarized a lot of these initiatives in Little Toolbox, and I won't go deeper into this now, but after this presentation, you will be able to download this deck and that's where you can read more in detail about it. So all these initiatives that we did, I would say, took around two years to create these better relationships, and it really created tight personal relationship. We gained understanding and empathy for people, for products, for the market and for customers. And it also created this mutual respect and trust for each other's organizations. So the problem was solved, right? Well, it was, but only on a lead level. The majority of the people, the product managers, the designers, that analyst, I mean, all these people, the product, people that are the ones getting their hands dirty, building products still kind of worked in their local market silo. They didn't know who were their right counterpart in another part of the world. And there was no real communication. So the knowledge sharing and the relationship building, it simply doesn't work by only being trickled down from the top.

It was time for a bottom up approach to build community. So this is some of the things that we are working very actively on today, and it's as simple as having an inclusive channel, and with that, I mean inclusive to be there for all the product people in our organization and with product people, we refer to product managers and designers and analysts, basically everyone who identify themselves as working with the product. And we have a slack channel where everyone are in. So a person in a different organization is only a fingertip away. And we have regular events, and now they're all virtual due to COVID 19, but because the nature of our global organization, we already did the majority of our events virtual. And here we have launched a couple of different things, like an external speaker series where we invite product people from other companies to share their knowledge and inspire us and challenge our product mindset. And we have done a show and tell sessions where different people across the globe can show what they have been doing on features and design, and that we can learn that. And we have something that we call product morning sessions, where we discuss the certain topics and people share their own experiences, topics like time management or how to deal with annoying stakeholders. And we've also launched an exchange program where any product person in our organisation can apply to go for a week or two to a different team in the world to learn from them how they are organised or especially on a certain topic or feature.

This is, of course, a little bit on pause now during the pandemic, but we are thinking about virtual alternatives to this. We also have a product newsletter where we collect or we kind of filter all our release notes that are done every month from across the globe, and we're trying to highlight them and package them in a nice way to send out to the whole organization so that everyone has a chance to be featured and to read a little digest about what's going on across the globe. We're also launching something that we call topic specific communities who are actually a bunch of people. It's a smaller group, but that consists of product managers and designers and sometimes engineers from multiple different parts of our platforms, and they are working actively on the same topic. So we have an example, of our home screen that has gone through a change now when we are going from being a food delivery company, only to also serve other types of Delivery Hero deliveries. And this community have been able to communicate in the early stage before we launch things to share data, to share customer research, to become much smarter before we build and launch something. And the last point on building community is about collecting feedback.

We engage a lot in interviews and surveys to collect the thoughts of product people around the world, what they actually need and want and what is valuable to them. It's really important to all the time to iterate so that you create initiatives that are valuable to the people. Here is my second toolbox that I already shared most of the things, but take the time to read this more carefully after the presentation. We're doing all this to achieve the benefits of community. It's a great network of support. Take the example of the work of a product manager on a daily basis. We work mostly with our agile team that consists of engineers, designers, QA analysts. We speak to stakeholders, to leadership, to customers. And there is actually very little time where we engaged with other peer product managers to discuss common problems and brainstorm how to handle engineers or stakeholders or the roadmap. And the community creates this natural network of support and platforms to discuss to discuss these things. Also, it enables peer to peer learning and development. And the knowledge sharing, it's much more impactful and valuable within the community because it's intentional and it reaches the right people, and there is both push and pull. And in the community, it's easier to scale common approaches simply because there is more power if 10 people have the same request for change than only one, and in the community, you will meet with like-minded people and realise that you're not alone in what you're thinking.

And collaboration, it happens much more naturally within the community because you already know each other, you have a relationship, you know what others are doing, and there are less barriers to ask for help or to ask for data or to say, Hey, let's work together on this problem. There is much, much more on this topic. So I recommend all of you to look up Emily Webber and see one of her talks on communities of practice. So at Delivery Hero, it's not about intentionally building one product culture. This tends to get very top down. But however, in building these closer relationship, getting inspired and challenged by each other's way of organising and building product, we have actually seen some alignments on product culture. If I look back on the past eight, 10 years, we are much more data-driven. We're customer centric. We have a solid experimentation culture. And these are items that we have learned from each other during these years. But the key here is to build a stronger product community, which is bottom up where we make sure that the right product people communicate continuously and on an early stage with each other to inspire and to share insights and challenge one another, and this all to create better product decisions. If you only take away three things from this talk for how to achieve a stronger product community, this is it. It's about building relationships. It is always first about the people on every level.

So in the story of Delivery Hero, we created these strong personal relationships on lead level. And if we wouldn't have done that, I wouldn't also be able to launch these global community initiatives that we are doing right now because you always need the buy in from the leads, so you always have to make sure that you start creating those relationships from the start. Regularity: if it's communication, virtual events, newsletters make it regular and make it expected to create this routine on when to meet and talk and share. That's what's in the end builds the community and keeps it alive. And lastly, create value based on feedback, as said before, all the community events that we're launching, they are based on the constant feedback and interview from the product people in our organisation, and we're conducting them on a continuous basis so that we can also constantly improve. And the last thing is a bonus question, who runs this in your organisation? It's about ownership and facilitation that we believe that if you have that, the community has a much higher chance to be long lasting and valuable. Of course, the community is 100% built by the people. But what the facilitation does is to build a platform where a community can thrive. And on that note, my time is up, and I'm very happy to take any questions. Thank you so much for listening.