Case StudyInternal Product Team: Internal Product Teams - Creating a Collaborative Culture at N26

N26, a leading fintech company, faced significant challenges in integrating product development with stringent legal and regulatory requirements. The complexities of operating within a highly regulated industry often resulted in delayed product releases, compliance issues, and increased operational risks. Ensuring seamless collaboration between product teams and legal departments was crucial to navigate these challenges effectively.

Creating a Collaborative Culture at N26

The Solution

N26 implemented a structured approach to enhance collaboration between product teams and legal departments. This involved setting clear expectations, establishing regular communication channels, and integrating legal considerations early in the product development process.

  • Setting Clear Expectations: N26 emphasized the importance of defining legal constraints and regulatory requirements at the outset of product development. By engaging legal and compliance teams early, product managers could better understand the boundaries within which they had to operate.
  • Regular Communication Channels: Establishing regular touchpoints between product teams and legal departments was critical. This included setting up periodic meetings, creating shared documentation, and maintaining open lines of communication to address any regulatory concerns promptly.
  • Integrating Legal Early: N26 ensured that legal and compliance teams were involved from the initial stages of product ideation. This proactive approach helped identify potential legal hurdles early, allowing for timely adjustments to the product scope and design.

Outcomes achieved

These collaborative practices led to several significant improvements at N26:

  • Improved Product Compliance: By integrating legal considerations early in the product development cycle, N26 significantly reduced compliance risks. This proactive approach ensured that products met regulatory requirements before launch, avoiding costly delays and potential fines.
  • Enhanced Innovation Within Constraints: Legal and compliance teams at N26 embraced their roles as problem solvers, working with product teams to find innovative solutions within regulatory boundaries. This collaborative effort enabled N26 to remain competitive and innovative while ensuring compliance.
  • Reduced Time-to-Market: Regular communication and early involvement of legal teams helped streamline the product development process. By addressing legal concerns upfront, N26 minimized last-minute changes and reduced the overall time-to-market for new products.
  • Better Decision-Making: Clear understanding of legal constraints informed better decision-making across product teams. Product managers could make more informed assumptions and business case validations, leading to more robust and feasible product strategies.
  • Increased Team Alignment and Empathy: Building empathy and understanding between product and legal teams fostered a more collaborative and aligned working environment. This mutual respect and understanding ensured that all teams worked towards common goals, improving overall efficiency and morale.

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