Empowered teams build better products

90% of features fail to deliver the expected value because we lock in a scope before we know what customers want. Empowered teams own their product so they can iterate on ideas to find the best solution.

But empowering teams is easy to say and hard to do. ZeroBlockers provides the structures, processes and governance model to help you remove the blockers and empower your teams.

Better ROI

Quicker time to money

More innovation

Idea GenerationIdea EvaluationBusiness Case CreationBusiness Case ApprovalPlanAnalyseDesignDevelopTestRelease

One team, from idea to satisfied customers

If these steps prevent us from being effective then we need to replace them

Addressing the challenges

Empowering teams is easier to say than do

ZeroBlockers empowers teams, while still ensuring that teams are aligned with the product strategy and that there is governance to ensure that teams are achieving their goals.

Fund the product, not features

Instead of funding features we can control where teams invest their time by varying the amount of funding we provide to different teams.

Assign scope based on strategy.
Each stream team is responsible for one or more value streams (parts of the product). We can control the amount of effort that is invested in each part of the product by varying the scope assigned to teams.
Fund based on strategy.
Not all teams are the same size. The product strategy will determine which value streams are more important and therefore which teams should receive more funding.
Three balls representing Stream Teams. The balls are different sizes to represent the different funding amounts.

Share the why, not how

We can increase the quality of the features that empowered teams create by sharing the business and product context so they can make more informed and better decisions.

Vision & strategy.
Stream Teams need to understand the long term goals in order to prioritise effectively.
Product outcomes.
While revenue and market share might be the ultimate goal they are too lagging. We need to define product outcomes based on customer usage patterns.
A funnel showing the vision as the lowest level, the strategy that builds up on the vision, the approach to deliver on the strategy and the objectives to work towards the strateyg.

An end-to-end process

We want teams to be able to go from idea to satisfied customers so they need a process that helps them identify unmet needs and deliver solutions that meet those needs.

Cross-functional skills.
Each Stream Team needs to have the core roles of a UX Researcher, to generate insights, a Designer, to create prototypes and evaluate solutions and a Developer, to build the product.
Continuous process.
All people must be involved in all parts of the process rather than being separated by functional skillset. This enables teams to react quickly to feedback and deliver the right product.
The UXDX model showing a continuous loop with three parts: Discovery, Design and Delivery

Trust, but verify

Empowering teams doesn't mean abdicating responsibility. We need to hold them accountable for achieving the outcomes that we set.

Agree outcomes.
Teams must be involved in the process of defining the product outcomes so they are bought into the goals and can be held accountable for achieving them.
Weekly business reviews.
Empowered teams must report continuously on the effectiveness of the features they are developing and whether the product outcomes are delivering the expected business benefits.
A staircase leading up to a dartboard style target. The staircase represents the Enabling Teams helping the Stream Teams to hit their targets.

Case studies

Empowered teams in practice

ZeroBlockers is the result of a decade of research into how real companies are building better products in the real world.


Creating Stream Teams


Autonomous Teams

How Spotify solved the problem of 'lean-back' listeners even when management were uncertain.


Creating Stream Teams


Empowered Teams

How Skyscanner improved product performance by empowering teams, emphasising trust, autonomy, and customer-centric goals.


Defining Good


Implementing Dual-Track Agile for Enhanced Collaboration at Autodesk

How adopting dual-track agile improved design and development collaboration at Autodesk, leading to better product outcomes.

Singapore Press Holdings

Defining Operating Principles

Singapore Press Holdings

Disrupting Large Company Culture with Startup Principles

How Singapore Press Holdings improved innovation and efficiency by adopting startup methodologies within a large organization.

We've always worked this way!

Why change now?
Software is eating the world

The features we are building today are not delivering the value we expect and it is hurting our businesses.

Better ROI.
Most features fail to deliver the expected value. Empowering teams lets them iterate until they get the solution right.
Quicker time to money.
Removing the blockers that slow down teams lets them move faster and get products to market quicker.
More innovation.
Tapping into the combined creative knowledge of the team working closest with the customer results in better solutions.