Leaders should lead, not manage

Managers spend just 23% of their time on strategy focused work

We need to enable more effective delegation to free up leaders to focus on the big picture instead of being stuck in the day-to-day operations.

Better use of time

More accountability

Happier teams

Addressing the challenges

Effective delegation is easier to say than do

ZeroBlockers has a separation between Product and Stream Teams to help address the challenges of effective delegation. This separation allows the Product Team to focus on the product vision and strategy, while the Stream Teams focus on delivering the product outcomes.

Define the product, not features

Create a compelling vision, and define the short term strategy that includes the hard decisions about where to focus, and where not to.

A compelling vision.
The vision should be a clear and compelling picture of the future experience for customers that the product is trying to create.
A deliberate strategy.
The strategy should highlight where we want to play and how we will win. But crucially it should also highlight where we are happy to make tradeoffs.
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 strategy.

Empower Stream Teams

We need to give teams ownership of part of the product and the authority to make decisions about how to deliver on the product outcomes.

Owned value streams.
Stream Teams need to own one or more value streams so they are accountable for the metrics that matter to the business.
Feature autonomy.
Stream Teams need to have the authority to make decisions about how to deliver on the product outcomes.
A modular architecture showing the Stream Teams as the building blocks of the product.

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

Delegating with context

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


Creating A Product Vision


Creating a Tangible Product Vision

How MasterCard improved its product development process by adopting a tangible product vision.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)

Empowering Continuous Delivery Culture at HMH

How Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) transformed its engineering practices by adopting continuous delivery and a DevOps culture.

King Games


King Games

Making Work Visible and Allocating Time for Tech Debt Reduction at King

How King makes work visible and allocates dedicated time to teams for paying down technical debt, ensuring sustainable development practices.

We've always worked this way!

Why change now?
Software moves fast, and so should we.

We need to focus on the big picture to stay competitive in the fast moving market of today.

Better use of time.
Senior managers can focus on strategy and business operations instead of firefighting.
More accountability.
Teams have more autonomy over how they work which increases accountability for results.
Happier teams.
Giving teams more autonomy taps into their internal motivation and has been shown to improve performance.