Continuing my conversation with Sandeep Dadlani, global chief digital officer (CDO) at Mars, I asked him to share his thoughts on developing effective digital products in this 10-minute video. Here are three key highlights of our conversation:

  • Sandeep shares the importance of creating excitement among employees to help stimulate the open collaboration needed for generating innovative new ideas for digital products. He talked about how, when real customers are included, it’s easier to clearly understand what they value most. Sandeep also highlights the importance of checking our egos at the door in looking at problems from the customer’s point of view. Spending time understanding customer feelings helps direct the team toward better solutions.
  • Sometimes it’s necessary to research the underlying causes of customer challenges. Looking at the problem from the customer’s point of view helps frame the problem and find data to understand how to solve it. He empowers his analytics team to find data and use AI and machine learning to solve the problem and then use automation to rapidly scale solutions across the business (even globally).
  • Speed is vitally important in a digital business, and Sandeep uses very tight goals to keep his agile teams focused: no project more than 12 weeks, with delivery goals of four weeks quite common. He likes to focus on the near term because we have no idea what will be important in two or three years — a perspective shared by most chief digital officers.

What challenges do you face on your path to becoming a digital business? I’d love to hear how you are making progress!