“Two teams, two models, one shared goal”. Chris Kenny of Booking.com on creating a new product with Godel.

This week saw Godel kick off a series of virtual events, introducing Chris Kenny, Senior Product Manager at Booking.com, as a guest speaker for the inaugural event – Product Development Ownership Evolution.

Read a summary of the event here!

Over the course of the event, Kenny talked about the challenges that Booking.com faced before finding Godel, and the journey which the partnered team has embarked upon to deliver a new product to market.. Delivery of the product needed to meet key expectations for Booking.com – it was down to the Godel team to manage and deliver these expectations.

Kenny describes the partnership perfectly – “two teams, two models, one shared goal”, clearly establishing the progress that the two teams were able to make by working as one, interdependent unit. To achieve this, there was a clear product vision set out from the start, with expectations set according to this. The teams worked along a clearly defined and prioritised product development roadmap, ensuring each feature delivered was in line with end user requirements. The initial team of four from the Godel side quickly grew to 20, so it makes sense that communication was a fundamental part of product development success for Booking.com. Not only is this because of the size of the team, but also because of difference in cultures and native languages of the developers working on the project. This is demonstrative of the problems which the teams faced, but feedback which the teams gave to one another during regular ideation sessions enabled these to be overcome.

The means of communication between the teams are undoubtedly a factor which has enabled the teams to conquer challenges which they have faced. As with any Godel engagement, the collaborative teams are encouraged to communicate daily, in order to manage and issues as and when they arise. Testament to this, Andy Thorburn, Head of Partner Proposition for Booking.com, explains “Within the sprints the teams are in constant communication through their daily stand ups. Those meetings are always a mixture of Godel and Rentalcars.com staff. It always feels like one team.” Thorburn adds that the emotional investment he witnessed from the both Booking.com and Godel teams early in the partnership was example of the relationships that would be built throughout this project, which also aided communication. Not only because of the trust which was a factor of these relationships, but because of the shared goal which each individual was invested in.

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