Kelly Taylor and Natalie Kates, Product Managers at the US Digital Service, share how they collaborate with policy experts and leverage policy changes as a competitive advantage.
Navigating policy, regulatory, and legal constraints is a challenge for product managers in almost every industry. Kelly and Natalie navigate policy in one of the most challenging environments of all. They work at a startup business unit within the US Government called US Digital Service that’s on a mission to modernize government using technology.
At the US Digital Service, policy and product teams work hand in hand. Policy people know the ins and outs of the product and the product people know the ins and outs of policy. This allows both parties to be more strategic in working towards building a product that not only complies with policy, but delivers a great user experience.
Policy experts don’t just throw policy updates over the fence to product people and hope that product teams comply and build a great product. The two teams have whiteboarding sessions together. Product people question assumptions and ask questions so that they fully understand what can and can’t be done.
Kelly and Natalie share how they operationalize this collaboration on a day-to-day basis, including the tools and tactics that have most contributed to their success. If you’re working in an environment with a significant amount of red tape, you’ll learn a lot from this episode.
Here are the highlights:
- How policy informs Kelly and Natalie’s product strategy (8:40)
- How policy goals, product goals, and user needs factor into their day-to-day decision making (12:25)
- The competitive advantages of working side-by-side with policy experts (14:35)
- Their methods for navigating policy constraints without hurting the user experience (21:00)
- The best tools and tactics for operationalizing collaboration between policy and product teams (24:00)